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Abel to Yzerman

Still Waiting

from Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press,

Steve Yzerman said he’d be quick about meeting with his coach, Jeff Blashill, after the Detroit Red Wings’ season ended. He did not say he’d be quick about deciding Blashill’s fate. 

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Yzerman can’t be rushed....

the Wings were the worst team in the league last season. This year, they're tied for the fifth-worst record (with the potential to fall if Vancouver wins any of its' pandemic-stalled games this week). And if you are judging by record — or points — it's hard to justify extending Blashill, especially in a league that fires more of its coaches than any other; Blashill is the third longest-tenured coach in the NHL.

And yet?

Wins and losses aren’t the only way to measure a coach.  

No, what Yzerman is trying to determine — and likely already has in some fashion — is whether Blashill is the right coach for the current roster, and for the roster Yzerman envisions the next couple of seasons....

Convincing an up-and-comer to start from (almost) scratch in Detroit won’t be easy. Though Yzerman may have the cache to pull it off. 

Again, the question is whether he thinks he must. Blashill was once a promising coaching prospect, too, with a Calder Cup win in the AHL in Grand Rapids. When he had decent talent, it was easy to see his worth. 

I’d argue he’s shown his value this past season as well. In a difficult year, when he lost a half-dozen players to COVID protocol nearly out of the gate, Blashill’s team got better, particularly the last six weeks of the season, particularly on defense.

Is that enough?


more ($$$)

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Paul's avatar

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The result was a 19-27-10 record, which will put the Wings at no worse than 27th (final positioning is pending the Vancouver Canucks wrapping up their season May 19). Several of the younger players graded out well on final analysis, showing the rebuild is headed in the right direction.

Jeff Blashill and his coaching staff: B
Blashill and his primary assistants — Doug Houda (defensemen and penalty kill), Dan Bylsma (forwards and power play) and Jeff Salajko (goalies) — had a tough task as the lineup was decimated by injuries and the pandemic. Given the limitations of the roster — no elite defenseman, no superstar forward — the team performed well. The Wings went 8-16-4 the first half, and 11-11-6 the second half, an eight-point improvement.

more (paid) other grades include Zadina B-, Vrana A, Staal B, Rasmussen B, Larkin C1, Hronek B-, DeKeyser B.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/16/21 at 09:41 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Steve Kaminski of Mlive,

(Riley) Barber’s 20 goals and 34 points led the Griffins, and projected over a traditional 76-game season, it is estimated that Barber would have recorded 47 goals and 80 points. In franchise history, only Donald MacLean (56 during his MVP 2005-06 season) has scored that many goals while only nine players have registered as many points. The most recent player to have 80 in a season was Darren Haydar in 2008-09.

“I’m just pretty confident in myself and my abilities,” the 27-year old Pittsburgh native said. “I’m definitely not giving up on my dream of playing in the NHL. I think I can play at that level. But at the same time, I’m enjoying it down here in GR. I can’t thank the staff enough. I’m just really excited to be here.

“You get into your late 20s and it’s easy to look down. But at the same time, I have a chance to play in the American League with the Grand Rapids Griffins, and I love to win and I love to score goals. I’m going to do that until the wheels fall off.”


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/16/21 at 12:00 PM ET

jhpcarrier97's avatar

No its not good enough!  So Yzerman is going to rehire Blass for two years and pull the rug after two years when the Wings get into the playoffs and get swept in the first round, yeah right..  Then everybody is going to say, give him another chance, we are on the way up, a few more years and we be a contender.  At that point the senior coach in the NHL, will say better resign me to big bucks or I’ll be picked up by another team.  To me this would be the height of stupidity on Yzerman’s part, does he want an unpopular coach or does he want HIS OWN MAN?  Is he that indebted to Ken Holland that he’ll stick by Kenny’s coach?  maybe he is considering Babcock, eh?

I have had enough of Blass, he is not an NHL coach from the get go. If he won the Cup my mind would not change. There has been no improvement and it seems like that same line ” the lineup was decimated by injuries and the pandemic ” has been used 5 years, it’s old, stale, get over it and the pandemic had little effect on the lineup, a regular flu year toll is worse.  So I’m watching all these guys under our great coach play playoff hockey, Jensen(over 20 minutes) and Mantha, (assist on top line),  Janmark and Nosek both regulars on an elite team over 15 minutes each.  Great young players.

Our PP was #14% last year and PK 74%, its been like that for 5 years.  Come on Steve, are you that lazy that you cannot go through the process of hiring a new coaching team to lead this team for the next 10 years until the Cup is hoisted? or do you want to fly off to Riga to watch the World’s.  You think Vancouver is going to hire Blass on the spot and win the Cup next year?  Well the fire the Coach sentiment will continue, it’s been too long, if he was so golden he would at least have a better PP and the PK would still be good instead of #31 .  Time to take the Kenny out of Coaching.

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 05/16/21 at 08:19 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Posted by jhpcarrier97 on 05/16/21 at 08:19 PM ET

BRAVO!!  <clap clap, clap, clap, clap>!

Spot on assessment of incompetent leadership behind the bench. 455 games….172 wins, 220 losses. Rewarding Mediocrity.

I take solace in watching the “cast offs” thrive in the playoffs with their new teams. I cant help but feel they escaped. Mantha is having a blast with the Caps.  Imagine….how playing with winning culture feels.

Wings have players that will have spent their entire career learning how to lose gracefully with Blash. I look at Larkin and see, OJ in Buffalo, Billy Simms with the LIons….what they could have been. incompetent leadership….

Now we get to watch the locker room paint dry for two more years….

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, sing along The YzerMan Can!...... on 05/16/21 at 08:45 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

It only took two years and one (not even official) coaching decision to turn on Yzerman. Oof.

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/16/21 at 08:56 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Posted by ilovehomers on 05/16/21 at 08:56 PM ET

Maybe for you. For me, he has not done a thing for my Wings for aboot 10 years.

Get to work Stevie…..

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, sing along The YzerMan Can!...... on 05/16/21 at 10:43 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

With the 1 point last night Vancouver cannot raise above Detroit in the lottery odds.  If VAN loses its last 2 games it’s still at 48 with Detroit, tied with 16 Regulation Wins with Detroit, but wins the third tiebreaker with 19 Regulation or OT wins compared to Detroit’s 16.

Detroit is secure at #6 with 7.5% chance at the first pick, 15.3% chance at a top 2 pick.

That Fillapoola goal with 3 minutes remaining that gave them the 1 OT point assured they would be below Columbus for the draft, and 1% less chance at the #1 pick.

One percent!!  Oh, the horror.

Posted by RWBill on 05/17/21 at 01:28 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

below Columbus for the draft

for the draft lottery, obviously.

Posted by RWBill on 05/17/21 at 01:29 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