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updated: 11/22/2013 8:22 PM

Inside the Blackhawks with 'One Goal II' excerpts

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  • The hardcover book on the championship season is available at all Chicago Blackhawks stores and blackhawksstore.com

      The hardcover book on the championship season is available at all Chicago Blackhawks stores and blackhawksstore.com
    Photo courtesy of the Chicago Blackhawks

 
By Bob Verdi
Blackhawks Team Historian

A New Golden Age

An excerpt from "One Goal II: The Inside Story of the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks".

Jonathan Toews is quite possessive about the Stanley Cup. He probably thinks the Blackhawks own it and just rent it out on years they don't claim it, understandable for a future Hall of Famer who has captained two Stanley Cup-winning teams within four years -- an unprecedented feat even for a storied franchise that has been blessed with multiple superstars and magnificent leaders. If Captain Serious had his way, the Cup would establish a residence in the 60612 ZIP code and pay tax.

But the next best perk of winning the Cup is sharing it, and twice in the last four springs Toews has come marching home with the Cup in the wee hours and choreographed whirlwind tours. There is nothing comparable in sports. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is awarded to the Super Bowl champion, then disappears, hermetically sealed off from the public. The dynastic Bulls won six Larry O'Brien Trophies. Ever touched it? Seen it?

In all sports, the ring is the thing, and management has left no precious stone unturned in its 2010 and 2013 designs. But rings are personal, and the Stanley Cup is portable. It is everywhere, having achieved unofficial landmark status in Chicago.

"It's a lot bigger than it was in 2010," said Kane, who led the Blackhawks with 12 goals and 15 assists during that historic 24-game streakapalooza, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player in the postseason, then was summoned to be a guest on "The Late Show with David Letterman." "You could see that from the number of people who have become fans just in the last few years."

Toews seconded the notion: "There was a lot of attention and energy that we didn't expect in 2010, and this year, it's to a whole new level. There are a lot of people that maybe weren't hockey fans before, but are now."

Right On "Q"

An excerpt from "One Goal II: The Inside Story of the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks"

Joel Quenneville's messages can seem cryptic during press conferences. After the occasional defeat, you could land a small plane on his lower lip. But he rarely snaps and almost never imparts inside information that might compromise the sanctity of the locker room. He regularly says, "Nobody likes winning more than me." Otherwise, his go-to words are "upper body" and "lower body." Before Game 4 in Los Angeles, Quenneville volunteered that he sought "more" from Kane. When Kane responded by scoring in a 3-2 victory there, then collecting a hat trick in the Game 5 clincher, Quenneville gushed that it was "more than more." So much for Great Q-uotations. He is almost mysterious, this most interesting coach in the world.

"Question Mark and the Mysterians? '96 Tears'?" Quenneville chuckled, referencing the '60s band. "I don't explain a lot of things to the media or to the other team because I don't explain things to my own guys. If I did, I'd have to explain every shift. When Brent Seabrook doesn't play much in Game 4 against the Red Wings, [12:03 of] ice time is the explanation. That's the only leverage a coach has. But Seabs is so important in our leadership structure, you assume guys will rally around him, and they did.

"He got excited about going back beside Duncan Keith in Game 5, and they played great. Why don't I start with Bryan Bickell beside Kaner and Tazer against the Bruins? Because I don't think Bicks will even be able to play. Tears his MCL in the last game against L.A. Mysterious? I don't think that's the right word. Unpredictable. I'm unpredictable. And maybe not even that. I'm predictable, because if things aren't working, if guys aren't going, I'll make changes. Right then and there."

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