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Babcock sees “opportunity” in all the Wings’ injuries

Jan 24, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

Mike Babcock

Ever the optimist, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is trying to find the silver lining in his decimated defensive corps.

“This is how I look at it from a coaching perspective: opportunity,” Babcock told Thursday.

“[Brian] Lashoff? I would never [have] believed he would have played for us this year, but he’s played great for us in two games. Listen, we’re a work in progress, but we’ll figure this out. This is what we’ve got. Let’s find a way to win games. That’s the way I look at it.”

Having already lost Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (to San Jose) during the offseason, Detroit now finds itself without Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder, IR), Ian White (lacerated leg, IR), and Jonathan Ericsson (hip, day-to-day) on the blue line.

The Wings are expected to get defenseman Jakub Kindl (groin) back Friday, but the 25-year-old isn’t exactly a cornerstone of Detroit’s back end.

For general manager Ken Holland, it presents quite the quandary. Does he wait patiently until everyone gets healthy while hoping that young Lashoff, 22, can continue his solid play, or does he make a move?

Suffice to say, any team with excess defensemen (assuming one of those exists) might want to give Holland a ring just to see where he’s at.

  1. elvispocomo - Jan 24, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Well, maybe not excess, but since the Canucks might have to offload one of their $4M+ contracts this summer to get under next year’s cap, Ballard might be on the block. He’s back to playing with confidence and could be a pretty decent option when given a chance at some better, offensive minutes than he gets behind Vancouver’s top 4.

    • davebabychreturns - Jan 24, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      No point trading him until you actually need to, Ballard is serviceable at least and would have to be replaced. I’m not anxious to see Andrew Alberts in the lineup regularly and I doubt Detroit would offer up enough to make things particularly interesting.


      • elvispocomo - Jan 24, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        Granted, but when opportunity knocks, it’s often a good idea to answer the door. They might not overpay, but they could use some of this:

        But then Canucks fans will miss this:

  2. valoisvipers - Jan 24, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    I say let the kids have their chance to show what they can do in the big league and gain NHL experience.If things don’t go well for the Wings this year at least they would have their first chance at a low first round draft pick in over 2 decades.

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