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Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill talks about his directive from GM Steve Yzerman

The Detroit Red Wings (9-25-3, 21 points) just continue to lose and they continue to lose in epic fashion. In fact, through their first 37 games, the Red Wings have a -65 goal differential, which is 22 goals worse than the next closest team.

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Head coach Jeff Blashill is now in his fifth season with the Red Wings and on Saturday, he opened up about this being his most challenging season and about his relationship with Red Wings general manager, Steve Yzerman.

“It’s been as big a challenge as anything I’ve faced in my professional career,” Blashill said. “The record says that. I think it’s a great challenge, though. It’s easy to have great character when things are going awesome. When you go through these types of struggles, it’s a great opportunity for me to make sure I’m leading the right way.

“A big piece of that for us has been making sure that we have a short memory, making sure that we are attacking today. There is not one thing we can do about yesterday except for learn from it. We’ve tried to do that. We’ve tried not to let frustration creep in, even though that’s a human emotion – it’s going to, but we’ve tried to block it out as much as we can.”

“The four years of experience prior to this has really, really trained me well to handle a season like this,” Blashill said. “I would not want to go through this my first year in the league. To be honest with you, my confidence hasn’t faltered one bit because I’ve focused on drawing from previous experiences and then also focusing on doing everything the best that I can do. I can’t control everything. I can control my attitude and I can control doing the very best I can and I’ve done that.”
“When times are tough, true character comes out,” Blashill said. “Some guys certainly have shown they want to be a big-time part of the solution and some guys are maybe the opposite. My job is, as this continues to be real tough, to try to make sure I’m playing the ones that want to part of the solution.”

“One thing for us right now is we’ve got to play with more confidence,” Blashill said. “We can’t be afraid to make mistakes. We can’t go out and be afraid to get scored on.

“Really, we don’t have much to lose. Let’s go out and play like we don’t have much to lose. Let’s go out and play without fear. Not careless, but without fear. That’s what we’ve tried to get across to our guys.”

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“Steve and I talk every day,” Blashill said. “We talk about a lot of different things. He’s at a lot of our practices, so a lot of times I will ask him what he thought and he’ll tell me what he thought. I think he’s a great resource that way. Same thing as we go through the year.

“His message to me this summer is similar to his message to me today – make sure our guys are getting better every day, especially our young guys are getting better, that we are holding them accountable and they’re getting better every day. That was his message this summer – it really didn’t deal with wins and losses, it was more about the individual improvement of players and that’s what I’ll continue to do. And I believe if your guys getting better through the course of the season, you’re a better team at the end. So we are facing this thing head on and we are going to continue to do that every day.”

— Quotes courtesy of Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press — LINK

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Don Drysdale
Don Drysdale
I am a fan of all Detroit sports and LOVE to write about them!

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