Colliton, Blackhawks look for step in right direction vs. Flames

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Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton looks at the scoreboard during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)

by Scott King

It’s no secret that the Blackhawks have been struggling this season. The special teams and defensive woes they experienced under Joel Quenneville still remain with Jeremy Colliton.

Chicago lost 5-2 in Nashville on Saturday before hosting the Calgary Flames for their Second of a back-to-back on Sunday. The Hawks, who lost five of their past six games and allowed four goals in six straight, will attempt to end a three-game losing streak.

They are 3-11-3 in their past 17 games and sit in sixth place in the Central division, 14 points out of first place.

Colliton hasn’t made it a secret that he’s looking for more: better play away from the puck, a higher compete level, better starts, you name it…

“We continue to deliver how we want to play and we’re all impatient and we all want to get results quicker, but the focus needs to continue to be on our own performance and doing the right things for 60 minutes,” Colliton said prior to Sunday’s game.

“The starts have been letting us down in a big way. We don’t give ourselves an opportunity to win hockey games. We have to be ready to defend every shift, every part of every shift, and certainly we have our good moments when we play well. We need to allow ourselves to be paid off for that by being good defensively.”

It’s not just young talent or new acquisitions that Colliton is looking for more from, but the Hawks’ core as well.

“I think just like everyone, we all need to be better,” Colliton said. “I need to be better, they need to be better, the end guys need to be better. No one’s happy with where we’re at. We expect the performance to group.”

Although he’s looking for more from Chicago’s vets with 2-3 Stanley Cups, he knows they’re not complacent with where they’re at.

“They care a lot,” Colliton said. “They want to win. No one’s happy with where we are. Everyone’s miserable when you’re playing in this situation. So we have to find a way to turn it around. If the performance is better the results will come, so that’s the focus.”

Getting a better result against the Flames on Sunday won’t be easy. Calgary, in first place in the Pacific division, is 5-1-1 in their past seven games.

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