In less than a week under interim coach Derek King, the Blackhawks already have quadrupled their victory total.
Their 2-1 victory Friday against the abysmal Coyotes finished an unlikely sweep of their three-game homestand. They’re still in a big hole at 4-9-2, but at least it’s slightly shallower than before.
‘‘When I first got here, you could just see how fragile they were,’’ King said. ‘‘But they’re enjoying it. It’s not pretty sometimes, but that’s the game. They’re battling for each other, playing hard . . . [and] we’re just finding ways to win.’’
Nobody enjoyed the victory more than Dylan Strome, who scored his long-awaited first goal of the season — off Patrick Kane’s second beautiful assist of the game — to put the Hawks ahead for good with 10:34 left.
Strome committed a high-sticking double-minor late in the second period that led to the Coyotes’ tying goal early in the third. But when Kirby Dach temporarily left after a high hit, King gave Strome a chance for redemption by slotting him into Dach’s power-play role, and Strome delivered.
‘‘It’s a good feeling,’’ Strome said. ‘‘It felt nicer because I . . . took that dumb penalty. [It’s] nice to have that confidence from the coach to get you out there after you made a mistake.’’
‘‘That’s maybe something that gets him over the edge and makes him realize he can play the game, he just needs to play the game right all the time,’’ King said. ‘‘The fact he took that penalty . . . I was not happy about it. But the fact he gets on that power play and scores a goal, I was very happy about it.’’
Forward Henrik Borgstrom tested positive for COVID-19 on the morning of Oct. 26. His isolation period and recuperation, including another non-COVID-related sickness, ended up coinciding with one of the craziest stretches in Hawks history.
By the time Borgstrom returned to the Hawks’ lineup Friday, he was playing for a different general manager than the one who acquired his rights last spring and a different coach than the one who initiated him into his second NHL team.
‘‘It’s been a crazy, crazy past couple of weeks,’’ Borgstrom said Thursday. ‘‘It’s tough to sit at home doing really nothing. . . . Being by myself just in the apartment, it wears on you.’’
His new coach barely even knew him.
‘‘I [saw Borgstrom] at camp and [thought]: ‘He’s a big body. He’s got some skill,’ ’’ King said. ‘‘But then he’s not in the lineup, and then he’s sick or he’s hurt or whatever it was, and I don’t have my first impression with him.’’
Borgstrom likely can settle down now. King already is intrigued by Borgstrom’s combination of size (6-3) and soft hands, although he eased him back with only 6:49 of ice time against the Coyotes.
Push for discovery
Kyle Beach’s lawyer, Susan Loggans, filed a new motion in court Friday, demanding that Beach’s lawsuit be allowed to progress to the discovery phase.
The motion came in swift response to a letter sent to Loggans on Thursday in which Hawks lawyers called her initial financial-settlement demand ‘‘extraordinary’’ and called for the use of a third-party mediator. Loggans responded that the Hawks had refused to present an initial settlement offer of their own.
In her motion, Loggans described the settlement talks, which already looked near breaking down, as having functionally ‘‘not happened.’’
The lawsuit hasn’t yet progressed to the discovery phase because of the Hawks’ long-pending motion to dismiss.