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Jeff Blashill On Riley Sheahan

from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

Blashill was asked whether he has considered benching Sheahan or altering his minutes, considering the lack of offense.

“The decision I make on a nightly basis is who gives us our best chance to win,” Blashill said. “I actually think Riley does tons of good stuff.”

Blashill said Sheahan’s poor plus-minus rating is affected by the lack of offense.

“From a process standpoint, Riley does lots of good things,” Blashill said. “Riley’s a good hockey player. He’s big and strong. There’s times I’ve been able to play him against the best players in the league. Other guys, you simply can’t, because they don’t have the same physical attributes.”

Blashill said Sheahan has had chances to score.

“There’s a balance between giving someone a wake-up call, taking someone out to put someone else in because you think it’s the better lineup, and confidence,” Blashill said. “That’s a balance I have to deal with, as a coach, every day.”

more from Blashill on Mantha and Nyquist taken off the power today in practice...

added 1:59pm, from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"I took a couple guys off the power play today because I was unhappy with the choice they made on the track, on a back-check that ended up in our net," Blashill said. "Will they be on the power play tomorrow? They sure might be. We'll see."

That's a significant chunk of offense for a team that's last in the NHL on the power play. Nyquist is tied for third on the team with 26 points and Mantha has 11 goals in 35 games.

"That play we didn't do a good enough job of coming back hard," Nyquist said. "We talked about that, how we have to do the little things right and we didn't do that on that play. Coach makes the decisions on the power play and right now we're off it so I'll be ready if I get called on."

They were replaced by Dylan Larkin, who logged only one shift on the power play the previous game, and Riley Sheahan. They were on the unit with Henrik Zetterberg. Thomas Vanek and Mike Green.

"What they did was open the door for me to look at two other guys," Blashill said. 

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Comments

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Avatar

Process > Results. 

Posted by Ventr on 02/02/17 at 03:01 PM ET


Out of curiosity, and open to anyone to respond, isn’t that what you want for the right here, right now?

Your question is a good one, and I think draws further clarity to why I have issues w/ Blashill. 

As Detroit inevitably realize that they need to rebuild, they will need a teaching coach to develop young players.  That coach must teach process and structure if the team is to be successful.  Blashill has a mouthful of lip service on this front, which is why I believe he is still employed.  I also believe he will become a career minor league coach because he fundamentally lacks the second element, which Bowman and Babs (to a lesser degree) have… the ability to recognize, develop, motivate players to develop on top of their natural talents, not instead of their talents.

He does not know how to push the right buttons, tune the process, and inspire the players.  I’ve long submitted, and you have implied (via Babs getting players to over achieve) that this team has the talent buried inside the individual parts to be solidly in playoff contention, and a worst middle of the pack on the PP.  This coach gets less out of players, not more.

So, yeah, I no longer mind Blash being here - though his words grate.  We have 2 or 3 years of bottom dwelling, and he serves the purpose, however when we have the pieces to compete in the playoffs we will need a leader to coach them, not a machinist to adjust the timing belt.

Posted by Ventr on 02/02/17 at 06:11 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

over and over and over and ...


....Don’t drive angry…..... smile

Posted by Down River Dan on 02/02/17 at 06:14 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I’m just waiting for Blash to grab his chunk of the cheese.

Posted by TreKronor on 02/02/17 at 06:14 PM ET

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Out of curiosity, and open to anyone to respond, isn’t that what you want for the right here, right now?

I want a coach who will be making our young players better. Blashill is not that coach imo.

Posted by VPalmer on 02/02/17 at 06:30 PM ET

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Actually, I don’t want Jeff here to teach bad habits to these younger players or even worse to influence trades or any signings.

Posted by stateofmifan on 02/02/17 at 06:31 PM ET

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Actually, I don’t want Jeff here to teach bad habits to these younger players or even worse to influence trades or any signings.

I do not think he will influence any trades or signings. Quite the opposite I really think he is doing what he is asked to do by KH, Z, Kron or whoever else is telling him what to do. I know Murray will say it’s a stupid conspiracy theory. Call it what you want, but there is no coach in his right mind who would play Sheahan 18 minutes per game and will be defending that decision. There is no coach in his right mind who would play Helm on a PP instead of AA when your PP is the worst it has been in 50years.
And the list goes on.

Posted by VPalmer on 02/02/17 at 06:42 PM ET

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I sure won’t cry when he’s gone, make no mistake.

