Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

The Awful Power Play And Fire Jeff Blashill?

01/31/2021 at 6:14am EST

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

...Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill defended his decision to not put Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha on the ice for his team’s first two power plays in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Florida at Little Caesars Arena. He said it could happen again.

“Obviously, our power play hasn’t been good enough,” Blashill said. “That’s the definition of insanity, just doing the same thing over and over again. So, we felt like we’d try a couple other guys to give them an opportunity to see how they do. And when they weren’t getting it done, we went back to Larkin and Mantha.

“Ultimately, power play is not a whole bunch of schematics, it’s about executing and making plays. Somebody’s got to step up and play better in those situations. If it’s Larks and Mantha, great; if it’s somebody else, great. I’m not sure how you find out it’s somebody else if you don’t try other people.”

The Red Wings went 0 for 4 on the power play, the last two with Larkin and Mantha on the unit.

“It’s something that for the team we got to take a look at,” Larkin said. “It wasn’t working, so try other guys.

“The whole season, even training camp, (Blashill) says (playing on the power play) is a privilege and we just haven’t been good enough, so try to switch something up and get it going and I think just watch from the bench and you can see. It definitely was a good lesson for me, I guess.”

read on

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press answers a question from a reader abut firing Jeff Blashill,

Another factor to consider is the fiscal side of things. The Wings are losing money because of the pandemic, playing before only a few hundred people (many of whom are family or friends of team personnel, and not ticket buyers) at Little Caesars Arena. Blashill makes $1.6 million, on the lower end for NHL coaches. If Yzerman were to release Blashill and, for example, turn the bench over to assistant coach Dan Bylsma for the rest of the season, Bylsma would require a raise. Even if it it’s $250,000, that’s not an insignificant sum when revenue has taken such a hit. If Yzerman chooses, for example, to bring in his longtime friend Gerard Gallant, he’s a former NHL head coach who would command considerably north of Blashill's salary. And that’s presuming Gallant, or any higher-profile candidate, wants to coach the Wings. They are in a rebuild, and they’re not coming out of it in the near future.

And then there's the schedule. After this weekend, the Wings will have played 10 games. That’s almost 20% of the pandemic-shortened 56-game slate. Nobody outside the locker room expected the Wings to make the playoffs when the season began. Again, the hope was they’d be more competitive than last season, and they were until they lost five players to pandemic protocol.


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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.

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