Count the Detroit News’ Gregg Krupa as one of the voices in the Detroit media calling it as he sees it. Through the ups and downs of what is considered an unacceptable season in Hockeytown, Krupa argues that “the process” of rebuilding on the fly is not working and a change is certainly due. What does that change look like? Playing the kids. Tyler Bertuzzi and Joe Hicketts, Krupa writes, should both be in Detroit getting minutes instead of, borrowing from general manager Ken Holland, “over-ripening.” Goaltender Petr Mrazek should be played and given chances to showcase his talent–which when confident–is immense. That same talent could be flipped for a draft pick or prospect. As for the “process” that head coach Jeff Blashill has extolled through the last few weeks of struggles, Krupa believes that such terminology is an affront to progress. The last 15 games are reason enough for the Red Wings to abandon any dim hopes of a playoff appearance, and instead, begin to plan for the future. But transactions through the last five seasons and coupled with comments this season seem to indicate the Red Wings front office believes in their plan.
- Andreas Athanasiou has struggled to replicate the success he saw last season, as the speedy forward is in the midst of an 11-game goal drought. Anthony Mantha also finds himself mired in a slump, having no points in six games while only having two goals and an assist in his last 13. MLive’s Ansar Khan writes that Blashill believes Athanasiou has actually played stronger while Mantha has struggled with turnovers. The 23-year-old Mantha likens his struggles to passing up shots and making things more complicated than they need to be. Athanasiou attributes his struggles to “bad bounces.” The one positive is that the supposed friction that existed between Blashill, and Athanasiou is apparently no more. Blashill complimented his young forward, saying he’s been “receptive” to coaching.