Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

An Average Coaching Staff

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Coach Jeff Blashill and his staff

The Wings were a one-line, one-goaltender team that suffered so many injuries, 14 players were used on the back end alone. Yzerman charged Jeff Blashill and his coaching staff with focusing on developing the young players key to the rebuild.

Larkin, Mantha, Bertuzzi and Hronek endured rough patches but showed growth. Blashill scratched underperforming veterans when he could, but injuries limited his ability to do so. He had no choice but to keep playing Howard (when Bernier needed a break) because neither Calvin Pickard nor Eric Comrie was a viable option.

Throughout the losing streaks, players bought into Blashill’s program. Yzerman noted on multiple occasions he didn't think it fair to blame the record on Blashill. Grade: C

the players get their grades...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink


Paul's avatar

In a slideshow Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News gives out his grades from the team…

COACHES – It was a terrible season but there’s only so much blame that you can assign to Jeff Blashill and his assistants. There simply wasn’t much talent on this roster. No coach could have gotten much more out of this lineup. The continued ineffectiveness of the specialty teams is a head-scratcher, but again, the overall talent was lacking most nights. Blashill deserved one more season, and he got it, but there has to be improvement in 2020-21. GRADE: D.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/31/20 at 01:37 PM ET


Not that Kulfan is going to be making the call,
but it’s pretty damning that he thinks Bowey (assume he comes
back for another try) will have trouble making *this* roster.
Depends I guess on who is signed and if Stevie Y can leverage cap
space into acquiring someone to help on defense.


DeKeyser - Hronek
Nemeth - Seider(?)
Biega - Lindstrom(?)
Cholowski - Bowey

isn’t exactly a logjam of established NHL talent,
even assuming all-around good health and both rookies
making the team

I guess this past season is the answer to the persistent question previous years:
What does it take for beat writers at legacy papers to hand out bluntly failing grades.

I’d have given Nemeth a B rather than a C+

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/31/20 at 09:51 PM ET

d ca's avatar

GP 71 W 17 L 49 OTL 5 Pts 39 Pt% .275 PP% 14.9 PK% 74.3

What’s a guy have to do to get fired around here?” (former Lions coach Rogers)
How long has the power play been an issue around here…from the minute Blash took over…he’s had snipers (Vanek & Mantha), a couple almost snipers (Tatar & Nyquist), two of the NHL’s QB defenseman (Green and Kronwall), and two aging superstars that first year (Dats & Z). He’s hired multiple assistants (all his choices) and even taken the reigns himself; yet, the percentage keeps an overall downward trend.

interesting btw: Dennis Cholowski has the 2nd most PPG’s during the Blash years at 5 ahead of the retired Kronwall at 3.

Never thought the Wings would become relevantly compared to the Lions—but it fits Blash to a tee. Blash was the 2nd youngest coach when hired behind NJD Hynes. He was Holland’s choice: “I’m going on my instinct,” Holland said. “He’s a great young coach who is ready to coach in the NHL.” Further proving the Wings need of advanced analytics front office personnel to help with contracts.

interesting btw: Hynes was fired by NJD in Dec.

Upon being hired Blash said, “We’re trying to get younger and trying to get better. And sometimes when you’re dealing with younger players, you have to have patience.”

My patience is worn out. If Gallant didn’t want any part of this team then fine under the circumstances of a late start and little time to learn a new system—fine, start the year with Blash and be ready to replace (already have a interim coach in the waiting in Bylsma to take over)—but if Stevie didn’t even take a serious run at Gallant. Then I’ve got a real issue with that.

Make all the excuse about young players and the team not being that good—-the power play is a separate beast where your team has a huge advantage. Having dropped almost 10% from when he took over until now is unacceptable and should cost Blash his job.

Anyone in their right mind that gives a coach a ‘C grade’ when the team was a distant last place needs never to bother grading or teach—as I don’t want her passing the medical people I see.

I even have a slight issue with Kulfan’s analysis (I say D- at best). The Wings have an NHL first line (BLM line). Blash’s use (TOI per game) of Justin Abdelkader over both Givani Smith and Christoffer Ehn says all I need to know about Blah’s effectiveness.

Give Blash at most the first two calendar months of next season (if you can’t find anyone better that will take the job) to show real progress….otherwise can his @$$.

Posted by d ca on 05/31/20 at 10:15 PM ET


Blashill scratched underperforming veterans when he could, but injuries limited his ability to do so.

What an entire crock of shit this is.

Posted by BaromirBragr on 06/01/20 at 11:30 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

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