NHL Blended Bag: Winds of change in Chicago, maybe in Anaheim, too | NHL


Every Monday through the NHL season, Rob Mixer takes a have a look at the most important storylines from the hockey week that was.

A New Period within the Windy Metropolis

When Joel Quenneville changed Denis Savard behind the Chicago Blackhawks’ bench, the Winnipeg Jets have been nonetheless the Atlanta Thrashers. The NHL was a a lot completely different place than it’s at this time.

The Blackhawks’ two generational stars – Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane — have been youngsters every of their second NHL season. The crew was taking part in in entrance of miniscule crowds in a big constructing, and there was no buzz surrounding the Windy Metropolis’s NHL crew.

With loads of assist from Toews and Kane, Quenneville helped breathe life into one of many NHL’s storied golf equipment and ushered in arguably essentially the most profitable interval within the franchise’s historical past, profitable three Stanley Cup championships as Chicago’s head coach.

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However in life (and in hockey), issues change. That point arrived for the Blackhawks.

by now that Quenneville is out after 11 seasons in Chicago,the league’s longest-tenured coach on the time of his dismissal. His firing was hardly a shock – rumors dated again to final season — however to see a coach of his stature proven the door is all the time an eyebrow-raiser.

The Blackhawks are actually led by 33-year-old Jeremy Colliton, promoted to full-time head coach standing after one season (not together with the beginning of 2018-19) teaching AHL Rockford. Chicago faces a steep climb to get again into the Stanley Cup playoffs, however there’s little question that Blackhawks administration made this transfer with one factor in thoughts: a contemporary begin.

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And whereas it’s a brand new chapter for the Blackhawks, it’s additionally a brand new day for Quenneville. At 60 years previous, he’s received loads of teaching left in him and he may be selective. Chicago owes him a $6 million annual wage for this season and subsequent. It’s a must to surprise what number of groups, dissatisfied or underwhelmed with their begin, already thought of inserting a name to gauge his curiosity.

Getting Late Early in Jersey

The New Jersey Devils have been the Metropolitan Division’s shock in 2017-18.

After a sizzling begin that finally cooled a bit, they made the playoffs as a wild card a 12 months in the past, solely to attract the Tampa Bay Lightning within the opening interval. It was a fast exit. However there was optimism heading into this season for the Devils, who needed to take that subsequent step and push the division’s finest.

To date, it has been the other.

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The Devils’ 5-2 loss in Winnipeg on Sunday was their third in a row, and sixth within the final seven video games. They’re 6-8-1 and in actual hazard of falling too far off the tempo within the division, presently seven factors again of first-place Columbus with a giant tilt developing Tuesday evening with the equally-hungry Penguins.

To make issues worse for the Devils: Nico Hischier left Sunday’s recreation with an higher physique damage.

Right here’s Taylor Corridor on the Devils’ struggles (through NHL.com): “It simply looks as if each time we do make a mistake or there is a breakdown…it simply finally ends up behind our web.”

That’s a typical mantra for a shedding crew.

Powerful Instances in Anaheim

It’s laborious to get a learn on the Anaheim Geese.

They’re a type of groups that the majority of us usually assume can be aggressive – however it’s hardly been that manner early in 2018-19. Would the Geese’ possession be prepared to offer an costly jolt to a crew that’s gained solely two of its final 10 video games by attempting to rent Quenneville?

Randy Carlyle is in his second tour of responsibility with the Geese, and this time round has been largely productive. He was fired in November 2011 after six seasons and a Stanley Cup title (2007), changed by Bruce Boudreau, who was fired after the 2015-16 season and changed by – you guessed it – Carlyle. The Geese gained 46 video games and superior to the Western Convention Closing in 2016-17, then bowed out within the opening spherical final 12 months after a 44-win common season…and it’s been a troublesome begin to 2018-19.

Sure, Anaheim is lacking captain Ryan Getzlaf and former MVP Corey Perry. That’s a brutal 1-2.

However they’ve a decent group of forwards and a proficient protection that ought to have the ability to compete. And with John Gibson in purpose, the Geese have an opportunity each evening he performs. They’re in no way out of it, however at 7-8-Three it’s honest to query whether or not a change is required earlier than it’s too late.

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