Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said he liked the pace of today’s annual Red and White scrimmage in Traverse City. He thought the players were putting emphasis on executing their defensive responsibilities. That’s important, given that last season the Red Wings ranked last in giving up dangerous scoring chances.
Lalonde is aiming to fix that immediately.
Here are five quotes from the Lalonde press conference after the game:
On Filip Zadina
“Assertive with his game. It probably started Day 2 of camp, Day 1 was fine. I think Day 2 you could see being assertive with the puck and some confidence and then it translated into today’s game. He was flying, puck was on his stick, skill in tight, he was getting shots off, obviously he created a ton of offense today. He looked like he’s playing with some confidence. So hopefully we can keep building that going forward.”
On Elmer Soderblom
“We’ll play him a lot. He’ll probably be one of those players that will play the most in the preseason, maybe in that 5-6 game range if all goes well. We like what we see. It’s hard not to be excited about the tools. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s assertive with the puck. He’s played a lot of hockey, hasn’t had a day off in 7-8 days and we’ve asked a lot from him. As much as I’ve wanted to have a fresh start for everyone throughout this organization and to be open-minded, I also want to be cautious about getting excited about a young player like that. From what I’ve seen over 4-5 days, it’s hard not to get excited but I also want to be cautious and let this play out for him and all of our guys throughout the exhibition games.”
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On Givani Smith
“We need him to be simple, assertive, play north. Think he did that. I think he created with his line for that. He spent some good zone time, which should be a strength of his, spending time with the puck in the O-zone. He finished on a breakaway. Good for him. He got the opportunity in a scrimmage type situation where he got high-sticked. He finished. It was good. You look from everyone for some consistency. So good start for sure.”
On Sebastian Cossa
“I think an overall positive camp. He looked sharp in the rookie tournament, and looked sharp here. It was by design, the management team wanted to give him a half and he played well. The big save east-west early on, and then both goals you obviously can’t fault him. He looked sharp today. Any minutes he can get going forward at this level – what he’ll see in exhibition, what he’ll see at the pro level — is going to be important for him. Gave him 25 minutes today and he performed well.”
On Veterans Showing How it’s Done
“ Setting the tone. As we recall the shift earlier, Ben Chiarot hits (Michael) Rasmussen into the bench, he turns around and he crushes Zadina. I think that’s a tone-setter, we’re going to get to work today, this is how we’re going to play. Hopefully it’s going to translate into our team game. And then a few seconds later after him getting that defensive stop with two heavy plays in our zone, Razor’s (Lucas Raymond) in on a line rush, probably hooked, in any (other) situation go on the power play, but all created with Ben being hard out of his zone, which we want more of throughout our entire team.”