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Quick Hits: The ‘Process’ Edition

Are the Red Wings a playoff team or not?

Detroit Red Wings v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

Not much to talk about since the NHL only had a couple games Friday night, but an interesting piece from Nick Cotsonika reinforces the idea that Jeff Blashill might have the right “big picture” ideology for this team:

“It is the No. 1 thing I go back and look at,” Blashill said. “Did we out-chance them, or did they out-chance us? Did a certain player create chances or give up chances, and to what degree? Ultimately, that’s really what the game is about.”

Put aside the result. How was the process?

“The emotion of wins and losses cloud your judgment, and they cloud how you feel about how the game went,” Blashill said. “I’ve used scoring chances lots to tell our team, ‘Listen, we lost last night, but here’s what the scoring chances were. If we do that [in the future], you’re winning for sure,’ and vice versa, ‘Hey, we’re winning right now, but we’re getting out-chanced. If we keep doing this, we’re not going to keep winning.’

Read more here.

Can a missed shot be a scoring chance? Depends.

“I’m ultimately not trying to measure the goalie; I’m trying to measure the story of the game,” Blashill said. “If we get a breakaway and miss the net, that’s a scoring chance for us. If we’re on a 2-on-1 and get a great shot off and miss the net, that’s still a scoring chance for us. I might not give the guy that missed the net a chance, but I’m giving the team a scoring chance.

The Red Wings are right on the border of being a competitive team. Is that what they are now? It’s hard to say, but at this point it’s clear that they’re ready to make a push and force their hand as a potential postseason team.