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Visiting our #1 son and his family (and to babysit two of our five
grandchildren), I remarked to Paul before Saturday's Red Wings game
here in South Florida that Jeff Blashill is sounding like a coach who
thinks he's about to be fired.
Within a five day, three loss span last week Blashill said:
1) The 1-0 defeat at Buffalo was the worst player effort of his three
seasons with the Wings.
2) He was tired of switching forward combinations to try and jump
start an impotent offense and "The lines are the lines" and it was
time for players to step up and produce.
And, finally, 3) The lazy slashing penalties had to cease and sloppy
line change "Too Many Men On The Ice" penalties had to stop as both
were putting the Red Wings in far too many man disadvantages.
Even as the Red Wings were eeking out a 3-2 shootout win at the
Florida Panthers to halt a six game losing streak Saturday, Hockey
Night In Canada intermission analyst Elliott "Know It All" Friedman
was telling North America AHL Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson
or former Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett could
replace Blashill if the Wings continue to struggle.
Blash is clearly frustrated and his comments show that.
In the past Blashill has spoken in generalities after defeats, trying
to protect his players from criticism.
No more. He has put the blame and the responsibility squarely on
the players' backs.
Do I think Blashill is a decent NHL coach?
I don't know, just like I never knew if Alan Trammell ever was a
good baseball manager.
Like Tram, Blashill has had to work with an inferior talent pool
during his Detroit tenure. There are precious few Wings players
who could either be stationed in Grand Rapids or Detroit.
Even Capt. Henrik Zetterberg remarked last week, "We aren't
good enough to win."
Zetterberg and Jimmy Howard are two of the few true NHL players
on the Red Wings roster and they've had trouble staying healthy during
The guy who should have been gassed three years ago is GM Ken
I like Kenny personally, but he has handcuffed the team with too
many "Red Wings For Life" contracts that have strangled the Wings'
salary cap limits.
Pylon-like DEF Jonathan Ericsson and cripples Niklas Kronwall and
Johan Franzen (Remember him?) all are clogging this season's cap.
It is going to be a long, cold winter for the Red Wings and when the
snow falls the temptation to check out the new Little Caesars Arena
will fade. That's when the TV broadcasts will show as many empty
seats for Red Wings games as the early season Piston contests at LCA.
But, that's another story.
Anyway, HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!
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