The Detroit Red Wings brought up Brian Lashoff from their Grand Rapids farm team as a precaution against COVID-19 and Filip Hronek’s lingering injury.
“We anticipate Fil being available,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said, noting it will be a game-time decision tonight against the St. Louis Blues Blues.
The Red Wings still have Marc Staal and Tyler Bertuzzi on the COVID-19 list. That’s another reason why Lashoff received the call. Also, defenseman Gustav Lindstrom is on the injured list.
“We are on a back-to-back road trip,” Blashill said. “We have enough COVID cases where we’re kind of in enhanced measures and testing multiple times a day on game days and we felt it extremely prudent to make sure we have enough players here that if we happen to get hit while we’re on the road, either with injuries or COVID, that we’ll field a full team. Lash is a veteran defenseman that I know can step into the lineup and do a good job.”
Brian Lashoff is 31 and has played 136 games with the Red Wings dating to 2012-13. He’s a hard-nosed, solid, stay-at-home defenseman. He’s +7 in 16 games for Grand Rapids this season.
Red Wings Tested
This two-game road trip is critical for the Red Wings because they are coming off an inferior performance against the Predators. They have struggled on the road (4-7-1) this season and don’t want to come back to Detroit on a three-game losing streak. After playing St. Louis tonight, the Red Wings go to Colorado for a game Friday.
“Every game on the road, it’s important not to allow momentum to get away from you, to allow the home team to gain momentum,” Blashill said. “To do that, you have to start by not giving easy chances. So you got to play great defense and you have to have great puck management. You can’t be careless with the puck, you have to get pucks out of your end. When you get that one opportunity to get the puck out you better get it out.”
The Blues own the NHL’s eighth-best offensive team, averaging 3.28 goals per game.
“You got to get pucks in at their end, you can’t mess around at their blue line and allow rush chances going back the other way because even if they don’t develop into great chances, the crowd is into it and now momentum is going their way.,” Blashill said. “Lastly, you want to play in their end as much as possible. That’s something we got to keep working to do a better job of and making sure we’re valuing that puck like crazy. Play good defense, make sure we’re great with the puck and play in their end.”