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Lashoff gains confidence, key role

Red Wings coaches like rookie defenseman's contributions

Thursday, 04.4.2013 / 8:12 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Lashoff gains confidence, key role

Brian Lashoff
Defense - DET
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 5
SOG: 25 | +/-: -9
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Following a one-game stint in the American Hockey League this week, rookie defenseman Brian Lashoff will find himself back in the Red Wings’ lineup tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.

Lashoff’s quasi-demotion was necessary to make room on the roster for Carlo Colaiacovo, who returned to the lineup on Monday following a two-plus month recovery from a sprained shoulder. But with the passing of the NHL’s trade deadline on Wednesday, teams are permitted to expand the 23-man roster through the end of the playoffs. Hence, Lashoff’s return.

“I didn’t really have to be too bumped about it,” said Lashoff, of going to the minors this week. “But it was fun to go down there.”

On Tuesday, Lashoff flew from Detroit to Houston, where he helped the Griffins to a 5-1 win with a plus-2 rating. He will replace veteran Ian White in tonight’s lineup against the Coyotes for his playing ability on the penalty kill, coach Mike Babcock said.

“Whitey can help us on the power play, so it's a trade-off there today,” Babcock said. “We decided to put Colaiacovo in that (power play) spot. … We're concerned about the penalty kill. We gave up a penalty kill goal last game we didn't think we should have. Lash solidifies that. He's a simple player who plays the game that way and we like what he does.”

Lashoff has gained the respect of the coaches, who in return, have relied on him in short-handed situations all season. Lashoff has logged the third-most penalty-kill minutes on the team, averaging 2:17 of short-handed ice-time.

“Penalty killing is something I like doing, I like blocking shots. Keep it simple from the first day I got here,” said Lashoff, who has been with the Wings, basically, since the second game of the season.

The defensive unit was in shambles with every defensemen – with the exception of Niklas Kronwall and Lashoff – missing some length of time because of a multitude of injuries. Lashoff didn’t play in the Wings’ last game, but it certainly speaks to the faith that the team has in him that the 22-year-old is back in the lineup.

“Now that there's a lot of options it's only going to be better for the team,” Lashoff said. “It's only going to make competition for jobs better. It'll be fun.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 NYI 54 29 19 6 153 137 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
15 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89