When the Red Wings lost Carlo Colaiacovo and Jakub Kindl to injury, Babcock and Holland were forced to call up a defenceman from Grand Rapids. They chose to bring up Brian Lashoff and he has made the most of his opportunity with the Red Wings. He played his first game in the NHL on Jan. 21st against the Columbus Blue Jackets, in which he scored his first NHL goal.
Lashoff is a 6’3″ 212 pound defensive defencemen that the Red Wings signed in 2008 after he went undrafted. In his two full seasons with the Griffins he put up 22 points in 113 games. He is not an offensive defenceman, but he does like to shoot often and last season was 3rd among defencemen in shots on goal last season for the Griffins. He is, also, fundamentally solid in the defensive zone, mentally smart when making plays, and has a big shot from the blueline.
He currently wears number 23 for the Red Wings which was only recently available after the depature of Brad Stuart. Seeing the number 23 on the ice brings back memories of all the great defensive plays Stuart made for the Red Wings. Lashoff’s play during the past four games has been very Stuart-esque. He doesn’t try to do too much and he compliments the offensive abilities of Niklas Kronwall very well. Lashoff is the type of defenceman that if you don’t notice him he is on his A-game and if you do notice him, it is because of a very good or a very bad play.
Lashoff does bring a lot of talent to the Wings’ blueline though. He has a great first pass, which gives the Red Wings solid breakout opportunities. He uses his big frame very well to push around opponents and clear the front of the net. Babcock trusts Lashoff’s instincts and abilities while on the penalty kill and sends him on the ice to kill 5 on 3 power plays as well.
Brian Lashoff has outplayed Jakub Kindl, but when Carlo Colaiacovo and Ian White come back from injury the Wings will have a plethora defencemen and Lashoff may be the victim of bad circumstance. He is on a two-way contract and can be sent down to Grand Rapids without going through waivers; which would apply to Jakub Kindl and Kent Huskins. For a player who was not expected to sniff the NHL this year he has played admirably through his first four games.
Is having Brian Lashoff play with the Red Wings worth losing Kindl or Huskins for nothing? Yes, he brings a different element to the Red Wings’ blueline which no one else does.
What is your opinion? Do you want the Red Wings to keep Lashoff in the line-up or sent back to Grand Rapids?