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Mike Green Returns

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings have been strikingly better with Mike Green in the lineup, so his return Friday at Winnipeg should provide a boost.

But they are 12 points out of the final playoff spot. A cynic might suggest it’s hopeless and they’re better off losing to improve their draft lottery odds....

“I enjoy watching teams and players get better,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “Let’s keep finding ways to get better.”

The Red Wings are coming off a disappointing 1-3-1 homestand in which they had opportunities to gain more points but squandered leads and found ways to lose. Now they’ll play five of their next six on the road leading up to the All-Star break and their bye week (nine days off).

“It doesn’t matter if it’s home or on the road, we have to find ways to win games,” Blashill said. “I went through the last three five-game segments with our players today and the records are identical (1-3-1), but if you look at process, three segments ago it wasn’t good at all and we’ve gotten better to the point that we’ve had more chances, Grade A’s, than the opponent during this last segment. We out-zone timed the opponent these last five games. If you do that again, you’re going to get results.

read on

added 5:42pm, Below, watch Green, Nyquist, Larkin and Blashill after today's practice.

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“I enjoy watching teams and players get better,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “Let’s keep finding ways to get better.”

Keep finding ways? How about finding one in the first place?

This team is on pace to accrue fewer points than last year, how is that a team getting better?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 01/10/19 at 04:37 PM ET

Paul's avatar

from Arthur J. Regner of the Wings website,

Despite where they are in the standings, the Red Wings have continued to demonstrate a high compete level in every game, believing they are capable of going on a long run catapulting them into the hunt for a playoff berth.

“Of course, it’s frustrating, but you can’t let that frustration get to you. We’ve got lots of games left. We’ve been in a lot of close games,” Nyquist said. “In saying that, it’s not good enough to win, so we got to figure out a way to win. We can’t let that frustration get to us, we just got to work hard every day and get better.”

Green has watched the Wings closely while being injured and he feels the Wings have a real chance to establish themselves during the second half of the season.

“The greatest thing about this league is you get another opportunity in a few days. I think that’s our mindset tomorrow, that we got another opportunity to win a game and go on a bit of a streak here,” he said. “We got to make sure that we’re putting ourselves in a good position at the end of the year.”

more plus other topics…

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/10/19 at 05:12 PM ET

dreamsofhope's avatar

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 01/10/19 at 03:37 PM ET

Honestly I think this is the perfect situation for Detroit. This is obviously my interpretation of everything Holland has said. Going off of that, I believe that it always has to be both. If Holland’s plan is going to work, or at least have the factors he’s publicly claiming, they both need to finish near the bottom of the league and always think they are “in it.”

Veteran Injuries: Injury risk veterans nearing the end of their contracts are extremely beneficial this year. It has allowed for Hronek and others to acclimate, so to speak. Also, when everyone is healthy, we’ve played really well. When anyone is injured, we’ve played really poorly. Every developing player on this team has gotten tastes of winning this year (we went on a really nice run). They’ve had it demonstrated, and then when say Green goes down, they get an opportunity to emulate it while he’s still in the locker room mentoring. Then he comes back, they get to cede the role back to him and observe. In my opinion, this is a good teaching method, both experiential learning and observation without being locked into one or the other.

Mentality: Whether they are faking it or not, everyone needs to be bought in that they’re one player returning, or a few improvements away from another winning streak. The coach HAS to tout progress and winning, even if he’s flat out lying. Some players believe it, some players don’t. It’s not so much a matter of fact, but moreso perspective and choice. Manufactured belief and/or genuine belief keep you grinding, make the harder moments easier, and just flat out help you enjoy being driven vs hating every moment of every practice. Just look at O’Reilly describing Buffalo.

Fun: Much of this is dependent on mentality, but fun works a lot like belief does. It’s the texture and the color that allows you to be more driven. It takes less willpower to do something you enjoy than it does to do something you hate, and willpower is a muscle that needs to be developed. To have fans get to see great breakaway goals (Larkin, AA) teammates sticking up for themselves and each other or just grinding and agitating (Bertuzzi). And as a fan, I at least get to see speed, and scrums, and really enjoyed the run we went on for a bit. This is a huge win for the organization.

Individual Improvement: I absolutely have seen our young guys improve. AA has been so fun to watch, seems to be less tension this year, gives up on plays less than last year. Larkin seems to improve every year and with his drive it will be fun to see where his ceiling is. Mantha sans the injury and early season has really picked it up. Cholowski has just been a very pleasant surprise and honestly I’m happy Green didn’t get traded. I truly believe it’s pivotal to Holland’s plan to have the mentorship thing, especially same position. I could go on. Players are getting better. And whether or not Blash is the best strategic coach out there, I really believe he is strong in the qualities of helping this organization build a foundation, and I truly believe that’s their measuring stick.

All in all, if we can keep the illusion of “relevant” alive that’s a win for the team. If we can be in the draft lottery multiple years in a row, that’s a win for the team. Keeping our culture while being in the lottery enough times to accumulate relatively decent odds of landing a star center or defenseman once or twice seems to be Hollands plan. Culture is a tricky thing, but I think all of the elements above are present.

For fans, it seems to all come down to patience vs movement. It takes balance, but we tend to want extremes. It’s easy to look back now at how the 25 year run unfolded, but that’s because we’re looking at numbers attached to a calendar. The waiting game is much more brutal.

I just caution that it seems being aggressive as a GM is a lottery, with less than ideal odds. Sure, some teams catch lightning in a bottle and it works, but many others don’t and the “short game” becomes the “VERY LONG game” (Edmonton as an example). It’s easy to scan a league of 29 teams and find a few where it worked and scream it from the rooftops. But when you just have a sample size of a single organization, do you take the odds or do you give yourself a better chance by clamping down on a strategy you have better control over and a larger group of players to choose from?

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 01/10/19 at 06:52 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

A good summary. It describes the rebuilding Red Wings progressing. While frustrating for fans, there looks like hope for the future.  wink

Posted by bigfrog on 01/10/19 at 10:17 PM ET

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Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 01/10/19 at 05:52 PM ET

Nice post

Posted by VPalmer on 01/10/19 at 11:02 PM ET

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I really don’t have a problem with where the Red Wings are at. Despite a record that may be worse than last year, they are competing on a much higher level. Sure there have been stinkers but they have also battled hard against some much better teams. Almost all the young players have shown some sign of progress and those in charge look more comfortable giving youth a bigger role.

Holland’s real work lies ahead as they come to the trade deadline. Even if the Wings go on a winning streak he needs to stick to the rebuild plan.

I find it a little weird rooting for a win each and every game but at the same time relieved a bit when they come up a little short. I really want them in position to get at least one more difference maker in the draft.

Posted by evileye on 01/11/19 at 11:23 AM 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