Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton is committed to the line combinations he’s made for his team.
He reinforced his thoughts on it during a passionate press conference after Chicago’s 4-1 loss to the Flyers that could’ve been worse given that two goals were waived off for offside infractions after successful challenges.
It's not the combos, it's the work ethic— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) October 25, 2019
Coach Colliton talks about what went wrong tonight. pic.twitter.com/qMTMIPDmV0
Colliton kept the same line combinations from the Blackhawks’ 2-1 shootout loss Tuesday to the Golden Knights for Thursday’s game aside from the defensive pairings with Slater Koekkoek in for Connor Murphy (groin). Chicago went down 2-0 in the opening minute of the game and were outshot 13-1 in the frame. The Blackhawks also recorded only one shot during two power-play opportunities in the second and were 0-for-4 in the game.
Colliton decided to make several changes for the third period.
- First line: Reunited best friends Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome and paired them with Jonathan Toews.
- Second line: Kept David Kampf and Dominik Kubalik together and moved them up with Patrick Kane.
- Third line: Completely new with Brandon Saad, rookie Kirby Dach and winger Andrew Shaw.
- Fourth line: Stayed the same with Alex Nylander, Ryan Carpenter and Drake Caggiula.
Saad scored a minute into the game to pull the Blackhawks within 2-1, but Kevin Hayes regained a two-goal lead for the Flyers 4:03 minutes later and James van Riemsdyk added another at 16:44.
The loss drops the Blackhawks to 2-4-2 this season. Chicago fired Joel Quenneville, who won three Stanley Cup championships with the club since 2010, after a 6-6-3 start last November and promoted Colliton to the post.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Blackhawks respond to the call out from their second-year coach, most notably the veteran core players.