#1: Joel Quenneville
The biggest reason for the success of the Chicago Blackhawks was, is, and will be head coach Joel Quenneville as long as he stands behind the bench for the team. Quenneville consistently deals with moving parts and has a proven track record of success that no other head coach in the league has. He utilizes his players perfectly and few things motivate players to get their butts in gear more than a cold hard stare from Quenneville.
The efficient utilization of his players goes beyond his first and second forward lines. He knows what his players’ strengths are and he deploys them in situations when those strengths are beneficial to his team. A great example of this is Marcus Kruger. Kruger is valued deeply by Coach Q because of his ability to win face-offs and dominate in the defensive zone.
At even strength in 2014-2015, Kruger started 52 percent of his draws in defensive zone and a mere 17.6 percent of his draws came in the offensive zone. Despite that, he compared favorably to his teammates in shot attempts allowed per 60 minutes at even strength. That allows Quenneville to give his better forward lines more favorable draws.
Quenneville is the barista of the Blackhawks’ cup of coffee, making sure to make sure all of the ingredients form together to create an optimal team.
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