For the first time since Oct. 15, 2008, the Blackhawks will have a new voice behind the bench when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday at the United Center.
It will be the NHL head coaching debut for Jeremy Colliton, who was promoted after the firing of Joel Quenneville earlier in the week. He didn't have any nerves on Wednesday after practice, but that's likely to change as it gets closer to game time.
"Nerves aren’t a bad thing," Colliton said. "It’s energy you’re looking for. That’ll be present, so let’s go and play. ... It's gonna be special. Great arena and fans and special to be here to help the Hawks win. I'm excited for the opportunity."
In a classy move by a first-class coach and person, Colliton said Quenneville reached out via text message the day of the coaching change to congratulate Colliton on being named the new Blackhawks head coach.
"It means a lot," Colliton said. "He's a Hall of Fame coach and I'm succeeding him, and he took the time to send me a text message. He's a great man."
With the Colliton era set to begin, the 33-year-old rookie head coach is looking to simplify things and will slowly integrate parts of his system as the season goes along. What will he be looking for in Game 1?
"I want the guys to skate, I want them to work away from the puck, pressure on the puck," he said. "That’s going to allow us to play in their end of the ice and it’ll be easier to defend. That’s the big thing. Make sure we’re skating, flying and I think a lot of the other things will take care of themselves."
On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast Adam Burish joins Pat Boyle to breakdown the Hawks’ recent four-game points streak, Corey Crawford's second star of the week honors and Brandon Saad’s best stretch of hockey since he returned to Chicago.
Burish talks about the criticism that Nick Schmaltz receives, the tweaks to the power play and whether he is impressed with how the team leaders have handled the coaching change.
Burish also shares his thoughts on Joel Quenneville attending Sunday night’s Bears game, Eddie Olczyk’s "One More Shift" and shares a couple off-ice stories about Patrick Kane.
:36 - What have you seen over this four-game points streak?
2:35 - Crow is second star of the week, are the Hawks relying too much on Crawford?
4:00 - Crow: no soft goals and rebound control
5:30 - Problems exiting zone cleanly
8:00 - Art of the hoister
9:40 - Best Saad has looked?
10:45 - Schmaltz inconsistencies
12:30 - New wrinkles on Power Play
16:30 - Sikura call up?
18:00 - Leaders handling coaching change
22:00 - What Q’s been up to
25:00 - Burish Beauty
26:00 - Edzo's One More Shift and Hockey Fight’s Cancer Night
28:30 - Kane’s 21st Birthday and off-ice 88 story
Listen to the full Hawks Talk Podcast right here:
Corey Crawford was named the NHL's second star of the week after going 2-0-1 with a 0.65 goals-against average, .980 save percentage and a shutout.
The Blackhawks netminder kicked things off by stopping all 28 shots faced in a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on Wedensday night. He then recorded 31 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night, and concluded the week with a stellar 39-save performance in a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.
Prior to Wednesday, the Blackhawks had been on an eight-game losing streak. In the last three games, the team recorded five out of a possible six points, and Crawford is a big reason why.
In 12 games this season, Crawford is 5-6-1 with a 2.44 goals against average, .922 save percentage, and a shutout.
Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson (five goals and eight points in three games) and San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (five goals and six points in three games) were named the first and third stars, respectively.