In Red Wings Land
The highlights from Larkin and Blashill:
“Didn’t execute, didn’t come up with shots”
“Forced it” (instead of moving it around the outside)
“Stay focused, stay positive” (instead of focusing on the “negative energy”)
I’m torn on the “force it” narrative because I don’t want them skating into the teeth of the defense just to prove they can, but I also don’t necessarily want them to take what the defense is giving them around the perimeter simply because that’s space they’re given.
For what it’s worth, I think Dylan himself did a good job of mixing those two effectively. There were a number of times where he recognized his paths were to needlessly turn the puck over, fecklessly cycle it back to a defender who had a winger too close to him or to simply chuck a pass off the goaltender for a teammate to arrive for a rebound and of those three he took that last path which I’m generally ok with in those kinds of situations.
In Blashill’s general list of cliche’s, it largely boiled down to trying to figure out how to be more effective on the power play (move the puck faster and get traffic in front are things he said) and also how to check better.
I do feel as that game went on, the Wings’ checking did devolve. They started hitting a little harder as both teams got angrier with each other, but there were some occasions where it felt like a player positioned a hit to try to make it more-felt rather than positioning a hit to most-effectively separate the player from the play.
Around the League
“And a couple of them said, could they retire and come back. They also asked, ‘Could we be in a situation where we could ask to be put on waivers for the purposes of termination and then come back after the Olympics and re-sign with our team?’
“One of them kind of laughed and said to me they were told, ‘You think the NHL is ever going to allow you to try anything like that? There is not a chance.’”
The thing is that the NHL actually can’t stop a player from retiring for a few weeks. Problem there is that if they try to go play in the Olympics during their retirement, the NHL will cry foul to the IOC and the IIHF who likely steps in to prevent the player from being eligible to play in the Olympics.
Being put on waivers for termination and then coming back to re-sign is a weird thought. Technically they wouldn’t need to do that. If the team were willing to play ball in this situation, the player would simply go to the Olympics and be suspended by the team (but without the appeal to the international body to suspend him there as well). If he gets into a situation that ruins his NHL contract, the team can terminate at that point.
It’s not going to happen. My concern out of this is the NHL using this as a leveraging tool against an unprepared and uneducated NHLPA base to tell them they’d be all to happy to build in loopholes for the standard player contract that lets them leave for an international tournament any time they feel like it, just as long as they’re also willing to accept that an NHL team can simply cut a player and terminate his contract whenever the hell they feel like it.