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Would An Experienced NHL Coach Help The Wings?

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

...in the last quarter of what looks like a second consecutive losing season out of the playoffs, the Wings will decide whether Blashill deserves the fourth season of his contract.

If he comes back next season, the organization will likely face another similar decision on whether to offer him a new contract.

Given the state of the roster, with development likely to remain the focus for seasons to come, it is hard to see how the Wings performance improves markedly next season, at this rate.

Especially with the possibility Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall, could well be retired by after next season, one wonders if a veteran NHL presence might help.

A coach more like Gallant, with his deep experience behind the bench in the NHL and at developmental levels of the game and well as out on the ice might be the ticket for a group of comparatively inexperienced Red Wings, with more likely on the way.

more on Gallant who is the topic of the article...

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Comments

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I think a better roster would help the Red Wings.  Heck, what’d the great Babcock do post 2009?  I think it’s fair to say he had deeper teams than Blashill but many years couldn’t get any deeper than the 2nd round.  Then had to claw to get in the playoffs.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not letting Blashill off the hook.  He probably doesn’t deserve to come back but it’s not like he’s been working with a stacked deck.  This team is BAD.

Posted by Steve1306 on 03/09/18 at 09:33 AM ET

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Exeperienced or, you know, just good.

He probably doesn’t deserve to come back but it’s not like he’s been working with a stacked deck.

He was working with a playoff team that had an influx of young, talented, skilled winters.

This coach is BAD.

Fixed.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 03/09/18 at 09:40 AM ET

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He was working with a playoff team that had an influx of young, talented, skilled winters.

You’re joking….right?

Posted by Steve1306 on 03/09/18 at 09:45 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Twitter response, #1,

Blash isn’t great, butI actually don’t believe there is a coach who could make this squad a contender. The talent isn’t there. We have foolish contracts like Z Helm and Nielson that will prevent depth.We can’t cry for a rebuild and blame this all on the coach. Doesn’t make sense.

#2,

Blashill is clearly not the right coach for this team.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/09/18 at 09:46 AM ET

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You’re joking….right?

About what?

He wasn’t working with a playoff team? I could be wrong, but I think that the fact the wings made the playoffs for years and years and years in a row is pretty well documented.

I can’t think of a less controversial statement than that Blashill inherited a playoff team. It is literally an undeniable fact.

And as for the influx of young talent, I guess Larkin is a shitty, ueseless hockey player with no skill who has never scored 20 goals in a season. And I guess Athanasiou didn’t nearly hit 20 goals last year in only 60 or so games. And I also guess that Anthony Mantha isn’t a 20-goal scorer?

Which of those guys is not young or talented? Please tell me, because I’m dying to know.

Now, if I may turn your question around on you:

You’re joking….right?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 03/09/18 at 09:52 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Yes, better coach would get this team to the playoffs or at least competing for a spot…..but thats also not what this team needs right now.

I blame Kenny more for this mess than Blash, because Blash inherited a deteriorating playoff team.

Posted by ilovehomers on 03/09/18 at 09:57 AM ET

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OK….you win.

Posted by Steve1306 on 03/09/18 at 10:00 AM ET

bigdee89's avatar

I’m not exactly sure what it is.  I think it’s a combination of not enough skill and poor coaching.  Watching all those games where we squandered a 3rd period lead only to lose in OT was the most painful thing to watch.  I blame players like DDK and Errorson for not playing good positioning and Blashill for starting guys like Helm and Abby in OT. 

Maybe a new coach will help. We need to purge half of the roster and realize we can’t put guys like DDK or Errorson in critical high pressure situations.

Whatever it is, we need big changes this off season

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 03/09/18 at 10:28 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Would An Experienced NHL Coach Help The Wings?

Yes. And also a good general manager.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/09/18 at 10:44 AM ET

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What irks me about Blashill is his constant line changes,  he cannot even put together one go to line. Went back to that dumb back pass that freezes forwards at the offensive blue line. Same old list, time of possession in the offensive zone must be unreal., We get one or two shots and it’s back to defense. Would be interesting to see what a well groomed coach could do with this team.

