Derek King is an interesting story in the best way for the Blackhawks this year.
Under Jeremy Colliton, the Blackhawks were tight, monotoned, and, quite honestly, a very lost team on the ice. No one knew where to go and no one knew what to do with the puck. The coach did not look to be into the part of his job where he relates to the fan base who already despised him because Coach Q was fired for him.
Then, over four seasons under a microscope, the Blackhawks fired Colliton due to the poor performance of his team. Then, the Blackhawks brought in Derek King to lead the team for the remainder of the 2021-22 season. We already know the story about this, BUT what about Derek King pushes the right buttons?
1. A Free-Style of Play
The first thing is that Derek King allows his players to play their game rather than try to force his ideals onto them. Patrick Kane is not a checker, neither is Alex Debrincat, but Colliton tried to force them to play outside of their comfort zone. This in itself is not a bad thing, but it resulted in mediocre efforts and the players just looked flat out done with the system. That’s all they did on the ice and no one was able to have any fun playing (or watching) hockey.
King allows his offensively talented guys to go out there and make plays when they can. He allows Patrick Kane to skate up with the puck and make a play out of nothing. His guys go out there and play offense, then get back to defend on time without odd-man chances or goals against in less than twenty seconds. It’s a great turnaround for this team. Seth Jones is flourishing now as well, showing the reasons why he was given a 9.5 million salary.