Versteeg wants to know: Where's Coach Q?

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 
 
Published5/2/2009 10:49 PM

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Go figure this one out. When the NHL announced the three finalists for the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year on Friday, Joel Quenneville wasn't among them.

Maybe that would have been OK had not Andy Murray of the St. Louis Blues made the final three in a vote by the league'a broadcasters. The Blues had a great season, finishing sixth in the Western Conference with 92 points, but Quenneville took the Blackhawks, the youngest team in the NHL, to fourth place in the rugged West with 104 points.

 

The other two finalists were Boston's Claude Julian and San Jose's Todd McClellan.

"That's actually really disappointing that he doesn't get nominated for that," said Hawks winger Kris Versteeg, a rookie of the year finalist. "He's been unbelievable for us all year and how he doesn't get nominated for that is pretty mind boggling.

"He takes the team that's maybe the youngest in the whole league and puts them in fourth place. He's really taught us all so much this season. It's a real big shock to me."

Enough already: Ben Eager's open-ice hit on Vancouver's Rick Rypien in Game 1 continued to irk the Canucks, but the Hawks' winger still wasn't apologizing.

"It seems every time there's a big hit everyone is thinking suspension," Eager said. "You know, it's playoff hockey. There's going to be hits. You've got to keep your head up out there."

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Canucks coach Alain Vigneault compared Eager's hit to the one Washington's Donald Brashear delivered to Blair Betts of the Rangers in that first-round series that broke Betts' orbital bone and earned Brashear a five-game suspension.

Toews injured too?: A story in Saturday's Globe and Mail, Canada's version of USA Today, claimed Hawks captain Jonathan Toews has a shoulder injury on top of the flu. The paper, citing a source, said Toews had a "significant shoulder injury and can barely raise one of his arms."

The Hawks only admitted that Toews played with the flu in Game 1. He was in the lineup for Game 2. The Globe and Mail also reported Canucks center Mats Sundin is playing through a sprained MCL in his right knee.

Home cooking: The series now switches to Chicago for Games 3 and 4 at the United Center on Tuesday and Thursday. The Hawks were 3-0 on home ice in the first round against Calgary.

"The United Center, the buzz is there, the noise, the crowd has been spectacular," Joel Quenneville said. "We have to take advantage of it when we do get home. It's been a special place to play for these kids and I think they've enjoyed it."

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