The Detroit News’s John Niyo discusses the pressures that Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill faces going into the 2018-19 season, wondering whether Blashill can do enough in the final year of his contract to “stick around”:
So how good do they have to be for Blashill to stick around? How many games do they need to win? Those are loaded questions without answers as the puck drops Thursday. (Henrik Zetterberg, the captain who just retired, will do the ceremonial honors, in case we needed another reminder of the challenge ahead.) And Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, who signed a two-year contract extension in April, confirmed Wednesday that there have been no discussions yet about re-upping with Blashill.
“I want to get out of the gate and let’s get going,” Holland said.
So does Blashill, for that matter. And if you ask him about expectations, or how he’ll be fairly critiqued this season given the Red Wings’ new reality, he’ll look to pass instead of shoot.
“To be honest with you, it doesn’t matter how I’m judged externally,” said Blashill, who owns a sub-.500 career record (104-105-37) entering his fourth season in Detroit. “I can tell you from my own perspective, I’ll judge myself on, ‘Are we getting better?’ Are individuals getting better? Is the team getting better? Did we work and compete every day? And are we on the same page?”