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Blashill tells young Red Wings to have “short memories” after four winless games

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Washington Capitals
Nov 18, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill talks to his team from behind the bench against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After starting out your season with four winless games, that’d be pretty discouraging to anyone. Especially when you’ve been as close in those games as the Detroit Red Wings have been. Half of their losses have been decided either in overtime or by a shootout. In response, head coach Jeff Blashill has a very New York message to his young players: “Forget about it.”

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He’s urging them to learn from their mistakes, glean what they can from a loss, and move on. It’s a season where the Red Wings organization is anticipating many more losses as the team rebuilds, and dwelling on them will help no one.

“I said this to our group, we are going to have to have a real short memory,” Blashill said after Thursday’s 5-3 loss to Toronto. “We have to make sure that we learn from the game, we get better tomorrow, and then we go into Boston with a singular focus to win the hockey game in Boston.

“I think we’ve realized over four games when we play as hard as we are capable of playing that we can have success. I think we’ve been knocking on the door. We have to find a way to turn those into wins.”

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who made his season debut against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, believes that the Red Wings are competing, just not consistently enough.

“We need to play better over the course of 60 minutes,” veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “Both the games in California could have ended differently – we did enough good things there. But those things over the course of a full season even out – if you keep doing the right things, you are going to get rewarded. We didn’t do it right enough and that’s why we didn’t win.”

The lesson learned from this? Compete. Play 200-foot hockey for 60 minutes and you’ll be rewarded. This is the lesson that the Red Wings youth needs to take into Saturday’s game against the Boston Bruins and apply it. Once it’s applied, hit Delete on Thursday night and put it out of their minds. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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