That friendship is on hold, at least for the couple of weeks. Tippett's Stars and Quenneville's Avalanche are locked in a Western Conference quarterfinals battle, so there isn't time for "how's the family'' small talk.
"It's funny...the phone hasn't rung the last couple of days,'' Tippett said with a chuckle.
There is a deep bond of mutual respect between the pair. Tippett, a checking forward, and Quenneville, a brainy defenseman, were Whalers teammates from 1984-90, reaching the playoffs six straight times during that span.
Quenneville took over behind the Colorado bench at the start of this season after eight seasons at the helm of the St. Louis Blues. Tippett retired in 1995 as a player/assistant coach of the Houston Aeros of the International League. Following a stint as the general manager/coach of the Aeros, leading them to the 1999 Turner Cup title, and a stretch as an assist with the Los Angeles Kings, Tippett took over as coach of the Stars on May 21, 2002.
Through the years, Tippett and Quenneville remained good friends and professional colleagues.
"You bounce things off each other,'' Tippett said. "You value the opinions.''
The friendship was forged in Hartford, where Whalers GM Emile "The Cat'' Francis assembled a team of high-character players, several of whom have gone on to coaching careers.
Tippett also stays in contact with ex-teammates Kevin Dineen, Ron Francis and Mike Liut, among others.
"We were a special team, a lot of real special guys,'' Tippett said. "Everybody lived in the city. That was just home to us. My wife used to go to the games and she'd say, 'It feels like I know 3,000 people.' The team was sold, we got broken up, but we've remained very good friends. It was a very close team. We didn't win a championship but we kept that bond.''
Tippett remembers Quenneville as a savvy "coach on the ice'' blueliner.
"`Slo-mo Jo' was one of the smartest players,'' Tippett said. "Talk about using his stick...he was a very intelligent player, one of those guys you relied on so much. In nitty-gritty situations that allow you to win a game, he was always in those situations.''
DALLAS STARS POST-GAME NOTES
Dallas Stars 2 vs. Colorado Avalanche 5
Game One - Western Conference Quarterfinals
April 22, 2006
The Bottom Line:
The Dallas Stars may have lost Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Saturday but the series is a best-of-seven with the next game on Monday night at American Airlines Center.
Good tickets still remain for the all-important Game Two, which begins at 8:00 p.m.
Brenden Morrow's goal was his sixth career playoff goal and his 19th career playoff point.
Stats and Stuff:
Bill Guerin's goal was his 26th career playoff goal and his 45th career playoff point. He now has seven career playoff goals (7-1-8) against the Colorado Avalanche in 13 games.
Stu Barnes' assist (Morrow) was his 28th career playoff assist and his 54th career playoff point.
Stephane Robidas' assist (Morrow) was his second career playoff assist and point (0-2-2).
Jason Arnott's assist (Guerin) gives him 33 career playoff assists to go along with 58 career playoff points.
Steve Ott's assist (Guerin) was his first career playoff assist and his second career playoff point. Both of his playoff points have come against Colorado (OT goal in Game Three of the 2004 Western Conference Quarterfinals).
Stargazing: The attendance for Saturday's game was 18,532.
The Stars will host the Avalanche in Game Two of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series on Monday night at the American Airlines Center (8 p.m. CDT - kdfi27 and WBAP 820 AM).