Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

A2Y- The Talk After The Morning Skate

12/21/2022 at 12:51pm EST

Derek Lalonde first, Elmer Soderblom is below.



Jeff Blashill returns tonight, will the Wings have a tribute video for him?

Should they?


Sure. By all accounts he’s a good guy and a quality coach who was part of the organization for a pretty long stretch. No one could have won for more than a brief part of that given the timing and just how  talent-poor the roster was as bottoming out and gradually rebuilding happened. Plus this is a Michigan guy who grew up cheering for the team. He didn’t work a miracle but it wasn’t his job to. He never did anything other than his upbeat professional best in spite of lagging the league in talent pretty much his whole tenure. 


The team this year is just as bad defensively (5 on 5) as they were last year.  Natural Stat Trick tells a frightening story.  A bright spot is they are giving up a fewer number of scoring chances relative to the rest of the league but their percentages (for vs against) is still horrendous, or bottom of the league.  They are a horrible possession team and there is no way they can win until they tilt the ice back to being competitive.  i.e. their CF%, FF%, SF%, xGF%, SCF%, and HDCF% has to start getting above 50% - right now it is hovering around 45% with the scoring chances percentage at about 43%. The only thing helping them now is their goaltending is 2nd in the league stopping high danger chances (I assume it is similar in stopping just scoring chances).

My thoughts are the coaching structure is to get the forwards to concentrate more on defense and this shows up in the extremely lower scoring chances we generate.  If we played like last year offensively and have better defensemen, which we're supposed to have, then our SCF%/HDCF% should be higher (we're getting the same changes but eliminating chances against).  That presently isn't the case.  Right now we're down Vrana (a defensive sieve), Bertuzzi (excellent all-round), and Fabbri (team average).

Once again, out goaltending is presently bailing us out and if we don't fix this reality we're in for another result similar to the end of last year.  One cannot make a living in the NHL getting out-chanced every night.


Thank you for this. Good write up. I usually pay close attention to stats (love Natural Statrik) but this year I am not into it. Thank you again 


I was surprised to look to my left one evening in 2015, following the Tigers from Wrigley to Comerica, to see Jeff Blashill and his family across the aisle.  Good guy, friendly, firm handshake.  Not such a great lineup to work with while with the Wings.  I don’t know what kind of a tribute you give to a coach with great longevity and a losing record, but if the Wings recognize the contribution of Givani Smith than something for Blash seems appropriate.

Jeff Blashill August 2015 Comerica Park


from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

With 26 points, Kubalik is still second on the team in scoring. Kubalik entered Tuesday's game tied for the team lead with Dylan Larkin and David Perron with 10 goals.

"He's probably fighting a little bit of his confidence," Lalonde said, noting how Kubalik was making plays earlier this season that haven't been there recently. "There's probably a little of that. When he's playing assertive, the first goal of the game in Ottawa, he wins a battle and keeps it alive on the forecheck and he passes it to Joe (Veleno for a goal) from below goal line.

"He's maybe fighting it a little bit, but he probably reflects our entire team."

Filip Zadina (lower-body) took part in Wednesday's morning skate, but Lalonde doesn't expect Zadina to play until after the New Year. Zadina has been out since November 5.

"He's making progress," Lalonde said. "It's probably a natural progression and now he gets into our practices and morning skates. I had a quick talk with him (on the ice), and guys work hard to get back, they're professionals, but with Z(adina), you could feel around the weight room and the trainer's room he's put in a little extra in his rehabilitation and I complimented him on it. It's positive to see.

"There's no timeline, but I'll be excited to put him back in because of what he's put into his recovery."

Lalonde said Tyler Bertuzzi (hand) is a little further out than Zadina in terms of returning to the lineup, but Bertuzzi is also progressing.

"He's a little more further out," Lalonde said. "We'll see. We'll get through the New Year here and we could get guys back, but knock on wood here, we have to get to that point."

more ($)


I am not into these tributes. Some teams are doing it for players that were only on the team for a few years. Save the tributes for the Yzerman,  Bowman's and even the drapers of the world.  Are we going to have a tribute when Glenny comes back with Dallas to play at the dough joe?

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About Abel to Yzerman

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.