The Chicago Blackhawks were one of the worst teams in the National Hockey League during the month of October. It was tough to watch them because anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Their 0-7-2 start is how they finished October. Not getting a single win during the month made it pretty clear that this season could be a long one.
The losing crept into November as their record eventually got to 1-9-2. On November 6th, they decided to fire Jeremy Colliton as the head coach and things started to turn around. The month of November as a whole has been much better to them as they went 7-5-0.
It isn’t the type of record that will dig them out of the hole they are in but it is much more on par with what we thought they’d be. They need to be a little bit better than that, however, if they are going to climb back into playoff contention.
The team named Derek King to be the new head coach and his presence is a big reason for that big month in November. They are 6-3-0 under King and have mostly looked good. They still have some flaws but they show a lot less under the new coach.
The Chicago Blackhawks are hoping that November is a big step for December.
There have also been some turnarounds since the coaching change was made. Seth Jones and his upcoming monster deal was looking really bad early on. Hoowever, he has turned it on lately and has been the number one defenseman that the team truly needs.
Marc-Andre Fleury also really gained some steam. The team was atrocious in front of him in the early part of the season but we have seen Fleury win his team games in the past even if they didn’t play well. He is the reigning Vezina Trophy winner so you knew he would get back to being elite eventually and he sure has.
Of course, there are the usual suspects as well. Alex DeBrincat leads the team with 12 goals. Another 40 goal campaign could be on the horizon for the young sniper. Then there is also Patrick Kane who leads the team in scoring with 18 points. As a duo, these two rule.
There have also been a few surprises as well. Behind DeBrincat for the team goal-scoring lead is Brandon Hagel. He probably won’t end in second place on the team in goals but if he can chip in some offense every now and again, they will be solid in the bottom six.
Chicago needs more from Jonathan Toews. He is coming back from a health issue that kept him out for the entire 2020-21 season so it is fair to understand his slow start but he knows that he needs to score if he is going to be in the lineup. He is third on the team in assists with 9 but he hasn’t scored a goal yet. If Toews gets going, this team could follow.
The hope is that December is even better than November. They get that going after a few days off on Thursday when they begin their east coast trip with the Washington Capitals. They are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference so it will be interesting to see how they are in that building against that team.