HSJ in the morning: Sometimes, ‘nothing happening’ is a beautiful thing

The Free Press’s Helene St. James had some very good conversations with coach Jeff Blashill and forward Sam Gagner regarding the ways in which the Red Wings can improve their defensive games during yesterday’s media availabilities.

Today, the result of said conversations comes in the form of a subscriber-only article in which St. James discusses the comments that Blashill and Gagner made regarding eliminating “hope” plays and establishing a work ethic where it’s okay when nothing happens on a shift–to the good!

“One of the things we talk about is eliminating hope plays,” Blashill said. “If you are in pressure, you either eat it, you lay it up the wall, but you don’t ‘hope’ it to spots.”

It’s what former captain Henrik Zetterberg used to preach: Sometimes nothing may happen for 59 minutes, but to try to force a play won’t help. 

“It’s a maturity process for sure,” Blashill said. “When you have players that can make plays you want to make a difference in the game and so you’re trying to make plays, and you just have to know when to make a play and when to live another day. What factors into that? How much time you have, how much pressure you’re under. Where you are on the ice — there are certain areas that turnovers crush you. What’s the score in the game? What line are you playing against?

“This is the thing that most players need to learn as they come into the NHL: How to produce offense efficiently. It doesn’t probably get talked about enough, but it’s critical. That’s why great young forwards, it takes time for them to learn to lead a team to winning a Stanley Cup. If you look across the league, almost every team that wins has seasoned players because of that, because it a takes a process to learn how to create offense efficiently, meaning you create a bunch of chances for without giving up a whole bunch.”

Continued (paywall)

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

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