Derek Lalonde once again tries to lower expectations

This is not a serious head coach of an Original 6 franchise with a winning standard.



If it wasn't blatantly obvious before, it once again became painfully clear. Derek Lalonde cannot return next season as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings. 

Earlier today featured just the latest in his inexplicably bizarre habit of attempting to do anything and everything to lower expectations as if he were the head coach of a franchise where there is no historic standard of winning. Already at several points this season, he's drawn the ire of both fans and media by trying to say that the experts didn't expect the team to be a playoff contender.

And now, once again, he's saying the same thing along with the added caveat of saying that they may not even be in this position next year, while also using the excuse of how good the division is

"I am, I kind of had a vision all year long of about 96 (points)," Lalonde said. "But I just think it’s the reality of everyone beating each other up and just the depth of our division, depth of our conference. Not only are we playing each other, everyone has to go through Carolina and Toronto and Boston and Florida three or four times."

He then continued by saying that they may not even be in a position to chase a playoff spot at this time next year, which should be considered 100% unacceptable for even the most loyal of Lalonde apologists. 

"We were talking about this the other day, this was a dream scenario to be in games like this," he said. "No one had us here. Most people projected us seventh in the division, no one had us in the playoffs. And again, not a knock on our group. That was the division, the conference. To have an opportunity right here, we may not be here next year. You look at some of these lineups and teams that are growing. Not to mention other names, but I don’t foresee New Jersey not flirting with 100 points (next season). There’s teams around us.

"You don’t get these opportunities, and we’re in one. We had an opportunity last night, we came up short. We have an opportunity tomorrow against Pittsburgh, we would like to seize that opportunity."

Sorry, but the goalposts get shifted when you had as much as a nine-point lead over the next team at the end of February, and then completely self-immolate with shockingly subpar performances against teams like the Arizona Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres in March. 

Lalonde clearly does not have the motivating skillset to be an effective head coach for a team with a tradition of winning. With his attitude that can be summed up with "well, our division is really difficult" and "well, nobody thought we'd be here", he sounds more qualified to take a job with the Columbus Blue Jackets, not the Detroit Red Wings. 

It was reported earlier this month that the Red Wings are considering a potential coaching change, and that former St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup-winning coach Craig Berube could be in the mix. There's also former Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville who is on the market (pending an official reinstatement from the NHL), along with former Steve Yzerman line mate Gerard Gallant. 

But regardless, one thing has become abundantly clear - if the Red Wings are serious about making the playoffs next season, Lalonde is not the one to lead them there.

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Source: Audacy