I would also add that if keeping the streak alive was truly a priority for Illitches, then KH’s failure to change the coach in Dec/ early Jan is a failure he should be held to account.

Had KH pulled the trigger at that time, worse case is we’re still where we are, best case we’re in the playoff mix.

A lot of the KH hate is overblown in my opinion, but this one has a big fat spot light on it.  He didn’t need a trade partner, nor did he have a budget constraint.  Like a dear in the headlight, he simply stood flatfooted until it was too late.

Posted by Ventr on 02/02/17 at 06:44 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Had KH pulled the trigger at that time, worse case is we’re still where we are, best case we’re in the playoff mix.

But honestly, that’s really tough to say.  A lot of the games we’ve lost of late have been one goal or OT losses and an extra goal or two each game has us in a completely different place.

Obviously we are where we are now, but this wasn’t so clear a month ago.

Posted by TreKronor on 02/02/17 at 06:47 PM ET

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Had KH pulled the trigger at that time, worse case is we’re still where we are, best case we’re in the playoff mix.


But honestly, that’s really tough to say.  A lot of the games we’ve lost of late have been one goal or OT losses and an extra goal or two each game has us in a completely different place.

Obviously we are where we are now, but this wasn’t so clear a month ago.
   
    Posted by
     
    TreKronor
     
      on 02/02/17 at 05:47 PM ET

For what it is worth, the few posts I make around here have been consistent on this point since Dec.  Sure many of those 1 goal games could’ve gone our way, and maybe the coach could have gotten out of his own way on the PP. 

The one thing that has been clear though is that this team in not playing for this coach.  They have no flow, no chemistry, and no game to game commitment to excellent play.

Posted by Ventr on 02/02/17 at 06:54 PM ET

Primis's avatar

This was my tipping point.

Fire the f*** out of Blashill already.

It is quite literally one of the most brain-dead, indefensible things I have ever heard of.

Fire Blashill.  Someone else literally now can’t do a worse job with this roster.  You just can’t.

Posted by Primis on 02/02/17 at 07:11 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

another nauseating saying common these days will apply to him:
At the end of the day
He’ll be fired and it’ll be a process.

Posted by Slumpy from Under My Wheels

Okay, I see what you did there. Well played.

I’m just waiting for Blash to grab his chunk of the cheese.

Posted by TreKronor

Somewhere on the Left Coast, the Master Chief is chuckling (assuming Master Chief’s are allowed to chuckle) about that phraseology. Again, well played.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/02/17 at 07:12 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

I look at the power play and that’s all the proof I need that Blashill has no clue what he’s doing. If the Wings had an average power play they would be in playoff contention. If they had a top ten power play they would be sitting in a playoff berth right now. That’s not to say the Wings are anything more than the .500 team they’ve proven to be at best this season. That’s to say what a difference a good player play can make to a .500 team.

Blashill inherited the second best power play from ‘14-‘15 when the Wings were a dominant 23.81%.

Substituting Mike Green and Dylan Larkin into that power play system should not have yielded a drop to 13 at 18.8% in ‘15-‘16 but Blashill had to mix things up. Blashill had to have two units play two different power play styles instead of taking what he inherited and sticking with it after the team worked so hard in the first 20 games of the previous season to learn how to effectively execute a system created to work with their strength: an over abundance of talented forwards and a lack of offensively capable defensemen.

Seeming to learn from his mistake Blashill went back to the system he inherited for both units to start the season, then messed with the second unit again, then went back to playing both units the same, then went back to having two defensemen at the point on the second unit again, then went back to playing both units the same, rinse and repeat. What made this worse is when he played Green and Sproul together rather than split them up so both units would have a right-hand shot at the point.

The result of all this confusion? The 30th ranked power play at a whopping 11.4%.

Forget everything else. The power play says everything I need to know about Blashill’s ability to coach at the NHL level: He can’t.

As already pointed out above, if Ilitch and/or Holland cared enough about the streak to try something Blashill would have been replaced by Gallant the minute after he was fired by Florida for the simple reason that an internal coaching change would not likely have any positive effect on the power play as all the coaches bear a share of the blame for its impotence. No head coach coaches in a vacuum. Babcock didn’t create the #2 power play system in the league two seasons ago, he listened to his coaches and implemented the system his offensive coach created. All Blashill had to do was stick to the system and make sure the new players last season and this season got up to speed. Half the time with the second unit he never even tried.

