The Chicago Blackhawks will play under a different coach for the first time since the fifth game of the 2008-09 season when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday in a matchup of struggling teams. Joel Quenneville, the second-winningest coach in NHL history who won Stanley Cups with Chicago in 2010, 2013 and 2015, was relieved of his duties Tuesday after the Blackhawks missed the playoffs last season for the first time since 2007-08 and got off to a slow start this year.
Jeremy Colliton, 33, was promoted from Rockford of the American Hockey League and named the 38th coach in franchise history while becoming the youngest coach in the NHL. "When I first heard the news, I'm just kind of thinking I wish I wasn't sick in Vancouver or I wish I maybe felt better on the road trip I could have played better and then maybe something like this doesn't happen," Chicago's Patrick Kane, one of four players to win all three Cups with Quenneville, told reporters. "Just thoughts running through your head." The Blackhawks have lost five straight, completing a three-game swing through western Canada with a 5-3 loss to Calgary on Saturday while Carolina is riding the same slide after a 4-1 loss at St. Louis on Tuesday. The Hurricanes lead the NHL in shots (41.6) while allowing the fewest per game (24.3) but are 2-7-1 since a 4-0-1 start, scoring 17 goals during that span.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FS Carolinas, NBCS Chicago
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (6-7-2): Sebastian Aho (team highs of 17 points and 13 assists) has been kept off the scoresheet for the last three games after flying out of the gate with a 12-game point streak - the best run to start a season in franchise history. Micheal Ferland (club-most seven goals) has scored only once during the losing streak and is minus-3 over his last two contests. Defenseman Jaccob Slavin (team-high 22 minutes, 58 seconds of ice time per game) scored his first goal of the season Tuesday, Carolina's only power-play goal in its last three games (14 chances).
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (6-6-3): Kane leads the club with 11 goals - all in the first 11 games - and 19 points after he was a minus-2 while recording an assist with zero shots Saturday. Alex DeBrincat (15 points) and Jonathan Toews (13) have eight goals apiece with Toews scoring twice in the last three games while DeBrincat has one assist in his past five contests. Corey Crawford (3-4-0, 2.92 goals-against average, .907 save percentage) has allowed 14 goals on 104 shots over his last three games - all losses.
1. Colliton is younger than four of his players - LW Chris Kunitz, 39; D Duncan Keith, 35; G Cam Ward, 34; and G Corey Crawford, 33, who was born 13 days earlier.
2. Carolina (12.5 percent) and Chicago (14.0) have the fourth- and fifth-worst power plays in the NHL while the Hurricanes' penalty-killing unit is 29th among the 31 teams at 69.8 percent through Tuesday's games.
3. The clubs have split the last pair of two-game season series - all one-goal games - with the visiting team prevailing in both contests in 2017-18.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 3, Hurricanes 2 Bet Now
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