George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press writes that while Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill appreciates Henrik Zetterberg taking one for the team, the Wings’ poor play against both Florida and Boston rests with him. From Blashill:
Ultimately, it’s on me. That’s my job … to make sure they’re ready. I appreciate Henrik saying that. I would say this — without question, you have to look yourself in the mirror and make sure you’re ready to go. We had too many guys not ready to go.
Zetterberg commented that it was on him to prepare the team better, and that Detroit needs to be play better at home. Blashill seemingly stamped out the question of leadership issues in the locker room. Blashill continued with MLive’s Ansar Khan:
“I have 100 percent belief in the group in this locker room, so I’m not concerned long-term at all,” Blashill said. “All I’m concerned about is tonight, which wasn’t good enough. I don’t have any worries about the level of leadership or the level of character that we have to a man in this locker room.”
Khan expanded further, speaking to several of the same players that Sipple did. Danny DeKeyser doesn’t believe there are leadership issues in Detroit, saying that:
“Leadership is important, but at the end of the day everyone is here in the NHL and they need to do whatever they need to do to get going and ready to play. I wouldn’t put much up on the captaincy or leadership, just guys doing what they need to do to be ready to go.”
If the Red Wings rip off another six game winning streak, the questions will fade. But should Detroit look listless through another pair of games, the questions will likely multiply.