I had a different blog prepared after last night’s loss. It’s a losing streak. It sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. Carolina and Tampa are going to be top teams in the East before it’s all said and done and it’s not like the Hawks got run out of the barn, blah blah blah KEEP YOUR COMPOSURE
Then I saw the captain of the team, THE Captain, MY Captain, openly questioning a lineup decision of the coaching staff and I started to feel uneasy about the entire situation again. Winning cures a lot of things. Not a great sign that after the first losing streak after the team got it turned around that Toews calls out Colliton publicly. To quote the great Julius Campbell, “attitude reflects leadership”. And the culture that Colliton has instituted here has been one where taking shots at the players, even veteran players, through the media is not only accepted but routinely practiced. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the veterans turn around and behave the exact same way towards the coaching staff.
Now look, I actually don’t have a problem with dressing 7D and 11 forwards in principle. Let’s say, as a hypothetical, you a defenseman who at 27 years old is still an absolute liability in his own end, but he was so dynamic on the power-play that you wanted to keep him in the lineup even though it was hard to find good matchups for him 5 on 5. Let’s call that defenseman Derik Dustafsson. If the coaching staff wanted call up a DMan they trusted more in his own end, but realized his ceiling wasn’t necessarily going to develope more by playing in the AHL it might be worth it call him up. Let’s call him Dennis Dilbert. You could argue that having 7 defensemen with one of them being a defensive specialist, and one of them being a power-play specialist, would provide more value than the 8 to 11 minutes you’re giving to your 12th forward. You could then give those additional forward minutes to your most effective wingers. I wouldn’t just simply double shift one winger, no matter how good he is, and make him play 28 minutes because that is insane and eventually lead to diminishing returns for that star player. Play that star player maybe like 23 minutes and if you have other strong wings give them like 18 mins instead of 16. You know…hypothetically, to make this more
This was Colliton’s explaination of why he went with 11 forwards and 7 defense last night against Tampa Bay
“Tampa Bay thinks Koekkoek sucks which is why they traded him. We think Koekkoek sucks too which is why we scratch him every night, but we wanted him to have a revenge game so we scrapped the things that were working because…¯\_(ツ)_/¯”–Jeremy Colliton
I am sure Colliton is a smart guy. Knows the game. I don’t want him fired, but he can be frustrating in obvious ways and it’s probably just because he is so green. It’s tough when you have playoff aspirations to have a guy learning how to be an NHL coach on the fly. Twitter guy I like does bring up a good point
If someone told you to list off Jeremy Colliton’s coaching accomplishments, what would you say? He had a good record coaching in the Swedish second division? I don’t know. I do give credit for making tweaks to the structure he started the season with. It’s been effective and not all coaches are willing to adapt and change on the fly. Most are stubborn. So yeah, even though he thought it would work and spent all summer, training camp, and the first 14 games of the year trying to force it to work and that is a big strike against him…he does get some credit for fixing it.
Public clashes with Toews and Seabrook through the media isn’t a great sign that this season will be easy though. This is all pure speculation. Maybe Toews thinks Colliton is a great coach and after the game in a moment of frustration he slipped up. That is entirely possible. It’s also possible that he has been thinking these things for a while and he knew exactly what he was saying. Impossible for me to know. The whole thing makes me uneasy though.
The season is going to be a bit of a roller coaster. We all know that. The Blackhawks should be able to beat the bottom half of the league with some consistency and we’ve seen them handle Vegas, Vancouver, and Nashville. Those are teams with legitimate playoff aspirations as well. The next 5 games are against divisional opponents. The Blackhawks need to get back to normal and quickly. Two against Dallas, two against Colorado, and they enter December with St Louis. 7 out of 10 points would be great and is probably necessary because the Blackhawks wasted the whole first month of the season.
Friday after Thanksgiving. After you’re done with your family obligations in the suburbs, roll on home and go straight to Declans in Old Town. Keep the party rolling that weekend. BIG game against Colorado. Perfect time to do some afternoon drinking. 3pm puck drop. See you there.