Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

A Meeting And Injury Updates

01/21/2020 at 4:51pm EST

from Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,

Although only 11 players took part in the optional on-ice practice, every player was part of a lengthy meeting beforehand.

"It was a meeting that I wasn't going to leave until we had it straight," Blashill said. "We gotta get better. I talked about it last night. We gotta get better in our D zone coverage. So until everybody had a chance to make sure everyone understood, we weren't leaving that meeting. If we went a little long, it went a little long."

Bowey said he thought everyone got a lot out of the meeting.

"Just right now I think it comes down to structure for us, supporting each other all around the ice," Bowey said. "I think in the D-zone especially, we got to close quicker, make sure it's harder for other teams to get their top players rolling around in our defensive zone and I think just focus on that. I think we have a really good structure put in place by the coaching staff and if we just follow that, do that to the best of our abilities, it puts us in good spots to come away with wins. I think that's certainly a focus now, focusing on doing the little things right, supporting each other all around the ice and knowing who we have to cover and knowing when to shut down plays."

more and other topics including an injury update on Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou,

"(Mantha's) still a ways away, a month maybe," Blashill said. "It's not a progress thing. I don't know if I gave you a bad timeline to start. I don't remember the timeline I gave you, to be honest with you. It just is what it is. It's gonna be a long process before he's healed."

Unlike Mantha, Athanasiou had started skating before the team left.

"His is a healable thing that will be healed. It just depends on when," Blashill said.

Below, Blashill after today's optional practice.

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