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Coaching Grades

Ansar Khan of Mlive gives out his end of season grades and included the coaching staff too.

Jeff Blashill and coaching staff: C+

Several young players took significant strides, including Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Bertuzzi, and that growth mainly is what earned Blashill a two-year extension. But special teams continue to lag (19th on the power play, 28th on the penalty kill). Ultimately, you are what your record says you are, and the team improved by only one point.

all the players...

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I sincerely don’t get why an NHL coach gets credit for player development.
They coach.  They coach everyone. Always.  Old, young, superstar or grinder.
It is a BS and unmeasurable indicator.
I guess that if I want to buy that player development is the product of this coach then acknowledging that he successfully developed Nyquist,Tatar,Jensen into tradable assets warrants appreciation.
Sorry, I don’t buy it.  The question for me is, as a coach,  does the team exceed their expected potential under your leadership?
Blashill gets a C+ this year because he’s a C+ level coach.  The rest is spin and marketing.

Posted by Ventr on 04/11/19 at 11:11 AM ET

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Sorry, I don’t buy it.  The question for me is, as a coach,  does the team exceed their expected potential under your leadership?

Exactly.

With a roster of 20, to give the coach credit with three or four players improve is BS.

acknowledging that he successfully developed Nyquist,Tatar,Jensen into tradable assets warrants appreciation.

If he deserves credit for younger players develop then he needs to take some of the blame for the regression of Tatar and Nyquist from near-30-goal scorers to barely-20-goal scorers under his tenure.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/11/19 at 11:48 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Yeah, coaches are worthless.

that’s reasonable

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/11/19 at 11:54 AM ET

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Posted by ilovehomers on 04/11/19 at 11:54 AM ET

Well nobody said “coaches are worthless”, but your post definitely is. Bravo!

Posted by MZ2215 on 04/11/19 at 11:58 AM ET

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Yeah, players know their own way to habits at 19 years old.

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/11/19 at 11:54 AM ET

Fixed that for you.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/11/19 at 12:20 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by MZ2215 on 04/11/19 at 11:58 AM ET

Well, its hyperbole.

Of course development is a hard or impossible thing to quantify.
That doesnt mean a coach has NOTHING to do with the growth or regression of a player.

Anyone who credit Blashill for the growth of a player is not giving him sole credit or saying he is an A+ coach. And of course, players that dont develop could be Blashill issue o it could be a talent issue.

But the group who froth at the mouth and think Blash has done nothing for these players are just… I dont know. Its FS style thinking lol.

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/11/19 at 12:33 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

In some ways, Blashill has a positive impact on this team. In some ways, he has a negative impact.

Why is this so hard to accept?

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/11/19 at 12:36 PM ET

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I sincerely don’t get why an NHL coach gets credit for player development.

I do think the coach has an impact on the trajectory of the player for better or worse, but it’s much less than some want to give them credit for. We can point to Larkin/AA/Mantha/Bert and say “oh man, look at the improvements they made!” but how much of that would have happened naturally by growing their skills and learning the NHL game? It’s easy to write off older players and say “well they’re old and they’re naturally regressing, that’s not the coaches fault” but you can’t have it both ways. The fact is, with usage and teaching they can limit some of the regression, the flip side of that coin is that they can help some of the growth. These kids have been playing since they could walk, to give all of the credit for their improvement from year one to year 3/4/5 to the coach is silly.


I agree that the coach should be graded based on what he does versus the expectations. Most outlets had them between 70 and 75 points at the beginning of the season, they finished with 74. Not above, not below. C grade. There are other factors obviously that come in to play, but he hasn’t shown me that he’s anything more than an average coach.

Posted by MZ2215 on 04/11/19 at 12:45 PM ET

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If the grades are based on expectations as Ansar says, I would argue that Green and Daley’s are definitely too high, and Hronek’s is too low. Also, why no grade for Cholowski? He played a lot more games than Hirose or Kuffner; probably at least as many as Green. (Although I’m sure his grade would be pretty bad relative to Hronek’s.)

Posted by Son of a Blash on 04/11/19 at 12:47 PM ET

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Posted by ilovehomers on 04/11/19 at 12:36 PM ET

It’s either, I’ve only known wither redwings winning all the time since I became a fan or, I’ve grown used to the Wings winning for the past 30 years that I can’t concieve anymore of what it was little when Stevie was a teenager and before.

Which ever way it all leads to fans just wanting what fans want….wins. Personally, I’m getting interested in the glory and agony of following players achieve and fail. I wanted AA gone two seasons ago. Now that he’s figured out his potential and motivation (under Blashill) I kind of like the guy. I was bummed when Oullet didn’t pan out and when Kenny traded away all the Swedes a few years ago. I was rooting hard for Jarncrock and Backman. I said the other day Holmstrom has been very disappointing as is Sambrook. Now I’m watching Smith, Hronek Gilmore, Super Joe and Lindstrom.

Mostly I’m finding it fun to focus on development other than winning. I’m following more hockey than ever because of Detroit’s losing.

(Sorry about all the misspelling)

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/11/19 at 12:55 PM ET

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Posted by MZ2215 on 04/11/19 at 12:45 P

Well said. It all comes down to if a person has already made up their mind about something or if they are willing to listen and see things from a different perspective. It’s kind of like how a lot of white folks reject Black Lives Matter. (Sorry Paul)

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/11/19 at 12:59 PM ET

Paul's avatar

howe… since you said sorry, but please don’t turn this post or any other into that type of talk.

