Usually when I bring up the name Brian Lashoff, people ask: “Is he better than Quincey?”, “Is he a prospect?”, or “Who?”.
But would it surprise you to know that Brian Lashoff might be the steadiest defenseman for the Detroit Red Wings since Brad Stuart left the team?
Now Brian Lashoff will never be the next Brad Stuart and his skill set will most likely keep him on the third pairing for his entire career, but he fills a very important role for the Red Wings on the ice.
Lashoff has played 42 games this season for the Red Wings and is one of Detroit’s best defensive defensemen, behind Jonathan Ericsson, all while being the quietest defenseman on the ice for the Red Wings.
Want to know just how quiet Lashoff does his job? Re-watch HBO’s 24/7 series between the Wings and Leafs and try to point him out, maybe you will get lucky and see him once, but most likely HBO skated right by him just like most of the fans.
Brian Lashoff only has two points on the season, which lends to his quietness, but what he does while on the ice is more important than his offensive production.
He does not receive a lot of minutes with the Red Wings, fifth place and barely above Jonathan Ericsson and Danny DeKeyser despite playing in ten more games than them, but Lashoff does have the third most time on ice among defensemen when the Red Wings are on the penalty kill.
Lashoff has received increased penalty kill minutes since the loss of Jonathan Ericsson and the Wings’ penalty kill has not missed a beat. While the power play is not getting the job done, the penalty kill continues to stand strong for Detroit and keep them in the game.
As long as Lashoff continues to play smart then Mike Babcock will have a big decision on who will sit once Ericsson returns from his injury because while other defensemen have been flashier this season, not always in a good way, Lashoff has been a steady force on the blueline.
Fans might be clamoring for Kyle Quincey or Brendan Smith to ride the pine, but both have been playing well recently, which only leaves Lashoff’s defensive partner as the only possible person to site, unless there is another defensive injury.
If it is Brian Lashoff who sits once Ericsson returns, then the Detroit Red Wings will have to find a way to replace his 56 blocked shots and the defensive stability he brings to the team, which will not be an easy task.