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Quick Hits: The Future Behind the Bench Edition

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Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

In Red Wing Land

Red Wings might weigh several factors before deciding Jeff Blashill’s future | MLive

Khan(!) answered questions from people he hasn’t blocked on Twitter yet and the first one involved the future of Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill. He danced around actually giving an answer and, instead, just asked seven more questions. This one made me think:

Is there (or will there be) a coach available to whom you want to make a three- or four-year commitment, one who is willing to take on a rebuilding project?

I think if Joel Quenneville or Barry Trotz were let go by their respective teams that the Wings should make a run at hiring one of the two. I don’t know if they would be interested in a rebuilding project, but I do know their interest would be much greater if Detroit lands the first overall pick aka Rasmus Dahlin.

Around the League

Maple Leafs’ Nazem Kadri questions NHL playoff format | Sportsnet

If the season ended right now at the moment I’m writing this post, the East playoff match-ups would be the following:

Lightning (1A) vs Devils (2WC)

Bruins (2A) vs Maple Leafs (3A)

Capitals (1M) vs Flyers (1WC)

Penguins (2M) vs Blue Jackets (3M)

Under the old conference format we’d get the following (division winners get the top seeds):

#1 Lightning vs #8 Devils

#2 Capitals vs #7 Flyers

#3 Bruins vs #6 Blue Jackets

#4 Maple Leafs vs #5 Penguins

There isn’t a huge difference. Toronto would go from facing a real good Boston team to taking on the defending back-to-back champion Pens. One of the bigger issues this season likely comes in round 2.

Under the current format there is no re-seeding and you play within your divisional bracket. So we’re probably going to see the Bruins and Lightning — the two best teams in the East — face-off this year in the second round. In the old format, the earliest we’d see that battle would be the conference finals.

Is it fair that they currently play one round earlier? I don’t really think so. If Tampa earns the best record in the conference, they should also earn the easiest potential path to the Stanley Cup Final.

Props to the NHL for trying something different in an effort to promote rivalries, but it might be time to move on. The old format wasn’t really broken. Let’s go back to the 1v8 model with the division winners earning the top seeds.

Tuesday’s Tank Watch

Islanders @ Senators - 7:30p ET

Penguins @ Red Wings - 7:30p ET

Ducks @ Canucks - 10p ET

Let’s go Ottawa and Vancouver.