The time has come for the Red Wings to part ways with Jeff Blashill

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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

The Detroit Red Wings are in need of a change in direction behind the bench, because Jeff Blashill just isn’t cutting it, and Saturday night’s embarrassment was the last straw.

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Of course, fans will point to the fact that they’re still in the rebuilding process with plenty more work to do despite the amazing strides taken with rookies Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, both of whom will be in the conversation for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best first year players. And things can only be looking up with 2021 1st round draft pick in defenseman Simon Edvinsson projected to take the spot of one particular brutal piece of deadweight on the roster in Danny DeKeyser.

Regardless of the improvements that have been made under GM Steve Yzerman as the staleness of Ken Holland begins to erode, the 10 goals allowed against the Toronto Maple Leafs is as good of an indication as any that the time to move on from Blashill is now – if not at the end of this season.

Detroit’s defensive structure at too many points this season has been to collapse into a shell and simply hope that their opposition isn’t able to mount a comeback. Speaking of comebacks, the Leafs furiously stormed back against Detroit last month after the host Red Wings enjoyed a two goal lead heading into the game’s final frame.

Of course, we saw the Tampa Bay Lightning ruin Detroit’s opening night offensive frenzy with a 7-6 overtime win despite four goals from Tyler Bertuzzi.

In too many ways, Blashill is like former assistant and later head coach Dave Lewis – not hard enough on players underperforming.

Yzerman has stated that it wouldn’t be fair to judge Blashill’s performance in recent years due to the poor roster. And while Detroit is still a ways off from returning to prominence in the upper echelon of the NHL, the current bench boss has gotten everything out of the players in his soon to be seven full seasons on the job. Like Ken Holland’s tenure, things are getting stale.

When the Red Wings are ready to take the next step, it won’t be Blashill on the bench. The move should be made sooner than later.

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Posted by Michael Whitaker
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Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.