Both MLive’s Ansar Khan and the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan focused on Filip Zadina’s status as a healthy scratch in Tuesday’s win over the San Jose Sharks.
Khan discusses both Zadina’s reaction to the move and coach Jeff Blashill’s care for his young forward’s state of mind:
“I was disappointed for sure. I was (ticked),” Zadina said after the morning skate in Anaheim. “Now I feel better than I felt a week ago. I’m excited to be back and get things going again.”
Zadina has gone nine games without a goal, has only one goal and three points in his past 14 games, and just four goals and six assists in 32 games overall.
“Obviously, I was frustrated because I had a lot of chances and didn’t score,” Zadina said. “Obviously, the COVID break and stuff like that kind of pushed me down. I had good practice and a good workout, and I just feel way better.
“Just keep shooting and hit the spots where the goalie isn’t. Just keep believing and I hope it’s going in at some point.”
Blashill said the lack of production from the team’s top pick in 2018 (No. 6 overall) isn’t from a lack of effort.
“Z cares a lot, has tried really hard, competes hard,” Blashill said. “I don’t think he’s been rewarded on the number of chances he’s had. I think that’ll come. I don’t think he played as good the last two games as he did prior to the break. He’s just got to get his game back going.”
Kulfan continues that conversation:
“Filip is more than just a shooter,” Blashill said .”He’s valued himself that way and certainly the hype was around his shooting (coming out the draft), but he’s more than just a shooter.
“The one thing we’ve talked about with him is becoming more of a give-and-go player. When I watched him in junior, he was a guy who could make plays. He wasn’t a one-trick pony and just shooting pucks.
“Z cares a lot. He’s tried real hard, he competes hard. I don’t think he’s been rewarded on the number of chances he’s had. That’ll come. I don’t think he’s played as well the last two games prior to the break and he has to get his game back on.
“He knows what he has to do and sometimes it takes some time. So, go back in the lineup and hopefully he can be successful.”