MLive’s Ansar Khan’s 6 AM-posted column discusses the Red Wings’ loss to Washington and the Wings’ post-game discussion regarding their youth movement.
Coach Blashill weighed in regarding the concept of simply giving young players ice time because the team’s out of the playoffs…
“There’s a fine line there,” coach Jeff Blashill said following his team’s 1-0 loss to the Washington Capitals Thursday at Little Caesars Arena. “You have to make sure you compete and work. If you don’t compete and work you’re not getting ice time.
“Two … if you want to take one of those guys’ job, you got to play better than them. If I start playing guys because of their age, you lose 100 percent credibility and you don’t teach lessons of earned ice.”
And both Jimmy Howard and Henrik Zetterberg spoke with Khan regarding the players’ belief that “the kids” need to play in a competitive environment:
“We can’t roll over, that’s for sure,” Jimmy Howard said. “I think it’s important for us as an organization for our young guys to continue to play, continue to play well and get minutes, and us older guys to push them. These guys need to continue to gain confidence. They can take another step forward next year.”
Henrik Zetterberg said it’s vital to improve from within.
“We all know we are in a transition with some younger players coming in,” Zetterberg said. “All the teams go through it eventually. It’s hard to go after or trade or sign a really good player nowadays. You have to get them through your own system. We’ve got to get lucky in the draft. We have a lot of picks (11 this year). And then we just got to try to keep the traditions that are high here. Keep working hard, do the right things and eventually it will turn around.”