Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Head Coach Luke Richardson Just Solved The Blackhawks’ Biggest Problem


The Blackhawks/Sharks game Friday night wasn’t exactly the most enticing viewing experience at first glance. A game between the two worst teams that didn’t start until 9:30 p.m. CDT won’t exactly break records for TV ratings.

But those who skipped watching the game missed one of the most entertaining contests of the entire year for Chicago. The Blackhawks rallied from 4-0 down to win a 5-4 thriller in overtime in a game that didn’t end until after midnight.

The Blackhawks have endured some terrible periods this year, and the first half of Friday’s game rivaled even the worst of them. But from what we heard in the aftermath of the game, the tides were turned for a very specific reason.

Head coach Luke Richardson is sometimes admired for his uniquely calm demeanor, but as the bench boss of what has been the league’s bottom feeder for two years now, he’s equally criticized for it. Media personalities and fans alike have begged Richardson to show a bit more emotion in his leadership of his young team. If Donato’s comments are any indication, he finally came through.

Does this mean the Blackhawks have suddenly turned into a perfect team? Well, not exactly. Despite the quick turnaround we saw Friday, a sudden hot streak in Chicago to close out the season doesn’t seem too likely. But Richardson’s outburst is a great sign that he’s working to solve the young Blackhawks’ biggest problem: apathy.

GM Kyle Davidson can do just about everything to put a competitive team on the ice, and he seems to be well on his way to doing so. But it takes more than on-ice talent to build a contender – it takes a strong locker-room culture, too. The latter has been a major issue lately in Chicago, as comments from Seth Jones and a poor mindset from Lukas Reichel have made headlines in previous weeks.

Richardson’s recent actions mean that he’s finally doing his part in the Blackhawks’ rebuild. Now that he’s shown his players he “cares”, there’s a chance the recent run of apathy and frustration can come to an end. It’s not enough to turn the Blackhawks into a championship contender, but it’s certainly a start.


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Mar 25, 2024 10:09 am

Richardson’s patience has been commendable for having so many young players on the roster.

But with the signs of frustration starting to surface, shaking things up at the right time shows he is paying attention.

Better days are ahead, with the pipeline of young talent rising through the ranks, hopefully, the Hawks will be relevant sooner rather than later. IMO

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