The Chicago Blackhawks made a huge change this past season when they moved on from longtime coach Joel Quenneville.
What made it even more shocking was that they replaced him with a much younger unexperienced Jeremy Colliton.
The Blackhawks continued to struggle for awhile and it didn't seem the older guys were buying in.
However while the Hawks struggled for the first half, they bought into and accepted Colliton's system and turned it around.
Chicago went 9-4-0 in February and 7-5-2 in March, Colliton believes the progress will continue next year and the team will make a big jump.
“We’re here to win the Stanley Cup and that’s the bar for the organization, is to be an elite team, is to be the mix in the end every single year, so that’s what we have to measure ourselves by,” Colliton told Scott Powers of The Athletic. “So to go along to get along, just to get through the season, then what’s the point? Like we just waste the year and have to start from scratch come training camp.”
He understands guys were stuck in Coach Q's system for so long so it took awhile to adjust going 3-8-2 in November, 6-8-1 in December and 3-4-3 in January.
“I would have loved if we could have adjusted quicker,” Colliton said. “I personally hadn’t been through playing the same way for 10 years. I haven’t had that experience. I’ve had the experience where I’ve played a lot of different ways for different coaches, all sorts of systems. And as a coach, I’ve used a bunch of different systems according to what you have for players. I probably didn’t expect it to take as long as it did to adjust how we play. And we didn’t change everything, we only changed a few things, but it was difficult, and the results were related to that. But we got through it.”