Angry Blackhawks vow there will be changes after being swept out of the playoffs

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CHICAGO – A number of times over the past few years, he’s stepped up to podiums at the United Center with a feeling of satisfaction about his team.

Not so on Saturday. 

A stern Stan Bowman stepped in front of reporters at the year-end news conference and expressed the same frustration that many fans have felt two days after the team was swept out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Predators.

“I’m frustrated, I’m angry, said Bowman. “This was a tough, tough loss for all of us to take. “It’s a complete failure when you measure it against the expectations we have for ourselves.”

Those words were repeated a few times during Bowman’s media session on Saturday where he vowed change after a second-straight season of being Elmo aged from the playoffs early.

About the only thing Bowman confirmed he would not change was at the top with head coach Joel Quenneville. While he didn’t get into specifics – including the future of goaltender Scott Darling – Bowman was insistent that the Blackhawks are under the gun to get this fixed.

“Changes for next year are not really meant for this forum, said Bowman. “But I can promise you, we need to be better.”
Quenneville preached the similar need for change but like Bowman wasn’t will to delve into specifics. After 50 wins and a Western Conference best 109 points, the coach had his fastest exit from the playoffs (Four Games) in his tenure as Blackhawks coach.

“There’s been anger, frustration, disappointment, said Quenneville. “That all explains what we’re feeling.”

He’s not alone among those inside and outside the United Center, where a Stanley Cup run has already come to an end.