Are the Blackhawks starting to turn it around with new head coach?

Megan Krok, Editor-in-Chief

After a very underwhelming start to the season, are the Chicago Blackhawks headed on the right path with new interim head coach, Derek King?

The Chicago Blackhawks had a very unsuccessful start to this season, with a record of 1-9-2 in their first twelve games. On November 6, the Blackhawks relieved head coach Jeremy Colliton of his duties and announced Rockford Icehogs head coach Derek King as his interim replacement.

With King’s arrival, the team’s record is 8-5-0—not amazing, but quite the improvement from Colliton. King has already won over the Chicago Blackhawks fans, something Colliton failed to do, and he has arguably gained more trust with the team in comparison to Colliton as well.

King and his coaching staff that includes Marc Crawford and Jimmy Waite have been able to move things around and make changes when something isn’t working. Oftentimes, Colliton failed to shuffle things around on the ice when necessary. Some critics of Colliton claim his coaching style was restrictive to the players and other members of the coaching staff. This is a stark contrast to King’s style so far.  “I think they’re starting to realize doing it together and playing for each other is actually not a bad thing and they can win some hockey games,” said King in an interview with

With King, offense and defense are improving. Even-strength goals have improved tremendously for the Blackhawks. At the beginning of the season, the team only scored 16 even-strength goals. Now, the Blackhawks have shown great improvement with King with over 25 even-strength goals. Defensively, the shots on goal average against the Blackhawks has decreased, with one of the lowest in the league since late November. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has also improved since King’s arrival. Although this may be a coincidence, it’s brought success to the team.

Although the Blackhawks have been successful with King, the way the team has been winning games is not sustainable. Five out of the past eight wins have been won through an overtime period or a shootout. Having that many winning games go past regulation in such a short span of time is concerning.

As mentioned previously, there has been an offensive success with even-strength goals. However, the only Blackhawks that are contributing to offensive goals are Patrick Kane and Alex Debrincat, and even they have been inconsistent. Captain Jonathan Toews has yet to score a goal this season. Other top offensive players like Kirby Dach and Dominik Kubalik are experiencing goal droughts as well.

If the Blackhawks want to create a successful team for the long run, they need their offense to start producing goals. 

Regardless, fans are excited for what’s to come this season with Derek King. The interim head coach has brought a new confidence and attitude to the team that has been missing for some time. It is making fans wonder…will the “interim” in King’s title be removed by the end of the season?