from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,
Slow starts have often been a malaise of this team under coach Jeff Blashill. Blashill saw some things on the ice from his team that he didn’t like one bit.
“I thought we flipped the puck out of the zone too many times when we had opportunities to make tape-to-tape passes,” Blashill said. “We showed too much panic in those situations. We gotta understand the balance between making a play when the play’s available and living another day and putting it hard into space when you have to.
“I thought early in the period we turned it over and then we just started bombing it out of there, not necessarily going tape-to-tape when we had those opportunities.”...
I thought Smitty played really, really good for a lot of the game,” Blashill said. “Given the role and the minutes, that’s what he’s got to figure out, how to do really well in that role and minutes. And then I thought he took a bad penalty.”
With Detroit down 3-2 in the third period, Smith took a retaliatory cross-checking penalty after the whistle, paving the way for Patrik Laine’s game-clinching power-play goal....
His indication was that there is a world where they find room for both Ryan – in camp on a pro tryout – and Raymond, the club’s 2020 first-round draft pick, on the 23-player roster to open the NHL regular season.
“We’re always looking for ways to make our team better,” Blashill said. “So I think there’s always a world for that. We’re not going to release somebody or not keep somebody that’s gonna make us way better.
“Whatever that means for the other guys involved, the answer’s yes, there certainly is. If both of them play great and we feel like they’re both gonna help our hockey team be a way better hockey team, then we’ll keep them.”
Below, watch Filip Zadina and Jeff Blashill after the game.