The Chicago Blackhawks need to turn around the skid they find themselves in during the current nine-game road trip.
It’s not the inability of Ray Emery or Corey Crawford to stop pucks. It’s the blue line lapses, Quenneville agrees.
An excerpt from the Chicago Tribune’s exclusive interview with Quenneville:
Chris Kuc: Is there enough time to right the ship defensively?
Quenneville: Absolutely, absolutely. Oh, for sure. We’ve been talking about it over the last couple, three, four, five, six, seven days. We’re reinforcing it in practice and how we manage the bench during the course of a game. It has to be reinforced game in and game out.
Top guys have to be doing it and all across the board knowing it’s not about outscoring the opposition, it’s about what we give up. That will be continually the drum we have to beat.
The Blackhawks’ 174 goals for ranks third in the Western Conference behind Detroit (178) and Vancouver (176). However, a 168 goals against has diminished the offensive prowess.
Chicago also ranks 28th in the penalty kill, at 77 percent, tied for 4th in most powerplay goals allowed: 39.
With a seven-game losing streak, many are wondering when the Blackhawks will bring in reinforcement on the blue line.
More from the Tribune:
Kuc: General manager Stan Bowman has made it no secret he wants to acquire a defenseman. Do you share in that?
Quenneville: Stan is looking to make us a better team. He’s out there doing that. Whether we get a D … you can never have enough of them.
If the Blackhawks want to turn the tide once and for all, it has to happen tonight against the Coyotes in Glendale, for a confidence jolt, if anything. As for the crease, it looks like Emery will get the nod, with Crawford’s latest struggles.