The Progression Of The Process
You’ve heard the expression ad nauseum from Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill.
It’s a process.
Too many nights in recent years, the Red Wings looked more like processed meat. Bland. Tasteless. Unsatisfactory.
Blashill is convinced that they are beginning to turn a corner.
The Wings have won three games in a row for the first time since November, captured five of their last seven games and Blashill believes the baby steps his club has taken in buying into the way they must play is slowly paying dividends.
“I thought in my first year we were enough nights a good team and then the last couple of years we’ve had to change the way we played,” Blashill explained to Detroitredwings.com. “I’ve talked lots about that. I think we’ve had to understand it and buy into it and sometimes that’s a process. I think guys have had to grow.
“I think a lot of that growth is happening. So I think all those things combined put us in a spot where it looks like our arc is starting to move up.”
More often than not again this season, that arc is not one of triumph. The Wings still cough up too many leads. They don’t keep their feet on the pedal for 60 minutes. Blashill believes that this is in part due to the maturation process.
“Now in order for the arc to move up, we’ve gotta keep grinding here,” Blashill said. “It’s a relentless league and you’ve gotta play every single night.”
The players also get a sense that while where they want to get to is still a far away place, they are finally making steady, albeit slow, progress toward that place.
“I think we’re all on the same page,” right-winger Gustav Nyquist said. “We know what we have to do to be successful. I think most nights our effort’s pretty good.
“We work hard for each other. It’s been a lot of positives.”
The Wings announced on Tuesday that they had signed left wing Turner Elson to a two-year contract. Elson, 26, is in his second season with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins and is fourth on the team in scoring with 12-16-28 totals.
Elson has netted a team-leading three shorthanded goals and that’s good for second overall in the AHL. The sixth-year pro has played one NHL game, with the Calgary Flames in 2015-16.
Saturday’s 2-0 shutout of the Senators also put Wings general manager Ken Holland in the record books. It was his 914th win as GM of the club, surpassing Jack Adams for the most in franchise history.
“To go by Jack Adams’ record for wins means a lot,” Holland said. “It’s an original six franchise. He was a great manager. They had great teams here. They won four Cups in the 50s.
“I was very fortunate that I got mentored by Jimmy D and I got an opportunity in 1997 to become a general manager of an original six team. Pretty special.
“Hopefully we can do more winning here ahead. I understand that we’re in a rebuild here. We’ve got the greatest fans in the world and I want to try to get this thing turned around as quickly as possible so that we’re way more competitive and we can compete for a playoff spot.
“Certainly I’m going to enjoy this moment but more focused on the job ahead.”
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