Posted by stateofmifan on 03/09/18 at 10:45 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I blame Kenny more for this mess than Blash, because Blash inherited a deteriorating playoff team.

Posted by ilovehomers on 03/09/18 at 08:57 AM ET

That right there ^^^^^

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/09/18 at 10:46 AM ET

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While I don’t blame Blashill for where the team is at(that’s on Holland and Ownership), I dont think he has the skills that this team needs.  He is afraid of the vets, and has cant seem to find lines that work.

The bigger issue for me is that barring maybe Larkin, every player on the team has regressed.  I don’t blame him for Z or Kron, age isn’t his fault.  But, we should be able to have someone stand out in a pile of turds shouldn’t we? 

Who has gotten better?  Who is at least playing at a consistent level?  Who is at least adequate at their role?  Our young talent/potential is floundering.  You would expect that playing on a bad team, that at least some would look better right?  Vets are vets, they may have been set in their ways before his arrival, I’ll give him a pass on that.  Which of the kids has progressed, again barring Larkin?  This is the job of an NHL coaching staff.  And they have failed. Period.

Posted by murph1jj on 03/09/18 at 11:10 AM ET

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Blashill needs to go for many reasons.  Not making the playoffs isn’t one of them, thats on kenny’s crappy roster.

-young players not developing
-weak special teams play
-poor strategies that leave players indecisive, and out of position
-inability to lead, ie vets seem to control the room

The sooner he’s gone the better for the Wings

Posted by akwingsfan on 03/09/18 at 12:50 PM ET

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Through the whole game Osgood and Micky were praising Vegas for the way they play hockey. Organized, structured, quick and everybody knows where they need to be. And they do not have a single star on their roster and winning.
So, I do not know if it’s all about the coach or they just have the right players and we have a bunch of lazy overpaid veterans and lazy young players who cannot understand how to play this game the right way. In other words, I do not know if Gallant takes over this team, much will change, but Vegas is certainly an example of a team that we should look up to (that even sounded weird), a team with no stars, but they know how to play together.
Maybe there is too big of a gap between our veterans and young players. Maybe Z, Kron and Abby are not the right personalities to lead guys like Mantha, AA and Bert. Maybe it’s more about our young guys being floaters by nature. Tough to say for me, but something (or rather everything) has to change and change quickly. And it starts with Ilitch and only then KH.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 01:11 PM ET

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I could be wrong, but I think that the fact the wings made the playoffs for years and years and years in a row is pretty well documented

I also think it’s pretty clear the team was on a definite decline prior to Blashill taking over. Z and Kron are not near the same players that Blashill was coaching. Even Abby and Helm are not aging well. Of course, it would have been nice if our GM could recognize this pattern and did not create a cap hell in the last 2 years.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 01:14 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I still think KH is hanging his hat on making the playoffs. Someone above him would have to be telling him that.  Realistically, the Wings are getting worse every year. 

This coincides with the Blash hiriring, KH panic Contracts/Cap Hell and maybe Baby illtch.

If everything stays as is, next year will most likely be continued failure.

A lot of things need fixing and the Bad Contract Vets get one yr older as there contracts expire while eating far too much cap space.

I may be wrong but most blog entries are saying some of the same things.

I am going to try and look ahead as the past is well documented and the future is unknown and a bit worrisome to this fan

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 03/09/18 at 01:43 PM ET

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The only break I’ll cut Kenny are the stupid NHL rules that saddle a team with a LTIR and retirement. IMO if you waive a LTIR player and a team selects him and he comes back he can’t play in the NHL for the period to equal his time on LTIR, but not less than one year and must stat in a new season, or some other variation of this. If a player retires he may not return to the NHL until he serves a one year penalty. If he does he must not return at any time before the start of a new season and also to the same team unless they waive him. Again ,variations could correct unforseen problems. The NHL is foolish not to address this.

Posted by stateofmifan on 03/09/18 at 01:46 PM ET

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Teams need salary relief.

