Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde is trying to correct the mistakes, and restore the confidence, for a team that has lost three games in row. Lalonde had his players working on special teams at Monday’s practice.
Here’s what Lalonde said specifically about five of his players after practice:
On What Elmer Soderblom Needs to Improve Upon
“Making a little more fast twitch in his entire game. You can see sometimes he gets gobbled up with a forecheck on the half-wall or the odd turnover, some detail on his defensive game. But he grew in all those areas, which was impressive, literally from his first return from us from the injury and a couple games in GR, but literally his first shift he turned the puck over on the half wall and it ended up in the back of our net. From that point on, he’s done a good job of eliminating that type of play. There’s been really good growth in a young player. (That’s) all you can ask.”
On Jake Walman’s Emergence
“Pleasant surprise and a huge credit to him. His play is really good right now. He’s winning battles, he’s skating, he’s closing gaps, he’s confident with the puck. Even those underlying numbers the last 4-5 games, he’s our best D-man, has increased role, first matchups, got some power play time, a ton of penalty kill. Keep building him, hopefully he can sustain it.
Hopefully he understands his approach and work ethic he’s put in to where his game is now can continue.”
On Alex Nedeljkovic’s Play in Grand Rapids
“He will finish his full conditioning stint, but awesome. All you can ask. Asked him to go down there and get his game in order and that’s exactly when he did. Three excellent starts. There’s winning and some good numbers, but there’s playing well and he’s playing well down there… He’ll play Wednesday (with the Griffins) and at least one of the weekend games. Like I said when he went down, we have not given up on Nedo. If he continues his stint like that we would have no problem
giving him an opportunity in net here.”
On Jakub Vrana’s Play in Grand Rapids
“I just think he’s trying to build his game. I got the question the other night, ‘You’re not scoring goals, wouldn’t it be great to have
Vrana?’ Of course it would on potential, and right now all it is is potential. He’s had six games (with the Griffins) and he’s yet to score, he’s a minus-6. Sometimes those numbers are what they are but I just think it’s going to take some time. This young man has been out of hockey for almost two full months. Hopefully, he’ll continue to build on some things and get his game in order.”
On Moritz Seider’s Play, Particularly With Walman
“He’s been pretty consistent and a darn good player. We’ve asked a ton from him. He is the one player who has consistently gotten the other team’s top matchup and within our division and conference it’s a lot to ask for, the top matchup. Those two of late have been good. We’ve gone through some of these games and only handful of chances against and they’re doing it against top lines. Mo has been pretty good and consistent throughout and yes, those last 4-5 games those two have been good. They both are playing assertive, fast-twitch, they can skate. They’re both very noticeable with the puck at times. You can
appreciate their commitment to defense.”