Why isn't Quenneville being consistent with punishment for Blackhawks players?
Above all else, that's the No. 1 thing Joel Quenneville demands out of his players.
Be consistent with and without the puck. Be consistent getting to the net. Be consistent with how you defend and how you win your puck battles.
He preaches all of this on a daily basis.
That being the case, it was shocking, appalling and downright unbelievable that Quenneville failed to discipline Anthony Duclair for an awful slashing penalty 114 seconds into the Hawks' 6-3 loss at Anaheim on Sunday.
Duclair's whack at Cam Fowler came just after he failed to push the puck into the Hawks' offensive zone. Twenty-nine seconds later, Rickard Rakell scored on the power play, and the Ducks went on to claim their eighth victory in 12 games.
After the Ducks made it 1-0, many of us wondered if Duclair would be staple-gunned to the bench the way Ryan Hartman was eight days earlier in Columbus. In that case, Hartman never played again after taking a bad high-sticking penalty late in the first period.
In this case, Duclair was right back on the ice for his next shift.
Asked if it was similar to the Hartman situation, Quenneville told reporters: "It was the start of the game. You could argue on the call."
But while veterans like Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane probably deserve the benefit of the doubt for bad turnovers or penalties, a consistent message should be sent to everyone else when miscues are made.
Now, should Duclair have sat for the rest of the game? Probably not. But he absolutely should have missed at least a couple of shifts.
To Duclair's credit, he did rebound nicely and finished with 6 shots (2 on goal) in 13:14.
As for the rest of the game, Anaheim (33-21-12) took a 4-0 lead in under 27 minutes, mostly because of horrendous coverage or misplays by Jordan Oesterle, Duncan Keith and Brandon Saad.
"We were watching them in the 'D' zone and we weren't going to people quick enough," Quenneville said. "Too much time, too much space and poor sticks."
The Hawks (28-30-8) battled back on goals from Tomas Jurco at 14:59 of the second period and Nick Schmaltz at 1:07 of the third, but the Ducks put the game away on Jakob Silfverberg's second goal with 13:00 remaining.
Corey Perry made it 6-2 with 5:19 left, and Schmaltz notched his second goal with 2:28 remaining. Schmaltz now has 20 goals on the season, and Vinnie Hinostroza (2 assists) has a goal and 7 assists in his last eight games.
Jonathan Toews tried to get the Hawks going by fighting Ryan Kesler eight seconds after the opening faceoff of the second period. Both players got in some good shots, but Kesler's seemed to connect with more accuracy.
"That got us going," Schmaltz said. "It fired up our bench pretty good to see your leader and obviously one of our best players do that. It shows a lot about him."
Toews said Kesler's wanted to fight him for quite some time.
"I finally gave in on that one," Toews said.
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