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After wild first season, Detroit’s Lashoff has ‘something to prove’

Jul 21, 2013, 2:50 PM EDT

Brian Lashoff AP

ALBANY — Brian Lashoff had one of the more up-and-down seasons a young player can have. When the lockout ended there wasn’t much expectation he’d see time in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings.

While he was doing his part to hone his game in Grand Rapids of the AHL during the work stoppage, the call came early on in the NHL season when injuries hit in Detroit. In just the second game of the season, Lashoff was making his NHL debut against Columbus and scoring his first career goal.

After 31 games with Detroit, he closed his year out winning a Calder Cup with the Griffins. With a roller coaster season like that, Lashoff says the experience was huge for him and the rest of the young guys (Gustav Nyqvist, Tomas Tatar, Joakim Andersson, Danny DeKeyser) who split time between the two leagues.

“We went through a lot of adversity in the playoffs in Grand Rapids,” he said. “Whether it was a tornado in the middle of the Oklahoma City series or dropping a game or two, we always found a way to come back and it was good. It was fun to watch and be a part of. I think it’s going to be fun more than anything to go into next season with these guys.”

The only subtraction from last year’s defensive group is Carlo Colaiacovo due to a buyout and Lashoff knows competition to get a top-six spot will be tough. With seven guys going for it in a mostly young group, he’s got all the motivation he needs.

“I think you bring those guys in and it’s been really nice to be able to have that kind of confidence to go into training camp just the same way I’ve gone into training camp since I was 18. I’ve got something to prove and it doesn’t matter if I’m 18 or 23.

“I’ve got something to prove and I’ve got to go in with a chip on my shoulder and make that top six and that’s my only priority right now.”

  1. snipedanglecelly13 - Jul 21, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Wings are gonna be real good this year

  2. LampyB - Jul 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Lashoff clearly wasn’t ready for the playoff stage yet. He made some big mistakes just about every game he played. Babcock needed to scratch Lashoff and play Carlo or even White in his place.

    Lashoff has potential and should def be given a chance to prove himself this season. I have high hopes for him and the rest of the young squad…but if he continues to make frequent crucial mistakes Babcock needs to be proactive.

    His mistakes cost the Wings two games in playoffs, maybe three.

    • polegojim - Jul 21, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      Can’t argue with any of that Lampy.

      I like that he’s coming out ‘with a chip on his shoulder’… but playing disciplined hockey WITH that chip is equally important.

      He should be on a short leash.

    • clefty1 - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      Lashoff played in 3 playoff games and was a even plus minus rating…There were plenty of mistakes on defense to go around. Smith made a few glaring ones that cost the Wings. Lashoff played well overall for the situation he was thrown into. Hopefully Lashoff and Smith continue to get better.

      • polegojim - Jul 21, 2013 at 10:07 PM

        yes lefty… but his were most painfully obvious… at least to me.

  3. datsyukdominates - Jul 21, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    He clearly has some work to do, but saying he cost them them three playoff games is ridiculous and hyperbolic. He was even in terms of plus/minus for the playoffs, which is anything but horrible for a very young defenseman…

    • jburrell4 - Jul 21, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      completely agree. he made mistakes, but if you want to point the (as you said) hyperbolic-you-cost-us-the-game-finger…. it’s at smith. his giveaways and defensive breakdowns led to goals. seriously i think there’s a youtube montage…. bottom line is EVERYONE has room for improvement. i love dekeyser. and he was solid in his own zone for being thrown into the fire. but theres a difference between holding the blue line and waiting for something to happen so you can retreat. hell, even kronwall didnt look like he did in the 11-12 season. because of the lockout? who knows but the bottom line is that there is a lot of potential on this team – a lot of young guys with ‘chips’, but nothing is a given. ill take lashoff over smith right now based on the stretch run and his playoff meltdowns. thumbs down all you want but lashoff has as much potential as any ‘top 6’ on this squad….

  4. howintensive - Jul 22, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    This guy is going to be very good for the Red Wings. I would like for him to get a little more time in the minors to develop his game, like what’s been done with the young forwards, but since Carlo got bought out, it looks like he’s going to have to play a little raw next year. I definitely believe that Dekyser/Lashoff will be Detroit’s most productive defensive pairing in 2018.

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