Notes: Cleary, Lashoff stay in lineup; Mrazek eager to play
Red Wings forward Daniel Cleary played in his first game of the season Wednesday in New York and defenseman Brian Lashoff returned to Detroit’s lineup against the New York Rangers, suiting up for the third time this season.
Each player did well enough to stay in the Wings’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Devils.
"I thought both of them were excellent. I thought Cleary showed good leadership and played right. I think Lash has been great since he’s gotten in, almost mistake free," said coach Mike Babcock. "To me those are good signs.
"It’s not those guys, it’s the guys that think they would be in that have a tougher time, they tend to dip when things don’t go their way."
Babcock was referring to the fact that Cleary and Lashoff continued to work hard in practice and not sulk about their lack of playing time. He pointed out that Cleary and Lashoff are at different points in their careers, but they get it.
Cleary is near the end and Lashoff has just begun, but each has recognized that in order to stick with a team, you have to be what Babcock refers to as a "good pro," which means being ready when your time comes.
MRAZEK EAGER TO PLAY
With backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson out several weeks with a dislocated shoulder, the Wings have called up highly-touted netminder Petr Mrazek from Grand Rapids.
Mrazek is considered Detroit’s goalie of the future and has appeared in 11 games as a Red Wing, where he’s posted some impressive numbers despite having a 3-5-0 career record.
Out of his three NHL victories, two have been shutouts, his GAA is 1.80 and his save percentage is .926, which has Wings fans revved up to see the youngster in action.
"I think he’s a real good goalie. He’s really good with the puck," said Wings coach Mike Babcock. "He hasn’t had the kind of start he’s wanted in the American Hockey League. He’s going to get an opportunity to play in a game that Gus was going to play and you have to show you can win in the league."
For his part, Mrazek acknowledged that he was a little disappointed to be sent back down to the Griffins after having a good training camp with the Wings, but that’s all behind him now and he’s looking forward to this opportunity with the Wings.
"I will practice hard here and get ready for every game whether if I’m playing or if I’m not playing," said Mrazek. "I don’t think it’s going to be difficult. I’m just going to work hard here and be ready.
"I’m pretty happy to practice with these guys and get ready for some games here."
WINGS TO WEAR CAMOUFLAGE JERSEYS DURING WARM-UPS
Friday’s game against the Devils is Military Appreciation Night at The Joe. The Wings hosted military members and their families at their morning skate and for a luncheon, as well as at tonight’s game.
The Wings will be wearing a special camouflage jersey during Friday’s pregame warm-ups and the jerseys will be auctioned off with the proceeds to help military families.
"I saw them (camo jerseys) last week and it’s pretty cool," said Lashoff, who was born in Albany, New York. "It’s good to support the troops and do a little something to show our appreciation for them."
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