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Blashill: If the streak ends, is he gone?


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My parents are visiting from the Detroit area, and my dad seems to think that if the Red Wings do not make the playoffs this year, Jeff Blashill will be fired and replaced before next season. He (rightly) cites the PP as the main evidence of his coaching deficiency, although it is not the only one. We already know that Granato is gone after this season to Wisconsin, as that has been reported by more than one source, although not yet officially announced, and Granato was more responsible for the PK, which fared much better than the PP, although it has slipped more into mediocrity here lately. But I suppose I was more surprised--perhaps I shouldn't be--that there is a feeling among Detroit fans that if the streak ends, Blashill will be the scapegoat.  


I m not saying their points are without merit, but I DO think it is unfair to him. Blashill comes in after, arguably, the best coach in the NHL leaves--who was only BARELY able to coach these guys into wildcard spots by a scant few points for the past number of years, himself--and (assuming they miss the playoffs) just misses making the playoffs by a few points. And although they are somewhat talented rookies, he has had to work with a number of young players, who have never before had to deal with the pressure of making the SCPs in Detroit. And half of the RW leadership have been either injured/missing or playing like they are recovering (Kronwall). To ask a first-year coach to come in and make them play as if none of that happened seems like asking a lot! And predictably, a kid like Larkin almost disappears off the score sheets once the other NHL teams focus their D on him--like the sophomore slump. And in the heat of playoff pressure, the team self-destructs--just like we would expect a young team to do, even though I blame guys like Nyke who have almost completely disappeared.


And let's be honest, even though Z still does a lot of things right on both ends, he is just not the same player he used to be. He can produce for a while, but then becomes offensively unproductive for long spurts. Again. And we don't have a recovery from surgery to blame this time.


I dunno. I think if they fire Blash, it can be justified, but I don't really think it is fair either. He misses the p,ayoffs again next year, OK. But to axe him after just one year under these circumstances seems like it's pretty harsh to me...UNLESS a well-established coach becomes available, perhaps. If we could find a respectable replacement whose coaching style fits our system and organization well, then maybe. But I don't know that I anticipate the availability of a coach that is likely to make the difference enough. I don't see Joel Quennville going anywhere. ;-)


Is Blashill's seat hotter than I think it is? Do you think he's gone if they miss? If he does go, do you think it's fair?



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Hell, I don't think so unless it spills into next year with a losing record 20 games in. At some point, someone up top needs to revamp the core of the team before killing the coach.


The sky was supposed to fall when Lidstrom retired, but the team finished virtually on pace for the same amount in the standings the next year, and the year after that, only dropped 10 points in the standings despite missing most of their top players for half a season each.


Every year I kept waiting for the wheels to fall off due to relative age of the corps and every year they do better than I thought they would.


Kronwall, Datsyuk and Zetterberg are 35 and 37 years old. Larkin is going to be a stud and is the bright spot on the team future outlook. Nyquist took a step back this year, and we have already seen the best we will see from Tatar and Abdelkader.


Strangely, I am not as worried about their forwards. Its that defense.


I liked the signing of Green, but he is regressing worse than I thought he would. Kronwall is not getting any younger. Ericksson and Quincey are getting older too and are merely serviceable.


I like Dekeyser, but keep wanting more from him. Marchenko at least made Kindl waiver bait.


Ill assume you are praying to the powers above that Howard will be taken by an expansion draft team, but I would not bank on it.

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The Wings are not a panic button team and I have been a HUGE fan of Blash for several years, even predicting that Babs would be gone to Toronto and Blashill recalled to take his place a full year before the fact (hey I have to save face after Glendening, lol).

  I think he has done quite fine as a rookie coach. The problem is not the coach it is lack of skill.


  The kids are a solid bunch of complimentary players, nothing more save for possibly Larkin and the Euro twins and Kronner are getting old. And our recent free agent signees have been the likes of Tootoo, Alfredsson, Weiss, Gustafsson, Green and Richards. That would make any team shudder. And we gave up on a lot of usable young players for nothing, Nylen for Cole, picks for Zidlicky, and Janmark for 10 games of Legwand. It has been a car wreck from the front office for awhile. And Jim Nill, the man responsible for our once deep farm system is in Dallas, the heir apparent to Holland was Yzerman who has built a stud team in Tampa.


  So I blame Blashill and Granato and the rest much less than I do Holland and the lack of talent brought in to play by the GM. Take Lidstrom, a once in a generation talent,  but until the Wings signed the aging Green nothing was done to even attempt to replace him. And now the Euro's have aged and other than getting lucky with Larkin that late in the draft nothing has really been done.

 Holland is the problem, not Blashill. But an iconic GM cannot be fired by a rookie head coach but a rookie coach can be fired by an iconic GM.

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I wouldn't be surprised if he is canned, but I wouldn't be surprised either.  Agreed, he is stepping into big shoes, but how much of an affect does a new coach REALLY have on elite and established players?  If they miss the playoffs, a lot of folks in Detroit will be wanting some answers and maybe somebody's head.  You can't fire the players, and you can't realistically fire the GM, so you fire the coach.  Take him out, and give you the fans the blood they're thirsting for while the front office tries to fix this.  Holland's time is probably up, but he'll be the last to admit it.  He needs to do some swift trading this summer to dump some dead weight and create some cap room, especially with little or no movement expected in the ceiling for next season.  But that's nothing that hasn't already been discussed to death on this forum....

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