Editorials

What is the Issue With the Chicago Blackhawks This Season?

By Jimmy Lynch
Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton looks up from the bench during action against the Calgary Flames at the United Center on Jan. 7, 2019 in Chicago. The Blackhawks had their first win of the season on Oct. 14, 2019. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton looks up from the bench during action against the Calgary Flames at the United Center on Jan. 7, 2019 in Chicago. The Blackhawks had their first win of the season on Oct. 14, 2019. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks looked fixed on paper to start the year. The effort and play on the ice have not shown that so far this season though.

Jeremy Colliton spoke all offseason about an improved team that was ready to take the next step, and honestly, we all believed him. The Chicago Blackhawks had a great second half of the season with a push towards the playoffs last year, and why wouldn’t that be a sign for more success to come?

When you think about it though were those games really a good judgment of what the Blackhawks could be? Teams like Nashville and Winnipeg had already secured a playoff spot towards the second half of the year, so they had no real reason to play hockey in February, March, and April.

Chicago might have just caught a break against teams that had no reason to show up and play the Blackhawks that night, this season shows a different story.

The Blackhawks are only playing meaningful games now, and they have been blowing it. With a record of 3-4-2 to start the season, with 8 of those games coming at home there is no reason the Blackhawks should have had that bad of a start.

With Joel Quenneville, last season the Blackhawks went 6-2-2 to start the year. With Colliton, this season the Blackhawks have gone 3-4-2, a bit of a difference in my opinion.

Colliton has spoken about worth ethic to be the main issue for the Blackhawks, and although that might be an issue it is not the main problem. I believe the Blackhawks’ main issue is their coach making bad line shuffling every game.

Joel Quenneville used to be the king of shaking up the lines, and in 10 games this season Colliton has probably changed them 10 times more drastically.

Why in the world would Colliton keep DeBrincat and Strome apart? They might not have had the best first two games, but separating them would only make the team worse. Thankfully he came to his senses and put them together on the FOURTH line tonight.

Why is Brandon Saad not playing on the Blackhawks top line? I feel like Colliton has become the Riddler from Batman and is here to try and question our sanity.

Can Colliton just put Saad back on the top line with Toews already? Saad has said he believes he can do more, and he has proved it so far this season, with 5 points so far this season.

Another issue might be David Kampf playing as the second-line center last game. Kampf is not a goal scorer and honestly, that is OK. He is here to play defensively. I think Jeremy Colliton thinks that all the lines need to play better in their own zone so he is hurting them in the offensive zone by putting them with a defensive style player. That is the only conspiracy I can work up.

This Chicago Blackhawks team is broken, and you can blame the effort of these players. But that is not the main issue, I think it might have something to do with these players playing with new linemates every day.

Why doesn’t Jeremy Colliton take a step back and let the guys just go out and play hockey for a bit? That was when the team succeeded most last year, not when we are talking about the lineup. It is a long season though, so hopefully, Jeremy Colliton can keep fans from throwing in the towel.

If Jeremy Colliton is trying to compete with Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears for the worst coach in Chicago then he is making a strong case. Hopefully, he will stop building his portfolio soon.

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