Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Does Jeff Blashill Return As The Head Coach Of The Detroit Red Wings?

03/26/2018 at 6:15am EDT

Ansar Khan of Mlive answers questions from fans, the first one regarding Jeff Blashill.

Blashill has one year remaining on his contract. I think Holland’s future with the organization will be determined before Blashill’s. If Holland returns, will it be his call on whether Blashill stays or goes, or will ownership insist on a new coach?

A few things that Holland or whoever makes the decision might consider:

Were the team’s shortcomings due more to coaching or lack of talent? Did Blashill have enough good players at his disposal to lead this team to a significantly better record?

Have younger players shown growth under Blashill, specifically Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou, and to a lesser extent Martin Frk and Tyler Bertuzzi, since they’ve been here only one season?

Can Blashill find a way to get back on track veterans who have regressed, like Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist?

Has his message gotten stale after only three years, especially with younger players who he often singles out?

Is there (or will there be) a coach available to whom you want to make a three- or four-year commitment, one who is willing to take on a rebuilding project?

Does ownership want to pay two head coaches next season, or would it prefer Blashill finish his contract during what figures to be another long rebuilding year?

I don’t have a good feel for which way they will go. If they make a change, Dave Tippett, the former Dallas and Arizona coach, is a possibility. You would think Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson would be candidate, but maybe they would be hesitant to go that route again after it didn’t pan out with Blashill.

read on for more Q & A, including the future of Ken Holland...

Playing To Lose Gets Serious This Week

03/25/2018 at 3:38pm EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

In a predicament reflecting their positioning, the Detroit Red Wings find themselves headed into a ‘best-lose’ week.

It begins Monday in Montreal, and continues Thursday at Buffalo and Saturday hosting Ottawa. The Canadiens, Sabres and Senators are all right around Detroit in the standings, and it would serve the Wings best to lose to all three to finish as low as possible in the standings and improve draft lottery odds. ...

The Wings infused some fun into Sunday’s practice, forgoing mundane drills and instead playing a small game (nets pushed closer together) that created a competitive yet lighthearted atmosphere. The Wings are eliminated from the playoffs for a second straight year, but the compete level hasn’t faded.

“As tough as it is right now, I think it’s a good learning time for us, too," Neilsen said. "Every shift matters, doesn’t matter if it’s first or last, because it could come down to one shift. It’s just incredible how tight the league is nowadays. There are no easy nights.”


added 4:08pm, Dana Wakiji of the Wings' website with practice notes...

added 4:15pm, Below, watch coach Blashill after practice.

The Wings Practiced at the Bell Centre Today

03/25/2018 at 2:05pm EDT

Dana Wakiji tweets,

Blashill confirmed Zetterberg and Kronwall took maintenance days and expects them to play tomorrow.

Svechnikov left practice early but said he should be OK to go tomorrow.

Below, Frk and Ericsson talk after practice.

Wings Play Hard But Suffer Another Loss

03/25/2018 at 6:47am EDT

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

They keep playing hard, the Red Wings do, they keep making opponents sweat and never make it easy.
But the Red Wings keep losing, too.

Saturday was typical of many games lately, the Red Wings playing hard, leading a good portion of the game, controlling the game — but ultimately losing to the talented Maple Leafs 4-3.

Nazem Kadri tapped in Patrick Marleau’s pass off a 2-on-1 rush past goalie Jimmy Howard for the Leafs Kadri’s 29th goal, snapping a 3-3 tie with 7:26 left.

“We did tons of good stuff, for large moments of the game we carried the play,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “They certainly had chances and Jimmy was excellent when they had chances, and we have to limit some of those, we can’t give up that fourth (goal) rush.

“We have to keep grinding here.”


Below, Helene St. James on the loss to Toronto, game highlights and post-game interviews.

Recap- Wings/Leafs

03/24/2018 at 9:58pm EDT

Toronto 4 Detroit 3

Losing close continues but truthfully, not a bad thing when it comes to the NHL Draft Lottery.

Goals and Detroit team stats are below...


03/24/2018 at 6:21pm EDT

A nice part of this season so far, is the company of all 19 of you crazy Wingaholics.

The best part of this wretched season is going to be finishing watching it together. All 19 of us.

It's a Live Blog! Bitches!

Pre-Game Notes

03/24/2018 at 2:48pm EDT

from Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock summed up the Red Wings' situation succinctly Saturday morning.

"They're not scoring or haven't scored," Babcock said. "They're playing real well defensively and competing hard. I think they've done a good job. To me, you got to generate some offense. They haven't scored so that makes it harder for them."

