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Abel to Yzerman

Steve Yzerman Today

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

“We all get emotional game to game and when you win, you’re happy and when you lose, you’re not happy, depending on the last performance,” Yzerman said. “But overall, in the last month since we got our guys healthy, I’ve seen a lot of positives in a lot of things, and it doesn’t really show in the wins and losses, but in a lot of things, we have a seen a significant step in the right direction.”

Yzerman has been pleased with the progress of the younger players, despite many of them having statistics that are down compared to last year.

"A guy like Filip Zadina, he knows how to score, the goals and assists will come," Yzerman said. "They know what to do. I want to see them develop into better all around hockey players. It's not (just) goals and assists. That's kind of how i watch their progress.

"We're watching all different types of things. From last year to this year, and it's relatively early (in this season), but we're a much harder team to play against. We're playing much better."

more (paid sub.)

The Detroit Free Press has a 3 minute video with Yzerman on the team progress.

added 11:21pm,


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


d ca's avatar

Zadina’s been getting about 18-20 shifts-a-game since he’s come back. He’s got 1 goal and 1 assist in 9 games back and is a -1 during this time and managed just 19 shots (approx 2 per game).

Least everyone forget: his further development and all these free agents and trades were supposed to fix what was ailing the Wings the most—having one scoring line particularly on the PP.

Mantha is the trigger on PP1 and Zadina on PP2.  How is the trigger netting only two shots per game? They had 24 power play opportunities during this stretch.

Last year the struggles were blamed on Mantha’s health and lack of depth on 2nd unit. Mantha, Hronek are struggling plus lil ‘Bert is hurt which explains the 1st unit’s issues which takes Ryan off the 2nd unit and onto the 1st. But where exactly is Zadina’s development?

What is the problem with the 2nd unit? Lack of a net front presence? Hmmm….where is Rasmussen?

Hope Yzerman sees what I am seeing and Blash’s future is already written—and he is encouraging the players to just gut it out. But I am not seeing the development offensively that I expect to see from a top 10 pick and one that was projected to go 3rd overall by most scouts. Defensively his game has come a long way—-but I think he was drafted to be more than a 2-way middle tier player.

Coaching is actively harming more than 1 prospect/young gun right now.

Posted by d ca on 02/22/21 at 05:28 PM ET

Paul's avatar

via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, ($$)

“Collectively, the progress I see, from last year to this year — and it’s still relatively early — is a much harder team to play against,” Yzerman said. “Defensively we are playing much better. We are not winning a lot of these games, but I go back to the last game, a 2-1 game, a tight game. As that game went on, we didn’t make a lot of mistakes to hurt our chances of winning that game. We just hung around and hung around and scored a good goal in the third period and did a really good job after in winning the game.

“So from last season to this season I see progress. And our younger players, regardless of their numbers — because I know some of their numbers are down – that’s not a big concern.”

Yzerman is more concerned that young players “develop into better overall hockey players,” he said. “Learn to do the little things that help you win games. It’s not all goals and assists. That’s kind of how I watch their progress.”

Yzerman’s priority is watching the Wings, but he tries to catch as many NHL games as possible because part of his job is scouting, whether it’s for a potential trade or a free-agent signing.

“You have to watch the rest of the league,” Yzerman said. “But it is a bit of challenge. Those late games are tough to stay up for. I have a hard time staying awake through the late games, and trying not just to watch it, you’re trying to watch it with a purpose and watch specific players. So it has been a little bit more difficult. Part of that I will blame on COVID and part of it I will blame it that I’m not a kid anymore.”

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/22/21 at 05:37 PM ET


Honestly, I’m actually happy with most of what I see. My only wishes is that Rasmussen, Smith, and Svech (maybe) were in the lineup. I haven’t really even seen Svech play, but Rasmussen and particularly Smith are really fun to watch.

I’m actually super excited about Zadina’s game. I thought he would be a one trick pony like Frk and he isn’t. He’s actually very good defensively, the fact that he is only -1 is pretty remarkable on a team that can’t score goals.

I’d rather see him learn and excel defensively during a throw-away year than play poke and hope hockey and pot 20 pointless goals. Look back at guys who score big early on and then completely lose their game. Jonathan Cheechoo, AA, I think Dan Cleary and Patrick Eaves each potted 20 in their rookie season, or at least early on, and they never replicated and bounced around the league a lot. Zadina scoring 20 goals this season wouldn’t prove anything. I love how he back check’s and steals pucks, to me, those are as good as goals. 

That said, Mantha is being grossly exposed. His passes are super soft and he’s a turnover machine because of it. I honestly think he’s a tradable asset that could potentially net a decent goalie or 1st rounder while he still has stock left. I also think he’s being used wrong on this team. I think Ed Olczyk made a great assessment in Chicago when he said he needs to be a net front guy.

This is a shorten season with our top prospects oversees because of pandemic. Yzerman brought in various vets to try out basically for next season, knowing that this season is a complete throw-away. We don’t even know we’ll get all the games in. These vets have to get looks first, because they’re likely going to be traded or won’t be returning next year.

Posted by Jdunc from Flint, MI on 02/22/21 at 06:15 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Cant wait for SY to extend blashill and watch the flames begin.

Posted by ilovehomers on 02/22/21 at 07:07 PM ET


Those late games are tough to stay up for.

Pretty lame excuse for a guy making millions of dollars to do what he enjoys to do.

Posted by VPalmer on 02/22/21 at 08:00 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Cant wait for SY to extend blashill and watch the flames begin.

Posted by ilovehomers on 02/22/21 at 06:07 PM ET

I’m one of the few saying Blashill is not THE problem here, and I know he’s not coming back.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 02/23/21 at 12:39 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Mantha is the trigger on PP1 and Zadina on PP2.  How is the trigger netting only two shots per game? They had 24 power play opportunities during this stretch.

Posted by d ca on 02/22/21 at 04:28 PM ET

Because the puck movement is slow and atrocious.

They don’t move the puck quickly enough to get clear shooting lanes, and then they sometimes hesitate when they do because their confidence is low.  And that’s because they’re simply not talented enough to move the puck better.  If they try to go quicker they turn it over and bobble the puck.

They need to move the puck better/quicker.  Otherwise there’s no shooter out there than can do anything with it.

Zadina in particular on the 2nd PP unit has absolutely nobody on there with any puck-moving, play-making ability at all.

Posted by Primis on 02/23/21 at 10:21 AM ET


How is the trigger netting only two shots per game?

The power play is a five-man unit.

Posted by PresidentJoeByzerman on 02/23/21 at 11:49 AM ET


Cant wait for SY to extend blashill and watch the flames begin.

Can’t wait for you to be an adult and admit you were wrong when he’s not renewed…

Posted by PresidentJoeByzerman on 02/23/21 at 11:53 AM ET

The Meal's avatar

Uncalled for.  Talk the issues, not the poster.

Posted by The Meal from Firestone, CO on 02/23/21 at 12:26 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by The Meal from Firestone, CO on 02/23/21 at 11:26 AM ET

Come join the ignore train smile

Posted by ilovehomers on 02/23/21 at 12:38 PM ET

Paul's avatar

No reason to ignore him anymore.  I gave enough warnings.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/23/21 at 12:41 PM ET

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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