It's gut-check time for Hawks after 8-3 loss

Thursday’s 8-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets was so bad that Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville called his team in for meetings on Friday, though they stayed off the ice. Sounds like plenty of things were addressed.

“Some of the guys said a few things to each other and that’s what a team has to do,” Adam Burish said after Saturday’s on-ice session. “That’s what a good team does. We addressed the issues ... You kind of pull the elephant out of the bag, and there it is. Let’s address it and figure out what’s wrong ... let’s get it out on the table and then let’s put it away and move forward.”

Though there may have been some big-picture ideas discussed, it still came back to the Thursday’s awful result.

“You can’t be too happy with what took place the night before,” Quenneville said. “It probably needed to be addressed. You can’t be happy with a game like that.”

Not surprisingly, Quenneville has named Antti Niemi his starter in goal for the Columbus rematch on Sunday, but that’s as far as he would go to committing to what everyone assumes come the playoffs.

“I’m going to say he’s going to get at least the next game and we’ll go from there,” Quenneville declared.

According to the Hawks coach, there’s been “no consideration” to bringing up Corey Crawford or trying to send Cristobal Huet down to the minors after his seven-goal performance.

As the team moves on, Quenneville says they are focused on grabbing the No. 1 seed in the conference and holding on to it.

“Peaking going into the playoffs is part of it as well and we can’t say that’s the case right now,” Quenneville said.

As for Niemi, his game has been good lately and his confidence continues to grow.

“I haven’t played too many games in the NHL so I think every game gets [my confidence] higher,” Niemi said.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Huet.


  • Kim Johnsson remained off the ice with no new update on his status. He’s been off the ice since leaving a game against Philadelphia with a concussion-type injury two weeks ago.

  • On Sunday, the Hawks are launching a new customer-service feature called “The Fan’s Voice.” There will be two locations, one on the 100 level and one on the 300 level, where fans are encouraged to give feedback on the Blackhawks viewing experience at the United Center and more.