The Wings have 189 goals compared to the Leafs' 251.

In the last game, the Washington Capitals had one real Grade A chance when they had a 2-on-0 with Brett Connolly and Jakub Vrana and they scored on it, which was enough to win the game, 1-0.

"The games have been there for us to win," defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said. "A lot of times, we don't seem to get those easy goals as we're giving up for the other team. That's the biggest difference, I think. The compete level's been there all the time. We're just gonna continue working hard and try and win as many games as possible."


added 3:47pm, watch the game day preview below...

Detroit's Morning Skate In Toronto

03/24/2018 at 11:41am EDT

Puck drops around 7:10pm.

via Dana Wakiji tweet,

morning skate:

Ouellet extra

Howard starting per Blashill on Thursday.

added 11:47am, Wakiji...

PP units:

Ken Holland- Staying Or Going?

03/23/2018 at 5:03pm EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Is Ken Holland the right man for the job? It's a question ownership might have already determined, likely answered by the time players gather for the team photo and locker cleanout, a couple days after the April 7 season finale.

Holland said on Friday, one day after his team was officially eliminated from playoff contention, that he hasn't spoken yet with ownership.

"From my perspective, I'm not too concerned," Holland said. "I'm very comfortable where I'm at in my career."...

Critics cite several reasons change is needed:

Bad contracts - too much term and money for players like Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser, Darren Helm and Frans Nielsen, moves Holland felt were necessary to help keep intact a playoff streak that was important to the organization.

Lack of player for player trades: No player on the current roster was acquired through trade....

Conversely, under Holland the Red Wings have laid a foundation for their rebuild.

They have a good core of young forwards in Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi and Martin Frk.


The Speculation Continues

03/23/2018 at 9:49am EDT

from Craig Custance of The Athletic,

“I think that probably between now and sometime at the end of the year, I would expect there would be some kind of decision made,” Holland told The Athletic this week....

Speculation that Holland is moving upstairs. Speculation that he’s the front-runner for the eventual Seattle opening (“The league has a lot of say in this and they’ll push hard for him,” said one GM). Speculation that Yzerman is going to return in some capacity to spark the rebuild, a topic the Lightning GM quickly cut off before it could be explored for this story.

“He would have to get his head checked,” said an NHL source on Yzerman’s possible return to Detroit. “(Tampa) is going to be good for the next five to seven years.”

much more (paid subscription) including Chris Ilitch still not talking...

Youngsters Have To Earn More Ice Time

03/23/2018 at 8:15am EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

For weeks there has been little doubt the Detroit Red Wings would miss the playoffs.

Now that they are out officially, is it time to give some younger players more ice time and expand their roles over the final eight games? Use their last recall on a defenseman? Look to the future and focus more on development?

Yes, no, maybe. We'll see.

"There's a fine line there," coach Jeff Blashill said following his team's 1-0 loss to the Washington Capitals Thursday at Little Caesars Arena. "You have to make sure you compete and work. If you don't compete and work you're not getting ice time.

"Two ... if you want to take one of those guys' job, you got to play better than them. If I start playing guys because of their age, you lose 100 percent credibility and you don't teach lessons of earned ice."...

"What Svech has to do on a shift by shift basis is be better than one of these guys - (Gustav) Nyquist, Bert (Tyler Bertuzzi), (Anthony) Mantha, (Darren) Helm, (Justin) Abdelkader, (Andreas Athanasiou) - those are the guys playing wing right now, so he's got to beat one of those guys out. Other than that, the rest of the young guys play a pretty significant role on the team."

read on

Below, watch the game highlights and post-game interviews.

Wings/Capitals Recap

03/22/2018 at 10:12pm EDT

Washington Detroit

Wings competed but remain offensive challenged.

And what about the two minute, 5 on 3 the Wings had?

Oh yes, the Wings are eliminated from post-season play.

Below, the Athanasiou no goal and the Washington goal along with Detroit team stats.

Barry Trotz Could Be A Coaching Candidate For Thee Wings

03/22/2018 at 9:24pm EDT

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

If the Capitals do not do well in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference in the last year of his four-year contract, Trotz may be available to the Wings, if they decide Blashill’s ministrations have not been enough to improve the club through the first three years of his four-year contract.

Throughout their 92-year history, the seven men who have coached the Red Wings for four or more years had a .500 winning percentage or better, in the regular season.

Chronologically: Jack Adams, .512 (1927-1947); Tommy Ivan, .653 (1947-1954); Jimmy Skinner, .591 (1954-1958); Sid Abel, .501 (1958-1968 and 1969-70); Jacques Demers, .502 (1986-1990); Scotty Bowman .655 (1993-2002); and Mike Babcock, .649 (2005-2015).

