Avalanche Head Coach Joel Quenneville looks to accomplish a feat tonight that only 21 others in the history of the NHL have achieved. With a victory on Friday evening, Quenneville would become the 22nd head coach to reach the 400-win plateau, joining, among others, active bench bosses Mike Keenan, Jacques Martin, Ron Wilson, Jacques Lemaire, Marc Crawford and Ken Hitchcock.
Quenneville’s career record currently stands at 399-274-93 (.582 winning percentage) in eleven seasons with Colorado and the St. Louis Blues. He has led Colorado to a 92-65-16 mark during his tenure with the Avalanche and needs eight wins to become only the fourth coach in franchise history to record 100 victories with the team, joining Michel Bergeron (265), Bob Hartley (193) and Marc Crawford (165)
In addition to his outstanding coaching achievements, Quenneville also played 13 seasons (803 games) as an NHL defenseman, making him one of only five coaches in league history to both play and coach in 750 or more games.
And although much has been made of Quenneville’s attempt to join the 400-win club, the coach is more concerned with his team’s success than he is individual laurels.
“Our focus is simply on winning the next one, that’s the priority,” said Quenneville. “You’re always playing to win the next game.”
That next game will come tonight against divisional rival Calgary, whom the Avalanche defeated in an Oct. 16 match-up at Pepsi Center. In that game, the Avs battled back from a 4-0 second-period deficit to earn a 5-4 shootout victory. This time the Flames will have the home-ice advantage when they host the Avs at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary.
“These are all meaningful games,” said Quenneville. “Winning games on the road will really sort out not just who will win the division, but also who will get in the playoffs.”
Most Coaching Wins, NHL History Scotty Bowman 1,244 Al Arbour 781 Dick Irvin 692 Pat Quinn 657 Bryan Murray 613 Mike Keenan 589 (active) Billy Reay 542 Pat Burns 501 Toe Blake 500 Glen Sather 497 Jacques Martin 483 (active) Ron Wilson 474 (active) Jacques Lemaire 463 (active) Roger Neilson 460 Brian Sutter 451 Marc Crawford 443 (active) Ken Hitchcock 441 (active) Jack Adams 413 Darryl Sutter 409 Jacques Demers 409 Punch Imlach 402 Joel Quenneville 399 (active)