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Quenneville deflects praise for Jack Adams nod

Joel Quenneville deflected all of the credit Friday after learning that he was a finalist for the NHL's coach of the year award.

The three finalists for the prize, which is named the Jack Adams Award, were Quenneville, Bruce Boudreau of the Anaheim Ducks and Paul MacLean of the Ottawa Senators. The winner will be announced during the Stanley Cup Final series.

Quenneville said he was grateful for the recognition but he was not the main reason for the team's success.

"The players deserve the credit," Quenneville said.

OK, maybe, but Quenneville has done his part, as well. He led the Hawks to the best record during the regular season, including a 24-game point streak to start the year.

Quenneville said it was clear from the start of the season that his players were ready to make another run at a Stanley Cup title. He coached the Hawks to a championship during the 2009-10 season but did not win the Jack Adams Award that season.

"You’ve got to commend them from the start of the season, the way they prepared themselves," Quenneville said. "The consistency. The way they competed. The predictability in their game.

"It was fun to be a part of it. You look back on certain seasons. The fun factor this year working with this group is over-the-top. It was a special regular season."

Only one coach in Hawks history has won the Jack Adams Award. Orval Tessier was named as the league's best coach during the 1982-83 season.

Meanwhile, the playoffs continue with Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals set for Saturday. The Hawks lead the series, 1-0, against the Detroit Red Wings.

-Tom Musick

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