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A new Q? Players say he hasn’t changed

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

EDMONTON, Alberta — Coach Joel Quenneville’s postgame scowl might be showing up more often, but the Blackhawks say he has remained true to his ways despite how maddening their season has become.

‘‘It’s a different year, [and] obviously you’re going to see a bit of a difference out of a coach, but I think he’s been the same,’’ winger Patrick Kane said before the Hawks played the Oilers on Wednesday night at Rexall Place. ‘‘You still have the same schedule. He still gives us days off and a lot of rest, and he looks out for the players in that way. I just think he’s been harder after losses because we’ve lost more games.’’

Quenneville hasn’t hesitated from saying certain players, including top guys such as Marian Hossa, need to produce more. He hasn’t held back from quickly changing lines or sitting players when things aren’t clicking. And he also hasn’t shied away from working the Hawks hard at practice, such as Tuesday’s at Rexall Place.

But Quenneville did the same things last season when the Hawks were winning.

He has yet to reach a boiling point.

‘‘Q has handled it great,’’ assistant coach Mike Haviland said during the All-Star break. ‘‘There’s no yelling or screaming or panic on his part at all. The guys know that, and we know it as coaches, as well.

‘‘Being around a veteran guy like that is good for our team and our organization. He’s not panicking at all. . . . But, obviously, there’s not a lot of time left to be worried about next week. We’ve got to [turn it around] now.’’

Veteran center Ryan Johnson played for Quenneville in St. Louis with the Blues and said he hasn’t seen a change in Quenneville.

‘‘He’s certainly a guy that treats his players with respect and treats them like men, but, at the same time, demands a lot out of them,’’ Johnson said.

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