Detroit Red Wings: The Clock is Nearing Midnight for Jeff Blashill

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 04: Head Coach Jeff Blashill of the Detroit Red Wings watches the action from the bench against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on October 4, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. Columbus defeated Detroit 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 04: Head Coach Jeff Blashill of the Detroit Red Wings watches the action from the bench against the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on October 4, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. Columbus defeated Detroit 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The pressure has to be mounting on Ken Holland to make a change while his team continues to post loss after loss.  Yes, the Detroit Red Wings are rebuilding but how many games can you play without recording a win before someone (Jeff Blashill) gets a pink slip?

Tick tock, tick tock. I feel that is the lone sound that can be heard in the office of Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland these days.  The sound of his wall clock striking its way around and around.  Maybe he is fidgeting or clicking a pen open and closed on his desk while he is pondering his next move.

The Detroit Red Wings have started the season 0-5-2.  The offense is as invisible as it was last season.  The power play started the season nicely and had gone completely cold since.  The league hasn’t helped the Wings out either.  They have only played at home twice thus far, and both games were one game home stands before heading out onto the road. They have traveled to the west coast for a two-game stint already.

They are currently set to wrap up tonight a four-game Atlantic Division road trip that included Boston, Montreal and both Florida teams.  The heavy road start is no excuse for their inability to record a win and all to often poor play.

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Jeff Blashill started the season mentioning it would be different; the best players will play.  Age and experience will not matter, blah, blah, blah.  The Detroit Red Wings started that way and have trailed back to more of an “old Jeff Blashill” system.

The Detroit Red Wings started the season considerably banged up on the back-end.  Mike Green and Jonathan Ericsson have yet to play a game.  Niklas Kronwall missed the first handful of games.  Trevor Daley and Danny DeKeyser have both missed time.  This opened the door for Dennis Cholowski, Libor Sulak, Joe Hicketts and Filip Hronek.

The young defenders have all provided up and down appearances.  Dennis Cholowski looks like he is only scratching the surface of what will be.  He has the makings to be a solid top 4 defender.  Of course on this team, he already is that, and actually being forced to play as a top pair defender.

You would think the defense would be the problem being so young and banged up. While they haven’t been a, defensive powerhouse, they have provided adequate defense as a group.  It has been the forwards’ inability to score that has caused such a headache.

Jeff Blashill started the season leaning on Anthony Mantha, Frans Nielsen and, of course, Dyan Larkin.  Mantha has currently fallen out of favor with his head coach the same way he has in the past.  Mantha has not played over 15 minutes a night over the last 3 games.

Michael Rasmussen, the 19-year-old rookie, was scratched in Montreal then returned to the lineup in Tampa only to play 9 minutes and change.  I will give Blashill credit on one thing, Thomas Vanek has been fighting it similar to the majority of the Red Wings forwards, and Blashill only played him 12 and change in Tampa Bay.

Blashill coaches very similar to Mike Babcock.  He loves to roll four lines all evening long. Sometimes a coach needs to run three and mix in their fourth to be the most effective.  He should consider leaning on his top 6 forwards much more than he has been.  You haven’t won a game yet, change something up.

Next. Niklas Kronwall’s role on a young team. dark

I wonder how long Ken Holland will wait? It may be time for a new voice and a new player developer to be the next “bench boss.” If this winless streak hits 10-12-14 games, does Kenny make a move?  I can tell you one thing, Kenny has his desktop. Rolodex opened to Dan Bylsma‘s information right now.  Trust me he is getting closer and closer to make the call.