Posted by stateofmifan on 03/09/18 at 01:47 PM ET

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If this team had a plan and a GM that was capable of executing that plan then yes, maybe an NHL coach with experience would indeed help.  But having said that, I don’t think Blash is a bad coach, I just think this roster is so awful that he is in over his head.  I will also say that there is no leadership as well, from what I can tell there seems to be cliques and chemistry issues

Posted by bababooey on 03/09/18 at 01:49 PM ET

Primis's avatar

So let’s say an experienced NHL coach gets 5 more points out of this team.

Does it matter?

No.  Because the roster isn’t good enough for it to.

Posted by Primis on 03/09/18 at 02:33 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

Does it matter?

No.  Because the roster isn’t good enough for it to.

The argument to this would be that another coach might be better developmentally for the younger players. That matters a lot.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 03/09/18 at 03:05 PM ET

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Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 03/09/18 at 02:05 PM ET

This exactly!

I don’t care if a new coach get us any more points.  We can get worse for the next couple years, as long as we are developing our younger players so that we have a better team in the 3-5 yr window.

Posted by murph1jj on 03/09/18 at 03:09 PM ET

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Agree with the previous two posts, it’s not about the points for the next 3 years.

Besides the roster being bad, I am feeling there is no chemistry between the veterans and the young players on and off the ice. And Blashill does not help with his rhetorics either. It almost feels like Z, Kron, Nyquist, E, Abby, Helm, etc are playing for one team and AA, Mantha, Larkin and Bert are playing for another. The team needs players (it seems) who will be connecting the veterans with the youth. One of these players seemed to be Tatar.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 03:21 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

The argument to this would be that another coach might be better developmentally for the younger players. That matters a lot.

Blash was supposed to be this coach, though.  He was touted for everything he accomplished at Western and Grand Rapids, and how he knew how to work with young kids.

So, was that assessment incorrect, or did he change?  Or is he just not the flavor of the month anymore?

Posted by TreKronor on 03/09/18 at 03:22 PM ET

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and how he knew how to work with young kids.

He got overwhelmed with the veterans imo to who he cannot say anything it seems.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 03:25 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

He got overwhelmed with the veterans imo to who he cannot say anything it seems.

How do you figure?

Posted by TreKronor on 03/09/18 at 03:28 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

So, was that assessment incorrect, or did he change?

That’s a great question. Blash could still be the best option we have. My point is simply that we can’t ignore the role a coach plays in developing the players that will still be around when the team is ready to be competitive again. But let’s say we remove Blash and replace him with Nelson. Even if Nelson gets more out of his players, it might have an overall negative effect on the organization, since the coach replacing Nelson in GR is likely to not be as good.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 03/09/18 at 03:37 PM ET

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This team has many problems, especially veteran contracts.

But anyone who thinks AA and Mantha are the solution, are delusional.  As I have said before, neither have the character and drive to become champions,  Trade them while value is high, before they get a bloated contract that further delays the rebuild.

My untouchablelist remains :  Larkin and Cholowski ( maybe Hronek).

Posted by NEWing on 03/09/18 at 03:42 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

A coach more like Gallant, with his deep experience behind the bench in the NHL and at developmental levels of the game and well as out on the ice might be the ticket for a group of comparatively inexperienced Red Wings, with more likely on the way.

The Wings had a chance last spring to fire Blashill and offer the job to Gallant. And I bet Gerard would have jumped at the chance to return to Detroit and help turn things around. Instead, Gallant gets hired in Vegas and Hapless Holland decides to stick with Bumbling Blashill, and look where the two teams are now – on opposite ends of the league standings.

Gallant took 23 second-tier players who hadn’t played together before and molded them into a team with structure and drive. And today, almost every player on that team is having a career year. That’s not a fluke. That’s the result, at least in part, of playing for a coach who knows how to get the best out of his players, especially his young players.

At this point, firing Blashill is pointless unless Holland is fired as well. And, sadly, the chance of that happening seems to be somewhere between slim and none.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 03/09/18 at 03:50 PM ET

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Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 03/09/18 at 02:50 PM ET.        Well said.