People come here to talk hockey, there are many other places that can be discusse.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/11/19 at 01:01 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Jeff Blashill and coaching staff: C+

I rate finishing 27th out of 31 teams an F, but that’s just me I suppose.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 04/11/19 at 03:21 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Anyone who credit Blashill for the growth of a player is not giving him sole credit or saying he is an A+ coach.

to give all of the credit for their improvement from year one to year 3/4/5 to the coach is silly.

These two parts are the exact. Same. Thing. Lol

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/11/19 at 04:09 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Grades of this nature are partly a subjective observation and objective (stats) and nothing near like taking an algebra test where it’s all objective. And it’s why I don’t like grades or mock drafts for that matter. There is too many variables, to many unknowns to quantify. But three losing seasons usually gets most people fired. Not saying it is/was warranted here, but clearly the standard in the industry.

I’ve said this countless times, Blash as a whole has been better this year. I also think the addition of Blysma was a plus. This is probably the best bench this team has had since Blash started.

Unless the wings tank the first month or two next season, Blash is here to stay like it or not. Sometimes acceptance to the uncontrollable grants Nirvana (not the band).  If the God Lord, Buddha or Devil allows us,we will see what happens next season.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 04/11/19 at 04:21 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Well, I’m not sure the grade is 100% right, but it within 1 complete letter grade of what I would say is fair (D+/C- and like I said elsewhere C- is the lowest passing grade in the schools I attended)—and unlike the other Wings beat writer that gave all 3 a ‘B.’

If the head coach wants to push that he had absolutely nothing to do with the PP or PK then I can see a little higher grade, but those special teams were atrocious. The Wings have players that were highly regarded in those roles on the PK with a goalie that had a good year and another that was largely hung out to dry by the d-core as to why they weren’t better the only thing I can say was poor coaching or system failure. It’s on the head coach to take it over if what the assistants are doing isn’t working so only so much I am willing to hear as far as excuses go.

On the PP the Wings finished 19th (helped by their useless winning streak in March/April where they went 9 for 23) and on the PK they were 29th. Combined that’s a failing grade to me. Bump it up a 1/3 if you want to say the team’s young core improved—but barely adequate doesn’t get a two year extension to me (unless it is explained as a power move by the GM to stay in power/gain negotiating leverage for himself).

Posted by d ca on 04/11/19 at 04:43 PM ET

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(unless it is explained as a power move by the GM to stay in power/gain negotiating leverage for himself).

Dca that’s the most critical analysis I’ve seen from you in a while. It would gain a lot of traction if Holland would have been pointing to how terrible Blashill was doing with the pp and pk all while handing poor Jeff guys like Lashoff to QB the pp units and Vaneks to kill penalties.

Maybe Jeff was playing AA on the pk to make a point to Holland that it’s the players Holland is giving him that is making the two special teams perform badly. You know, double reverse Ken’s double reverse. That’s not a stretch either.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/11/19 at 05:11 PM ET

Alan's avatar

I can see giving Blash and the rest of the staff a C on the year. Many of the kids did well this year… but that’s about alll I could see giving him a higher mark for. What that doesn’t take into account is the amount of knowledge the kids gained from vets. How much did Rasmussen learn from Larkin, Nielsen, or Vanek? Bowey wasn’t with us for very long this year, but did he pick up anything from Kronner or Ericsson? Hey… even vets playing poorly have something to offer.

Player’s who’ve been in the league for a while have a huge impact on teaching younger players better habits, and even giving them tips on how to beat whichever goalie is out there. Coaches help in that department for sure, but it’s not all learned from the coach.

The team improved in the standings by one point. Blash doesn’t deserve a C+. We were well below .500. A C-/D+ would be a more apt grade, and with that in mind, I’m not a fan of shackling this team to him for two more years.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/12/19 at 05:38 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

I sincerely don’t get why an NHL coach gets credit for player development.

Posted by Ventr on 04/11/19 at 11:11 AM ET

That’s pretty sad.  You think the players are fully developed at age 19, skill and situational awareness?

Posted by RWBill on 04/12/19 at 09:55 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I think Blashill has done a very solid job this year, I would not say real good or great, because of the Win Loss, but some of you are all missing the big picture hurdles to overcome and boxes he’s checked…

1) The team’s captain, locker room leader, the points leader, and go to leader on the ice retired in the offseason.  Z was not a token captain, not a short term fill the role guy, he wasn’t in the spot for his historical play, he was still driving the bus his last season, due was a true warrior, long term leader of this squad and he left, and his successor was not quite ready.  This young rookie arse team played the entire season without a Captain, how often is that the case in the NHL?  And aside from a few games, they played hard for the entire season.

2) We played at least 1/2 the season without Mike Green and DDK who like it or not, at least to start this year off, were our 2 best defenseman on a sad top 6. Hronek might’ve moved himself into that conversation. This team started an entire back end of rookies for the first month on our back end!

3) Go back and read all the expectations before the season, and we all knew this team was going to suck, so what was our standard going in…. 
  a) Some exciting hockey to watch with young talent   - CHECK
  b) For the coach and franchise to stop rolling out veterans if the kids were ready - CHECK
  c) The future stars of this team to develop - CHECK CHECKity CHECK

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/12/19 at 10:37 AM ET

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@RWBill.  You’re correct and that sentence was poorly done,  my overall frustration is that Blashill seems to get credit for doing the minimum expected like it’s something exceptional and its not.

Posted by Ventr on 04/12/19 at 11:24 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Blashill seems to get credit for doing the minimum expected like it’s something exceptional and its not.

Anyone who credit Blashill for the growth of a player is not giving him sole credit or saying he is an A+ coach.

I mean.

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/12/19 at 12:24 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