The Red Wings entered play last night with Blashill, in his third season, right at .500, 101-101-35.

Trotz, a familiar sight behind the visitors’ bench in Detroit during his 15 seasons as head coach of the Predators, established a reputation for getting a lot out of players, in part, through a disciplined approach to defensive play.


Rivalry Night! Bring On The Traditional Rivals: The Caps

03/22/2018 at 7:13pm EDT

At home, at the rocking LCA.

A potential ECF final, two teams steaming toard the...

...peaking at the...

...only worried about health as the...


Neck Surgery For Mike Green

03/22/2018 at 7:07pm EDT

Detroit, MI…The Detroit Red Wings today announced that defenseman Mike Green will undergo surgery on his cervical spine and will miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season. Green missed seven games from Feb. 17-28 with the injury but returned to the Detroit lineup on March 2 at Winnipeg. He re-aggravated the injury during the team’s practice on March 21 at Little Caesars Arena. The procedure is scheduled for April 5 at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and will be performed by Dr. Frank Cammisa. A minimum two months of recovery time is expected.

Green, 32, has appeared in 65 games for the Red Wings this season. He leads all Detroit defensemen in assists (25) and points (33), while ranking second among blueliners with eight goals.

The 4th Line And The Wings Won't Quit

03/22/2018 at 1:46pm EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The line has a nice mix of size and skill. Svechnikov (6-foot-3, 212 pounds) plays in dirty areas and is heavy on the puck. Frk (6-1, 205) has an incredibly hard shot, and he makes nice short plays along the wall. Glendening (5-11, 192) is a good face-off guy and all-around responsible defensively.

“They’ve played well together, and then Glennie gives them a great veteran presence,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s probably our best defensive player, and so with two younger players, in Svech’s case still learning some of the system stuff, I think Glennie can really help them. He gives them a stabilizing force, gives me lots of trust to play the line — any time Glennie is on the ice, there is way more trust.”

Adding Svechnikov to the mix could boost Frk’s production. He had eight goals of his 11 goals his first 23 games of the season.

“It gives them another guy that we think has offensive talent,” Blashill said. “Between that and his time on the power play, hopefully that can help Marty produce at a higher rate.”


added 2:12pm, Watch the game day preview below too...

added 5:33pm, Caps game day preview below too, Wings talk starts at the 2:11 mark.

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit's Morning Skate Before Facing The Washington Capitals

03/22/2018 at 11:05am EDT

via Ansar Khan tweet,

Jimmy Howard in starter’s net at #RedWings morning skate. Face @Capitals tonight at 7:30 on NBC Sports Network.

George Malik reports the skate is optional.

Will update post if needed.

Talking Prospects

03/21/2018 at 2:43pm EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

A significant chunk of the Detroit Red Wings' future will be on display during the WHL playoffs in center Michael Rasmussen and defenseman Dennis Cholowski, the organization's top picks in each of the past two drafts.

Rasmussen leads the Tri-City Americans in points per game heading into their series against Kelowna, which starts Thursday. Cholowski is one of the leaders on the blue line for the Portland Winter Hawks, who face Spokane starting on Saturday.

The Red Wings hope both, sooner than later, will join other recent top picks (Evgeny Svechnikov, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Martin Frk) in Detroit.

Shawn Horcoff, the Red Wings' director of player development, called both prospects "a development guy's dream," and will travel West to watch a few of their games.


Another Detroit prospect, Evgeny Igorevich Svechnikov talked after practice today. Watch below. (Who knew his middle name was Igorevich?)

The Wings Practiced Today

03/21/2018 at 1:16pm EDT

Dana Wakiji tweets,

Among #RedWings not practicing are Zetterberg, Daley, Green and Glendening. All but Glendening most likely maintenance days.

Blashill said Glendening, Zetterberg, Daley and Green all expected to be available tomorrow.

Jimmy Devellano Talks

03/21/2018 at 9:54am EDT

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

The Detroit Red Wings need to rebuild. They know it and have started the process, even though general manager Ken Holland avoids the "r" word and won't tear down the team completely.

The Red Wings are sixth from the bottom of the NHL standings and are on the verge of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight season.

"Certainly I'm not in denial, and I would say to you Ken probably isn't in denial either," said senior vice president Jimmy Devellano, 75, part of the Red Wings' front office since 1982. "We know where we're at. We understand the state of our team.

"We are not surprised. We knew that it would eventually happen."...

