Blackhawks: Jeremy Colliton is on the hot seat in 2020-21
By Ryan Fedrau
After two seasons as the Chicago Blackhawks head coach, it’s safe to say Jeremy Colliton is on the hot seat going into the 2020-21 NHL season.
Jeremy Colliton took over as the Chicago Blackhawks head coach in early November of 2018. Since taking over, Colliton does have a record of 62-58-17, which is technically a winning record in hockey, but he hasn’t had any playoff success.
In Colliton’s first season, the team was just six points shy of a playoff berth. There were plenty of games late that the team should have won that they didn’t. The same thing has happened in 2019-20. The team has gotten close to the playoffs, just to lose big games when they need points the most.
It goes deeper than that though. It’s not like Colliton has taken over a young team without stars. He has Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in their prime. Duncan Keith has played well under Colliton and there are rising stars in Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat the team can get around.
Adding to that, Dominik Kubalik has made a name for himself this season. There’s too much talent on this roster being wasted.
The wasted talent comes from poor lineups and a lack of control behind the bench. Colliton, 35, doesn’t have the respect Joel Quenneville did with the older players. For example, there are three players that are either 35 or older.
No matter how talented a team is, there needs to be a solid relationship between the players and the coaches. Rumors of Colliton being great with the younger players is good news, but he has to connect with the veterans more if this team is going to be successful.
If the Blackhawks struggle early in 2020-21 and don’t make the playoffs for the third straight season with Colliton, he will be done. He’s taken over a team that should be at least making the playoffs as a wildcard team and flopped in big moments.
Let’s say there’s a 24-team playoff when hockey is back, will that help Colliton? I think the team needs to win a series or two for Colliton to keep his job safe. Still, the team was likely to miss the playoffs, that should count for something.