This isn’t HHHT lamenting bad coaching, this is simple observation. This is a mess.  downer

Posted by Bradley97 on 02/02/17 at 07:32 PM ET

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I have this feeling if we go back in time, many of you were running babs out of town and praising the incoming JB who knew our kids and was going to be awesome! 
I can’t believe how the wings ended up with a gm who apparently couldn’t gm a minor hockey team and a coach who couldn’t coach a pewee team…. if only hockey were about blowing the zone early to score breakaway goals.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 02/02/17 at 07:39 PM ET

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Sure jb probably hurt the pp as much as any coach would going from one of the best in the game. But I strongly suspect a significantly dwindling kronwal, Z and pav (now gone to boot) has WAY more to do with it with not a strong enough offensive catalyst to replace those guys

Posted by DieByTheWing on 02/02/17 at 07:42 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

... over and over and over and ...

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 02/02/17 at 04:35 PM ET

Thanks Stoney. Over and over and over and…. tongue wink

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 02/02/17 at 07:48 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

 photo Process.jpg

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 02/02/17 at 07:53 PM ET

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Our PP was great when Hiller was an assistant. Before and after him, the PP was mediocre. Babcock’s PP ideas are very limited to grind, shoot, screen, more grind, score an ugly goal.
So Hiller was the one who made it look like a piece of art.
Then last year Toronto’s PP was 29h in the league I think and that’s with Hiller running it. This year its second best.
So, it’s really a combination of players and coaching.
With Vanek; Green, Z, Mahtha, Tats, Nyquist, Larkin, AA, no reason whatsoever for our PP to be worse than middle of the pack.

Posted by VPalmer on 02/02/17 at 07:54 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

Blashill has no clue what he’s doing.

One would think he’d see the writing on the wall.  wink

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

 

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 02/02/17 at 07:55 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

Sure jb probably hurt the pp as much as any coach would going from one of the best in the game. But I strongly suspect a significantly dwindling kronwal, Z and pav (now gone to boot) has WAY more to do with it with not a strong enough offensive catalyst to replace those guys

Posted by DieByTheWing on 02/02/17 at 06:42 PM ET

Not buying that argument. A dwindling Yzerman, Larionov, and Robitaille didn’t hurt the Wings power play in ‘02 and ‘03. Kronwall and DK were the primary pointment in ‘14-‘15. Green was added the following year and should have replaced Kronwall. Even this season if Sproul proved to not be able to handle the point with that system DK could slide right back in. Kronwall should not even be part of this discussion under Blashill this season and last.

Datsyuk clearly lost a step last season but he should have still been highly effective on the power play with his ability to see the game several steps ahead of everyone else. His penalty killing ice time disappeared along with Z’s saving them for the power play had they not both been overplayed at even strength last year. I don’t remember the units in ‘14-‘15, but swapping Green for Kronwall on one unit and Larkin for someone else on the other should not have blown the whole thing up.

Had Blashill stuck with the sytem last season adding Mantha, Vanek, and Neilsen this season also should not have been a problem. And depending on where they play best Mantha and Vanek should have found themselves in the slot or net-front while Nielsen should have slid into the wing in Datsyuk’s place. As this is a power play I don’t think a healthy and mobile Nielsen should be that big of a drop off from Datsyuk considering the addition of other players.

Looking at the roster the Wings have the power play units, playing the system from two seasons ago that dominated the league, should look something like this:

Zetterberg (LW/LP) - Mantha (slot) - Nyquist (RW/RP) - Abdelkader (net front) - Green (D)

Neilsen (LW/LP) - Larkin (slot) - Tatar (RW/RP) - Vanek (net front) - DK (D) (or Sproul if he can handle it)

Maybe I have that wrong. Maybe I have the wrong players in the slot. Maybe Vanek (who is deadly around the net) should be in the slot and somebody else should be taken off the power play in favor of another player in the net-front role. Maybe Mantha should play along the boards as a wing/point-man and Nyquist should play the slot. Maybe the same goes for Larkin and Tatar.

Vpalmer, do you remember what the units were two seasons ago? Knowing that would make it easier for me to slot in the new players.

Posted by Bradley97 on 02/02/17 at 08:16 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

And here is a question for anyone who wants to answer:

How is it that Ericsson and Smith always refuse to commit to covering the player without the puck on a two-on-one and letting the goalie take the shooter like a breakaway? This is Hockey 101. This is one of the first rules of defense I ever learned: Defensive player covers the man without the puck and leaves the shooter to the goalie.

