The Detroit Red Wings look to get back on track at 1 PM ET Saturday against the Boston Bruins.
It takes 21 days to make or break a habit, the old saying goes.
So, although the Detroit Red Wings are 17 points behind the next closest team in the Eastern Conference and irrelevant in the playoff conversation, it’s still disappointing when the team gives up like it did Thursday night in the 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.
In fact, it was downright embarrassing for anyone involved in the organization – from management and players to family and fans.
The night was shaping up to be another step in the right direction for the Red Wings. They were up 1-0 after two periods and were playing competitive hockey for the third-straight game.
Then suddenly, the wheels fell off and Detroit gave up four goals in four minutes in what felt like déjà vu. Let me repeat that. Four goals in four minutes.
FOUR. GOALS. IN. FOUR. MINUTES.
What in the hell did we watch in the third period? It was a complete lack of effort across the board that culminated with more bland post-game commentary.
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A few years ago, I was listening to former Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg talk post game. He used phrases like “we have to play better” and “we have to produce more.”
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill sounded a lot like that Thursday, according to quotes in the Detroit Free Press saying, “guys have to step on the ice and dig in. They have to change momentum with their shift. We didn’t do that and now we have to react to it. We have to be better than we were.”
I get that this team lacks talent at every position, and part of me wants to blame that for why it routinely loses games 5-0, 5-1, 6-2, etc.
Then I wised up.
Nights like Thursday’s loss to the Devils doesn’t just reflect a lack of player talent, it’s a reflection of their head coach.
Blashill’s mundane lines are becoming repetitive and he needs more fire. If he’s doing it behind closed doors, it’s not working. This team needs a spark, and Blashill is a lighter without lighter fluid.
He said it best himself in that same Detroit Free Press article saying, “if you want to be part of the long-term solution, you’re doing everything you can to make sure we’re taking steps in the right direction.”
Well, Blashill, listen to yourself, and step up or step down.