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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  - 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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80