Coach Q Makes History in Win Against Montreal

Photo Credit: Bill Smith/ Getty Images

Photo Credit: Bill Smith/ Getty Images

On the night when the Chicago Blackhawks extended their winning streak to nine consecutive games, coach Joel Quenneville made history winning his 783rd game surpassing Al Arbour for second all time.

Everywhere Joel Quenneville has coached he has never had a season in which his team had a losing record.

Taking a look at his career, coach Quenneville began his coaching career at the age of 38 in 1996 when he got the St. Louis Blues job halfway through the season. Quenneville coached the Blues for eight seasons and had a record of 307-191-77-18, according to hockey-reference.com. (77 were ties because they did not have shootouts back then.)

Quenneville had his best season in St. Louis in 1999-2000 when he coached the Blues to a 51-19-11-1 record which put them in first place. However, they did not advance past the first round losing in seven games to the San Jose Sharks.

In eight seasons in St. Louis, Quenneville had his team finish the regular season in fourth, third, second, first, second, second, second and second place, respectively in that order. However, in his eighth year he did not finish the season when management fired him.

After losing his job, the Colorado Avalanche called Quenneville to see if he wanted to coach them. In 2004, Quenneville accepted the job but ended up not coaching that season because of the NHL lockout. The following season Quenneville reached the playoffs and beat the Dallas Stars in the first round, but ended up losing in the second round of the playoffs. In his second season in Colorado, Quenneville missed the playoffs but had a winning record of 44-31-7. The year after he had the same record of 44-31-7 but ended up making the playoffs. Once again he failed to get pass the second round of the playoffs.

After his third season in Colorado, Quenneville told the team he was leaving. In three seasons, he coached the Colorado Avalanche to a 131-92-23 record, according to NHL.com.

Then came the Chicago Blackhawks.

Prior to Joel Quenneville’s arrival in Chicago, the Blackhawks had an inexperience head coach in Denis Savard.

Savard, a great hockey player for the Blackhawks, had only one full season as a head coach. In 2006-2007, Savard took over as head coach when the Blackhawks fired Trent Yawney. In 61 games, Savard began his coaching career with a 24-30-7 record, according to hockey-reference.com. In his first full season behind the bench, Savard coached his young and talented team to a winning record. He finished his first full season with a 40-34-8 record, according to hockey-reference.com. Even though they improved from a year ago, they missed the playoffs once again. Four games into the 2008-2009 season, Chicago fired Savard and hired a coach with head coaching experience. That man was Joel Quenneville.

Quenneville took over the helm as the Blackhawks head coach in the 2008-2009 season. With a young team on the rise, he coached them to a 45-22-11 record making the playoffs but ultimately falling short of making it to the Stanley Cup Finals, losing in the Western Conference Finals. The year after with a young but experience team, Quenneville took the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Finals. In his second season as head coach, Quenneville finally got pass the hump and won his first Stanley Cup as a coach. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup beating the Philadelphia Flyers.

After winning the Stanley Cup, the next two years were viewed as failure seasons because of the way the Blackhawks played in the playoffs. In those two seasons, the Blackhawks got knocked out of the postseason in the first round. In 2010-2011 to the Vancouver Canucks and in 2011-2012 to the Arizona Coyotes.

After losing to the Coyotes, fans began to question if Quenneville is the right guy for the job. Even though they won a Stanley Cup under him, the team seemed to be underperforming when they had to be playing at their best in the postseason.

Despite rumors, the Blackhawks said that Quenneville is the right guy for this team. It was a good thing they kept him as head coach because after those consecutive first round knockouts, the Blackhawks won another Stanley Cup beating the Boston Bruins. Two years later, Quenneville won his third Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks.

Currently, Quenneville’s record with the Blackhawks is 345-168-69, according to NHL.com. That win total will continue to increase because earlier in the week Quenneville signed a three year contract extension with the Blackhawks.

All together, Quenneville’s coaching record is 783-451-77-110, according to hockey-reference.com. He only trails Scotty Bowman, who has 1244 career wins.

Many could argue that Joel Quenneville is the greatest coach in Chicago sports. The city of Chicago has had great coaches from George Halas to Phil Jackson to Joel Quenneville. It is hard pick out one coach and say he is the greatest coach in Chicago sports. But in my eyes, Joel Quenneville is the best coach in Chicago Blackhawks history.

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