Quick Hits: The Getting Better Edition

In Red Wings Land

I put this in the comments yesterday but wanted to make sure people saw the follow up to the discussion on Blashill and Zadina:

Z cares a lot - has tried really hard, competes hard. I don’t think hes’ been rewarded on the number of chances he’s had. i think that’ll come. . I don’t think he played as good the last two games as he did prior to the break and I think he just has to get his game back on.

I think Fil is more than just a shooter. I think he’s valued himself that way and the hype was about his shooting, but I think he’s more than just a shooter and the one thing we’ve talked to him about is becoming more of that give & go player. When I watched him in junior I saw a guy who could also make plays. That’s what I liked about him: that he wasn’t a one-trick pony and only be able to shoot pucks. When you draft wingers high, I’d like them to be able to do more than just shoot into the net. I think he can do more than just shoot it. I think that’s gotta be part of his concentration; to make sure that he’s a good give & go player.

How can he end up scoring more goals off his shot? I think he’s gotta keep working on getting it off a little quicker and working on the accuracy. In junior you can score in different parts of the net that you can’t score in the NHL. It takes longer to adapt to the NHL - the bigger defensemen, the longer sticks, the better goalies, less time & space.

I just try to be honest and sometimes honest is hard; that’s just the reality of it. I’ve also had conversations with him tha the can’t just value h imself on whether the puck goes in or not. Too many stretches where it just doesn’t go in over the course of [time]. [Adds that “frustration is a waste of human emotion”]

It’s my job to tell him if he’s on the path and when he’s not to help him get on the path. Biggest thing for me is the impact on the game when he’s not scoring.

Great defensively

Hard on the forecheck

Getting rebounds in dirty areas

Being a give & go player

That’s my paraphrase of Blash’s comments on Zadina, but there’s also more discussion from Blash in that 15-minute video.

Around the League

Ignoring whether or not The Yzerman Moment was actually a thing or, more precisely, the thing (it probably wasn’t, despite how you’ve heard it referenced when discussing Ovechkin or Auston Matthews or Connor McDavid - Yzerman’s three Cups came on teams stacked with between five and eight other future Hall of Famers, among other things), it’s worth exploring how much (if at all) Alex Ovechkin actually changed his game in order to become “a more complete player” and finally win something at the team level (other than, y’know, those three Presidents’ Trophies and eight Division titles).

The gist of the article is that Ovechkin has never been particularly good defensively and that’s ok, but I’m more interested in the discussion about the “Yzerman cudgel” because I’d like to hear your thoughts on the balance between Yzerman “changing his game” and the simpler answer that the Red Wings that won the cup with Yzerman and then went on to be a dynasty were just that damn good.