Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill sounds off on forward Flip Zadina

The Red Wings are going to need Filip Zadina to step up offensively.


Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina has been held off of the scoresheet so far in exhibition play, but that doesn't mean that the club is disappointed in his performance. 

“He’s played really well the last couple of games, but I thought tonight in a group that didn’t have a whole lot of bright spots he was real good,” coach Jeff Blashill said. following Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. “I thought he competed hard, moved the puck north, made good plays coming out of his end.”

“From the minute Filip has come to us, I’ve talked to him about being dangerous offensively,” Blashill said. “Certainly, everyone’s got to be complete, but I don’t think Z’s been all that incomplete. There were times late last year he struggled a little bit in his D-zone. I think it’s just continuing to find those ways to create offense, and a lot of it has to come with his brain.

“It just comes with physical maturity, being a little stronger on pucks, being able to get a little more breakaway speed and then his brain. He’s not huge and he’s not super-fast, so he has to use his brain, and I think he’s done a good job of that so far in the preseason.”

Zadina will be relied upon by the team to provide a boost in offensive firepower, especially with forward Jakub Vrana out until at least January with shoulder surgery to repair an injury suffered in training camp. He's skated on a line with captain Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond so far, though the later will be paired with Tyler Bertuzzi for tonight's game against Pittsburgh in his return to action.

“I’m trying to play my best every single game,” Zadina said. “Sometimes it doesn’t go exactly the way I wanted, but I feel I have done good job. I’m just trying to play the best I can so I can play the same style to the regular season.”