Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Call It What You Want Drive, Passion, Compete Level, The Wings Don’t Have It

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

There’s not much time left for the Detroit Red Wings to suddenly get on a run and make the playoffs.

So, to be as passive as they were Tuesday in losing 3-2 to the Bruins, was perplexing.

“On the road (where the Red Wings split two games) we had 20 guys going hard,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “(Tuesday) we had a handful of guys going hard. We weren’t good enough. We didn’t have enough guys going hard.

“We have to be better than that. You can’t pretend your way into it. You have to be way more ready to compete.”

The start was particularly passive, and gradually, the red-hot Bruins took control of the game.

The Red Wings didn’t give the Bruins any pushback until the third period, and by then, it was too late.


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Too Many Players Took The Night Off

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

It has been a recurring theme. The Red Wings will play well for a few games, looking like they have it figured out and appearing to gain traction. Then they take a step back.

"We had 20 guys going hard (the past three games) and tonight we had a handful of guys going hard," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We weren't good enough. We didn't have enough guys going hard.

"We got to be better than that. You got to be way more ready to compete. ... It's a learning process for sure, especially with some young guys. It's an every-day league."

Blashill didn't single out anybody but clearly was referring to young players. Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha, in particular, have had exceptional performances but have also been no-shows too many times.

read on

Below, watch a few of the players and Jeff Blashill post-game...

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Recap- Wings/Bruins

Many of comments I read today didn't give the Wings a chance to win this game, they were right.

The first 32 minutes or so of the game, the Wings played okay.

Then the Bruins decided to start skating and attacking and the rest is history.

Final score: Boston 3, Detroit 2

Goals are below. along with team stats...

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When Pressured, There Can Only Be One Answer

A young man, under great duress, was getting grilled. It was not a happy situation for him.  His transgressions were not significant but they needed to be addressed.  This was today.

When it appeared the end was near, and when the end included letting him know the consequences would not be as dire as he may have been (strategically) led to believe, he was asked a simple question.

"Where are you from?"

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Video- Game Day Preview Against The Boston Bruins

Featuring Nyquist, Kronwall, Frk and Blashill.


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Why Is Jimmy Howard Starting Tonight?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"Petr played really well a few games in a row; I'm going to go to Howie here tonight," coach Jeff Blashill said following an optional morning skate. "I got belief in both of them. We're going to need both to be real good down the stretch. We need elite goaltending and we're going to need that from both of them."

Howard's last win was on Jan. 5 vs. Florida (4-2). He suffered a lower-body injury late in the game but finished. He missed the next game against Tampa Bay.

Since then Howard has gone 0-4, with a 4.62 goals-against average and .861 save percentage.

"Not every player scores every night and not every goalie is going to stop it every night, and I just think sometimes you get in a groove one way or the other," Blashill said. "He's had a chance here to go to work with (goaltending coach) Jeff Salajko. Both he and Petr work real hard at their game.

"I don't see anything from a technical standpoint that will preclude him from having lots of success tonight. But every game takes a life of its own. Hopefully the puck hits hit early and sticks to him and he feels good and he has a great game for us."

a bit more...

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Optional Morning Skate For Detroit, Looks Like Howard Starts

I will update as needed.


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Detroit’s Strategy

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

A playoff berth remains a long shot, with odds determined by simple mathematics applied to NHL rules that award two points for a win and one point for a whole lot of losses.

Development remains key.

That principle dictates Joe Hicketts should have been in the lineup from the start, Tyler Bertuzzi quicker after his early-season injury, and Filip Hronek perhaps soon. The 20-year-old offensive defensemen is suddenly hot for Grand Rapids in his first, full professional season.

It suggests Michael Rasmussen, the 2017 first-round pick, should play from the start in October after an impressive training camp this season. After successful wrist surgery he returned in major junior hockey for Tri-City, of the Western Hockey League.

It suggests an advantage in even greater roster movement this offseason than last.

That is a sound strategy for rebuilding. Playing poorly now for a closer seat at the roulette table is not.


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Off Day Notes

from Dana Wakiji of the Wings' website,

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill has spoken to the league but captain Henrik Zetterberg has not.

The Wings are ready to move on from Saturday night's disappointing 3-2 loss in Florida in which Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau scored with 7.7 seconds left in regulation.

The entire team believed that Huberdeau had interfered with goaltender Petr Mrazek but the league ruled that it was not enough to wave off the goal.

"I talked to them today and we got to make sure, our goalies have to make sure they're as strong in the crease as possible and we got to make sure from an offensive standpoint that we get to the net hard," Blashill said. "We still got to be real careful about the blue. That's all I can go on is what I've been told. Tomas Holmstrom called, he'd like to come back and play, so that was interesting."

Blashill was kidding about Holmstrom of course, but Holmstrom lost more than a few goals during his career because of a goaltender interference call.

After the game, Justin Abdelkader was beside himself as he had had goals waved off for what he believed to be far less contact with the goalie.

continued with more topics like the power play and tomorrow's opponent, the Boston Bruins.

added 4:38pm, Below, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press on Larkin as he develops being a Patrice Bergeron typle player...

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Videos- After Today’s Practice


Jeff Blashill is below...

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com


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