Every two-on-one with Ericsson or Smith as the defender is an automatic goal. How is that acceptable? How does Blashill explain that?

Posted by Bradley97 on 02/02/17 at 08:21 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I feel badly for Jeff, and would never want to see someone lose a job.

I’m just frustrated that as the season has moved along , and the trajectory of this team became apparent, that more experimentation with giving younger players ( not just AA, Mantha, but guys like Sproul, Jensen, and even some of the guys in GR) wasn’t tried.

I’m not saying the younger guys would or wouldn’t have made a difference, but I can accept a loss caused by younger players error of aggressiveness as opposed to mixing in the same guys ( miller, glendening…etc).

That said, Blashill may be at the mercy of the GM and his unwillingness to wave the white flag. I’m sure that Kenny has dragged his feet on giving youngsters a shot.

When I see a guy like Jensen , who can skate the puck and clearly has offensive instincts, I wonder why he didn’t get a shot until age 26?  (Yes I know he played 3 years college hockey).

The days of guys spending 4 years ripening are gone. Just look around the league. Adapt or die Kenny.

No matter what the standings show..this season is over, so let’s see what guys like Nosek, Frk, Bertuzzi ...etc. can do with the last 30 games.

Trade, or waive guys and let’s move forward.

Posted by Down River Dan on 02/02/17 at 09:23 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I want a coach who will be making our young players better. Blashill is not that coach imo.

That is the most confusing thing about Blashill since he had success with younger players at all previous levels. What happened? red face

Posted by bigfrog on 02/02/17 at 11:04 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

And here is a question for anyone who wants to answer:

How is it that Ericsson and Smith always refuse to commit to covering the player without the puck on a two-on-one and letting the goalie take the shooter like a breakaway? This is Hockey 101. This is one of the first rules of defense I ever learned: Defensive player covers the man without the puck and leaves the shooter to the goalie.

Every two-on-one with Ericsson or Smith as the defender is an automatic goal. How is that acceptable? How does Blashill explain that?

Posted by Bradley97 on 02/02/17 at 07:21 PM ET

I will, that’s one of the larger exaggerations I’ve read this week. I have seen both eff up a 2 on 1 as has green and DDK but it’s not a frequent occurrence at all.  I hope you understand the defender doesn’t just run over and cover the pass, there’s a positional aspect to limiting the ice of the carrier while taking the pass lane away.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Window Seat on the Captain's Ship on 02/02/17 at 11:09 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

No matter what the standings show..this season is over…

Posted by Down River Dan

Oh, make no mistake about it, Dan, the standings cleary show that this season is over. It’s been over for nearly a month now. Any GM with half a brain would have seen that. Too bad we don’t have one of those.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/03/17 at 01:09 AM ET

Avatar

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Hey Hey Hockeyfart on 02/02/17 at 10:09 PM ET

This also sets up the goalie knowing there is likely going to be a pass and that sliding over is coming. Great goalies know this is the situation and prepare for it. good goalies rely on their reflexes to make a few great stops. Bad goalies get scored on every time.

People who play goalie know this. People who don’t, don’t know this. Goalies can not expect Dmen to do what they want them to do every time. They have to know how to read and react to each situation. There are so many factors that go into play in each situation and playing goalie takes a sharp mind plus great movement. Most saves are made just by getting into a position that covers most of the goal causing a shooter just to put the puck into your body. Saves are less often made by catching the puck in a glove or punching it away with a stick. This is why bigger goalies are having success with lighter equipment. They are now able to move as fast as the small guys and get more body in front of shots.

What is easier to shoot around a big object or a small object? Ever wonder why goalies uniforms are so baggy?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 02/03/17 at 01:10 PM ET

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Sitting here in Ottawa and watching the evolution of a what was an inconsistent, defensively weak, soft-on-the-puck, and just overall messy, but talent-laden Senators hockey team (Karlssen, Stone, Hoffman Turris, Phaneuf, Anderson) to a disciplined group that can score and defend well—with consistency—makes me want to weep when I watch the Wings play. I don’t see a lack of effort; I do see a lack of structure. It was there during that mini-streak in October. What the hell has happened? Have at ‘er, amigos.

Posted by skullduggery on 02/03/17 at 01:24 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.