Head Coach Jeremy Colliton went 30-28-9 after taking over for Joel Quenneville in early November. Despite a rough start while the team transitioned to their new bench boss, Colliton had the Blackhawks playing at a more than 100-point pace in the season's final 33 games.
Senior Vice President/General Manager Stan Bowman gave his assessment of Colliton's first year during his end-of-season press conference at the United Center on Sunday.
Video: Jeremy Colliton End of Season Part 1
"I thought Jeremy did a fantastic job of keeping our group together, keeping our guys focused on the next game, even early on when there were some struggles and it was a trying time," said Bowman. "It was his first opportunity as an NHL head coach and he had a lot of persistence and positivity and he just stuck with it. 'Let's keep trying, guys.' And I think, certainly, it's nice to see the reward when the team starts to click and you start to see the wins coming on and you realize his patience paid off.
"There are always going to be challenges year to year. Just because we ended this year on a better note doesn't mean we're necessarily going to start strong. But I think the one thing we've learned this year is the importance of a stronger start. That's really what did us in this year. Full credit to Jeremy for having the conviction to stick with it and the positivity. He didn't really change his approach, even when the wins weren't there. He was pretty consistent and I think, in time, the guys found the path ahead and it led us to a good spot."