Last season the Red Wings lacked an identity as they snuck into the Stanley Cup Playoff by the skin of their teeth. One moment it was playing the youth more and then the next it was going to the vets to carry them into the playoffs. It was as if they couldn’t make up his mind on the team’s style of play. This coming season the team is hoping to figure out who they are as a team before the regular season. In an article written by MLive’s Ansar Khan, Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill addressed what he wants the team’s identity to be after the Red and White game in Traverse City, Michigan.
“We’ve talked about our identity being relentless and being fast, being competitive and being detailed,” Blashill said. “Speed’s a big factor. It’s not everything, it’s mentality, not just how fast the guy is skating but how fast you’re playing. So we’re trying to play as fast as we can in transition. I think that’s our best chance to have success based on the team we have.”
You can read more of the quote here
Blashill want to use training camp and pre-season to establish their identity as a speedy and competitive team who are active on the defensive front. While the off-season told a different story, this is a philosophy that will fit the roster. Detroit has forwards who can play fast and are literally fast which gives them an advantage over a few bigger teams in the league. Blashill intends on taking advantage of having skaters like Dylan Larkin, Darren Helm, and Andreas Anthanasiou and making plays at a high speed.
It sounds as if Jeff Blashill wants to take advantage of the team’s strength which is their speed and ability to make plays at a fast rate and it’s a smart idea. As a head coach Blashill and his staff has to get together and use the pre season to figure out how they want to look as a team. Using whatever strengths Detroit has would be the best thing to do. While it’ll be hard to fully assess the roster due to a few players being gone because of the World Cup (Tatar, Vanek, Neilson, Marchenko, Mrazek) and injuries (Zetterberg and Kronwall) the Red Wings can at least work on establishing who they are as a team on the Ice. It’s a step forward in the right direction but the team has to figure out how to generate a productive offense, consistency, and an effective power play to bring a better result than last season, but this is a start.
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