Blashill says struggling Wings must ‘trust the process’

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — There was a simple and often-used message delivered from coach Jeff Blashill to his team before Tuesday’s practice.

And judging from the message boards, it’s one that will be mocked by fans who are getting frustrated by the lack of results.

The Red Wings, after all, only have one victory in their last 10 games (1-5-4). They are sinking in the Eastern Conference standings, and a difficult schedule looms.

Things must turn around fast.

The Red Wings felt they deserved a better fate the last two games and didn’t get it.

So, Blashill told the Red Wings to keep trusting “the process” and eventually success will follow.

The process. That sound you hear is the Internet exploding.

“One of the hardest things in life to do is to trust the process,” Blashill said after Tuesday’s practice. “When you’re not getting results.

“Mistakes that people make is they get away from the process when they’re not getting (results). They panic too early and they don’t stay with it.”

After defeating Winnipeg and ending a seven-game winless streak, the Red Wings have gone winless the last two games.

This, despite playing, they felt, arguably better than they did while defeating the Jets.

“We have one point to show for it (an overtime loss Monday to Florida),” Blashill said. “That’s not good enough. We get that. Are you frustrated? Sure you’re frustrated. But that doesn’t help you.

“You have to understand if you keep playing that way and keep trusting the process, we know the guys getting scoring chances have scored in this league, and we believe they’ll score again.

“So stay with it. If we don’t stay with it, we’ll cost ourselves. If we stay with it, we’ll get the results we want over the long term.”

Blashill is confident this roster is sticking with the message.

“The one thing I believe in is the group’s character for sure,” Blashill said. “It has separated this organization for a long time and it’ll allow us to stay with it, because of the character we have.”


The streak

The Red Wings are now 0-5 in overtime, with four of those losses coming during this 10-game slide.

The lack of success in overtime and on the power play (two goals in its last 22 chances) are prime culprits in the losing.

“When you lose every overtime game or shootout, you put yourself in a tougher spot,” said Blashill, who added, in terms of the 1-5-4 record “you have to flip some of those fours (overtime losses). If you flip a few of those fours, if you flip two of them, so we’d end up 3-5-2; it’s fine, it’s not good enough, but that’s the ebb and flow of the season.”

Both specialty teams have struggled, compared to earlier this season, but the power play is vital to producing much needed offense.

“We haven’t had the same production from our special teams that we had had, and that matters,” Blashill said. “I said at the beginning of the year we’d need elite specialty teams to be a playoff team and certainly in the last five or six games, from a production standpoint, it hasn’t been elite or good enough.”

Bertuzzi back to GR

Forward Tyler Bertuzzi was assigned Tuesday to Grand Rapids.

Bertuzzi was a healthy scratch Monday against Florida.

“If Tyler’s not playing, he’s better off in GR,” Blashill said. “If we don’t have enough minutes for him, he’s better off playing in GR.”

Bruins at Red Wings

Faceoff: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit.

TV/radio: NBC Sports Network/97.1 FM

Outlook: The Bruins (14-9-4, 32 points) have won eight of their last 10 games and have taken over the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. ... G Tuukka Rask is 4-0-0 with a 1.09 GAA and .955 SVS in his last five games (one relief appearance).