Posted by stateofmifan on 03/09/18 at 04:06 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I think the issues with AA before being drafted were bluntly exposed by Mark Hunter his Jr Coach and Mantha was said to not be a 200’player and maybe something about foot speed.

My point is I am sure the Wings knew about any potential issues, if any, with all draft prospects.  I will assume again the Wings felt they could correct any problems when the kids turned Pro.

I am not sure Blashill is the right coach for prospects who need extra attention and work.  Even players like Z would know there might be some “Tear your hair out” moments.

Even Pavel in the beginning couldn’t score at home.

Do you live with Mantha’s short comings as he will be the Wings highest Goal Scorer and one of the better shots for awhile?

Do you live with AA getting the Fans on their feet, with WOW speed and Goals?

Would Mantha and AA be different players if playing with Vegas?  Just had to use Vegas, LOL

Are they keeping KH out of the playoffs?

Do they have good Vet mentors, aside from the obvious?

I think they bring more positives than negatives at this point in their careers but that is just me. I would give them a couple of more years and they will also get pressure from other prospects coming up..

Z is a special person and Hockey player. His standards have to be among the highest in the league.  He brings them to nearly all games.

I am more worried about getting rid of some over paid and poorly skilled NHL players.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 03/09/18 at 04:17 PM ET

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Gallant took 23 second-tier players who hadn’t played together before and molded them into a team with structure and drive

And maybe that was his advantage because he had the players who he could mold, no stars who require special treatment. Would have he done the same great job with our flawed roster and personalities? I do not know the answer to that question.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 04:42 PM ET

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He got overwhelmed with the veterans imo to who he cannot say anything it seems.

How do you figure?

It’s just the way I feel about his coaching and what he says. Kron still on a PP is a prime example of a coach who is afraid to demote a veteran. And I am not saying Kron on a PP is the biggest issue, it might be issue #20 in the list of things, but it’s telling me something. Nyquist with his 1 goal in 20 games is never questioned and never demoted to another line to “work on his game”. Things like that.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 04:45 PM ET

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Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 03:45 PM ET

There appears to be a double standard in the treatment of the you and the vets.

Posted by murph1jj on 03/09/18 at 04:48 PM ET

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There appears to be a double standard in the treatment of the you and the vets.

And I do not agree that Blashill is only criticizing the youth. He is praising them too. But with veterans he never ever say something negative, nor he punishes them with ice time. Dallas benched Spezza this season. Can you imagine Blashill benching Nyquist?
He will have Z in his office the next minute.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 05:00 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

Can you imagine Blashill benching Nyquist?

I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but I think using Nyquist is a bad example. Do you really think he’s playing poorly? IMO he’s probably the most consistent forward every night, from an effort standpoint.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 03/09/18 at 05:07 PM ET

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Do you really think he’s playing poorly? IMO he’s probably the most consistent forward every night, from an effort standpoint.

There is always a dilemma between effort and results. Nyquist is trying, I can see that, but his role on a team is to score goals, there is really nothing else he contributes, not physically, not defensively.  So, if your job is to score goals and you are playing on a first line and first PP unit and you score 1 goal in 20 games, then imo he plays poorly.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 05:17 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

So, if your job is to score goals and you are playing on a first line and first PP unit and you score 1 goal in 20 games, then imo he plays poorly.

Ok, then what winger do you replace him with? Mantha has already been getting regular minutes on this line. I don’t see anyone else coming in there and producing. And I think he’s a lot better defensively than people give him credit for. Certainly better than either AA or Frk.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 03/09/18 at 05:28 PM ET

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Ok, then what winger do you replace him with?

Honestly at this point it does not matter (Frk, Svech, whoever). The point is for the coach to make a statement that poor play and no results will not be tolerated on this team. Will go along way with bringing young people alone too when they see that everybody is equally responsible for a failure (whether it is a failure to compete or a failure to get the job done).

Posted by VPalmer on 03/09/18 at 05:46 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

everybody is equally responsible for a failure

Well, you’re going to have a revolving door at this position when everyone else fails to produce. Then you won’t have anyone left to make a point.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 03/09/18 at 06:01 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