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Quenneville still hospitalized but in 'good spirits'

Thursday, 02.17.2011 / 3:10 PM / NHL Insider

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

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Quenneville still hospitalized but in 'good spirits'
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville still is in a Chicago-area hospital, but players and assistants reported the coach was feeling good -- especially following Wednesday's win.
CHICAGO -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has been diagnosed with gastrointestinal bleeding caused by a small ulcer, and team doctors said he will remain in the hospital while recovering.

"Joel was originally admitted to the hospital early Wednesday morning due to gastrointestinal bleeding," said Blackhawks head team physician Dr. Michael Terry. "He has been stabilized and today the cause of the bleeding was determined to be a small ulcer caused by aspirin. He is resting comfortably at the hospital and we anticipate him to make a full recovery and to be released in the next few days."

There is no timetable for his return to the bench. Assistant coach Mike Haviland coached the Blackhawks in Wednesday's win against the Wild
 
Quenneville got a visit from Hawks assistant coach Mike Kitchen after Wednesday's 3-1 victory, and he also spoke by phone with Haviland.
 
"I talked to Q late last night, after the game," Haviland, who picked up a win in his NHL head-coaching debut, told reporters following Thursday's practice. "We talked about the game. He watched the majority of it and he was very pleased and very happy about the game. I know he has some tests today, but he was laughing when I talked to him last night. He was in good spirits. He was joking and laughing on the phone, so it was good to hear."
 

"I talked to Q late last night, after the game. We talked about the game. He watched the majority of it and he was very pleased and very happy about the game. I know he has some tests today, but he was laughing when I talked to him last night. He was in good spirits. He was joking and laughing on the phone, so it was good to hear." -- Mike Haviland

Quenneville also exchanged text messages with some of his players after Wednesday's game, including All-Star forward Patrick Sharp.
 
"I just sent him a text and I know a couple other guys did, as well," Sharp said. "I've been in that position before, where you're away from the team, and just to hear from guys in the organization is a good feeling. Hopefully it lifted his spirits. I know he was happy with how we finished the game off in the last two periods. I'm sure the staff at the hospital had to go in and tell him to quit yelling at the TV. He's a competitor."
 
The Blackhawks next play Friday against Columbus, and it's likely the coaching situation will remain the same, with Haviland as the acting coach and rolling the forward lines, while Kitchen runs the defense.
 
That was the arrangement for Wednesday's game and it worked well. Kitchen also has a lot of input on the power play, while Haviland works with the penalty kill.
 
"It's a little weird not having your coach behind the bench, but Havi did a really good job," Hawks forward Patrick Kane said. "A lot of guys thought he did a really good job. Like I said before, you want your main guy behind the bench, but obviously he has more important stuff to worry about right now. We'll get him back when we can."
 
In the meantime, the Blackhawks are feeling good after beating the Wild in what was billed a "must-win" game for the defending Stanley Cup champions. They're still 11th in the Western Conference, but they pulled to within four points of eighth-place Calgary.
 
Getting the win without their coach also adds to Chicago's confidence.
 
"It's a good sign," Sharp said. "It's never a good thing that Joel's going through what he's going through, but we can kind of rally behind him and we can come together as a team here. It's an important time of the year. Games are running out and we need to win. The way we responded without him was a huge step forward."
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