We’ll just go ahead and say that this wasn’t the game that the Detroit Red Wings were envisioning. They surrendered seven goals on Thursday night against the Nashville Predators in what was nothing short of an embarrassing loss.
For head coach Jeff Blashill, who has been behind the bench in the Motor City for six seasons now, he’s not worried about whether or not his message and philosophy is reaching the players.
“I’ve had no concern about the message getting through, to be honest with you,” Blashill said Friday. “I think we’ve ended up in nights like last night where we were fine, we’re in a hockey game, we got scored on (to make it 4-1) and I think mentally we give in and then the game goes the wrong way in a hurry. I’ve had no inkling of any issue with the messaging or things like that. I think our guys have kept coming back and worked to get better and understand that (Thursday night) isn’t acceptable.”
“How do I get the team to believe that this can turn around? I mean, we just beat Tampa 5-1. We swept Columbus,” he said. “We’re battling like crazy to become a better hockey team and to build.”
GM Steve Yzerman made the decision to keep Blashill around despite last season’s NHL-worst record, saying it wouldn’t be fair to judge his head coach’s performance against the paltry roster they iced. However, Blashill is nearing the end of his two-year contract he inked in 2018.
And until a decision is made about his long-term future in Detroit, he’s going to continue to work on his team getting better each day – even if the process isn’t as fast as would be ideal to the team and fans.
“We understand that we’re in a rebuild and that we have to grind every day to get a little bit better. As I’ve said lots, anybody who thinks there’s going to be this big, giant leap is misinformed and probably doesn’t understand how anything turns around,” Blashill said. “It’s a slow process lots of times and it takes steps forward with two steps backward. It’s hard. You’re going to get knocked down and you have to keep getting backed up.”
“What we’ve been through the last number of years is an opportunity to be a great learning experience,” he said. “If it’s always easy, you don’t learn much. You actually get fooled lots of times. Again, any thought that this was ever going to be an easy thing where we just miraculously show up and we’re winning games every single night is crazy. That’s not how it happens. You have to learn lessons along the way, and honestly that keeps going until you find a way to get to the top.”
– – Quotes via Will Burchfield of 97.1 The Ticket Link – –