CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman praised coach Joel Quenneville on Friday for the job he's done throughout the playoffs.
The Blackhawks rallied from a 3-1 deficit for the first time in franchise history and eliminated the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference semifinals after eliminating the Minnesota Wild in five games.
“I think our coaches deserve a lot of credit,” Bowman said at a press conference. “I think Joel has been through a lot of situations in his career, and he understands how to get the team going. You can't panic. You have to have confidence in your ability.
"I think we did that. It wasn't easy obviously. They were all close games. I guess proud would be the word. We know what these guys can do. We still have a lot of work left to do. But we know when we're tested we can rise to the challenge.”
Bowman said he was impressed by a number of adjustments Quenneville made throughout the series with the Red Wings.
Some of Quenneville's moves against the Red Wings included putting defenseman Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith back together after Seabrook struggled early in the series. Quenneville also put Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp on the same line to give the team an offensive spark, sitting Viktor Stalberg for the series' first two games and placing playoff star Bryan Bickell on the first line with Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus.
“I don't know if it's one specific move,” Bowman said. “There's always little adjustments you make whether it's line combinations or matchups against the other team. We faced some pretty good players here. Back in the first round., being able to stop [Mikko] Koivu and [Zach] Parise, and [the Red Wings' Henrik] Zetterberg and [Pavel] Datsyuk didn't have a lot of offense either. I think that's tough to do.
“Obviously we had good matchups. We had a good plan to be able to accomplish that. I think more so finding smaller adjustments maybe within games or game-to-game things you notice from the other team. Our penalty kill has been very strong. It's been that way all year. We got the power play going briefly there, a couple games gave us a boost. Hopefully, we can get that going again.”
The Blackhawks are playing in their first Western Conference finals since winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, and their third one since Quenneville took over as the team's coach in 2008.