"For the Red Wings to rebuild, we need a lot of kicks at the can," Devellano said. "They certainly all don't come through, but if you have 10 or 11 picks, if three come through real good for you, that's what counts."

Devellano declined to comment on the futures of Holland and coach Jeff Blashill in a wide-ranging interview with NHL.com, but Holland and Blashill are expected to return.

much more

Videos- Wrapping Up Detroit's Win Over Philadelphia

03/21/2018 at 8:57am EDT

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

Goaltender Petr Mrazek returned to Little Caesars Arena Tuesday — and the Red Wings ruined it on two fronts.

Mrazek, whom the Red Wings traded to Philadelphia last month, had a forgettable homecoming as the Red Wings drove him out of the net in the second period. The Flyers did rally in the third period to force overtime but the Red Wings ended up winning 5-4 in a shootout.

The Red Wings had a 1-0 edge in the shootout, with Frans Nielsen scoring the goal and Jimmy Howard stopping all three Flyers shooters.

The win ended a 10-game winless streak for the Red Wings, who hadn’t won since Feb. 25....

“The third period was exemplary of what happens when you haven’t won, you don’t have the confidence that you do when you win,” Blashill said. “Our gaps got real soft and we just laid back too much.

“But good for the guys to stay with it and find a way. We had a lot of chances in overtime after that power play (for Philadelphia). It was a good win.”


Below, watch the extended game highlights and post-game interviews.

Wings/Flyers Recap

03/20/2018 at 10:27pm EDT

Wings winning streak at 1 game.

Plus they competed the whole game but that 3rd period was a nail-biter.

In a shootout Detroit 5 Philadelphia 4

Goals, Detroit stats are below.

Ten Years After, 20 Years Gone

03/20/2018 at 5:40pm EDT

Twenty years ago, this organization was preparing to defend the Cup. 19 years and ten months ago I was in a D.C. subway station about to get karate kicked in the throat by a Caps fan because I may or may not have been taunting him after the Wings won Game 3 of the SCF.

Ten years ago, this organization was about to make a nice little run to 11. 9 years and ten months ago I was at the Joe, in the upper levels, for Game 1 against the Pens. It's there that Osrt and I met Jules. You can read all about that here.

Shorthanded and in barrels Charlie Frigging Buckets. Does anyone need one worse than him? Sprung loose by a pass from Stuart, I believe, and off he goes. Turns the hyphenated French goalie into a pretzel and Game 1 is done like dinner.

Easily one of my favorite blog posts ever. I could have picked any sentence. Read the whole post and remember what we used to be.

Reflections Of Howie Young

03/20/2018 at 4:26pm EDT

from Richard Deitsch of The Athletic,

Chances are you’ve never heard of Howie Young, even if you are a diehard NHL fan. Young was a hard-checking and harder-partying defenseman whose crunching checks and seat-of-the-pants style helped lead the Detroit Red Wings to the Stanley Cup finals in 1961.Two seasons later he shattered the league mark for penalty minutes, with 273 in just 64 games. Sports Illustrated called him a “one-man riot squad” and put him on the cover of its Jan. 28, 1963 issue.

The smiling visage that graced SI's cover, however, belied a tortured soul.

Young was an alcoholic. He said he drank nearly every day for 12 years until he bottomed out at age 27. Indeed, he was hung over when he posed for SI’s photographer after a morning practice. “On the bench I would say, 'Please God, just get me through this game,'” Young once said. “Then it was, 'Hey, God, just get me through this period.' Finally, it was, 'God, just get me through this shift.'”

continued and open to all...

Danny DeKeyser Is Feeling Good Now

03/20/2018 at 3:51pm EDT

from Art Regner and Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,

DeKeyser's season has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride. He injured his ankle in the third game of season at Dallas and it was originally thought to be a sprained ankle.

However, because it the healing process was going slowly, the ankle was reexamined and it turned out DeKeyser suffered a "small fracture in a bone" of his ankle causing him to miss 17 games from October 12 through November 17.

Once he returned it took a while to get back into game shape. Dekeyser was a minus player in nine of his first 10 games after he was back in the lineup. However; in his next 32 games, he was a minus player in only five games.

During this ten-game winless streak, he has been a minus player in six of the ten games, but DeKeyser is encouraged by his season considering how he played after he came back from his fractured ankle.

"I think the past couple of months I felt really good on the ice," DeKeyser said. "I feel like I've gotten my skating legs and had some good jump, some good energy out there. I just try to play as hard as I can, be good defensively, chip in a little bit offensively, stuff like that. I've felt good lately.

more plus other topics like Mrazek and Nielsen's bobblehead.

added 4:16pm, game day preview is below...

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.