Quenneville passes Arbour for second all-time; Blackhawks make it 9

AP
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Coach Q stands alone in second place, and the Chicago Blackhawks continue to look like … well, the Chicago Blackhawks team we’ve come to expect.

It wasn’t easy, mind you, as the Blackhawks beat the Montreal Canadiens by the slim margin of 2-1, with all of the contest’s goals coming in the opening frame.

That’s the Blackhawks ninth consecutive victory, which leaves them a breath behind the Dallas Stars for first place in the Central (the Stars hold a games-in-hand advantage).

Just as impressively, this gives Joel Quenneville the 783rd regular season coaching win of his already-outstanding career. This latest win breaks his tie with New York Islanders legend Al Arbour, so Coach Q is all alone in second place for coaching wins.

Again, that doesn’t mean it was easy.

Corey Crawford continues to demand more notoriety with his outstanding play, stopping 39 out of 40 shots (including all 29 in the final two frames, when the Habs were hoping to tie things up).

It also wasn’t easy for Marian Hossa, another player who bounced back from being bloodied tonight:

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Not that long ago, this match would have been hyped as a potential 2016 Stanley Cup Final preview.

That’s still a possibility, but right now, the Canadiens are really struggling (and sometimes just suffering from bad luck beyond the obvious blow of missing Carey Price).

They really weren’t bad tonight, yet the larger body of work is a little troubling.

The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are more than holding up their end of that bargain.