CHICAGO — The Wings disposed of one Jack Adams Award finalist this postseason.
Can they make it two?
On Friday, Quenneville was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, which is presented to the head coach that contributed the most to his team’s success.
Anaheim’s Bruce Boudreau, whose team was eliminated from the playoffs in seven games by Detroit, and Ottawa’s Paul MacLean, a former Wings assistant coach, are the other finalists.
The Blackhawks began the season by earning a point in each of their first 24 games, going 21-0-3, to shatter the previous best mark to open the season of 16, which was set by Anaheim in 2006-07.
“Getting our team ready right off the bat was something that we were excited about getting back playing,” Quenneville said when asked about the challenges of the work stoppage that led to a compact season. “We wanted to make sure our goals-against was at a regular or normal number. I thought last year was abnormal. And make sure our special teams improved at the start of the year. Getting off to a strong start was a point of emphasis.”
Chicago ended up with the President’ Trophy with the league’s best record, 36-7-5.
“I commend the guys for the way they organized themselves individually and collectively to get off to a good start,” Quenneville said. “That worked out nicely. We had a great start to our season. It was a fun year from our perspective as a coaching staff. It was one of those years where it was almost like automatic pilot. I don’t think it’s that easy, but certainly things fell into place in good ways and I think we had some real nice assets to work with in a lot of ways.”
The Blackhawks finished first overall in team defense (2.02 goals-against per game), second in offense (3.10 goals per game) and third in penalty killing (87.2-percent).
Quenneville won the award his only other time he was named a finalist, which with St. Louis in 1999-2000.
Chicago posted a 26-2-1 mark when scoring first and were 26-1-2 when leading after two periods.