from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,
Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde has been working the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs as a studio analyst on Canadian broadcasts for Sportsnet. So far, he’s been playing to smash reviews.
Along with the usual comparisons to Gru, the lead character in the animated Despicable Me films – a parallel that Lalonde often draws himself, by the way – the Detroit coach is proving to be a fountain of insight and nuance as he is offering analysis between periods of the series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and his old employers, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In pulling back that curtain, though, is Lalonde revealing too much information? Could he be brewing up trouble for himself with hockey people for getting too personal in his revelations regarding players he used to coach?
Some in the game are wondering exactly that.
Lalonde Is Brutally Honest
One trait that’s became evident in dealing with Lalonde on a regular basis during his first season as coach of the Red Wings, is that he’s brutally honest. He’s going to give you the straight goods, even if it might hurt someone’s feelings.
Some of his players admit that took a little getting used to on their part.
“He holds guys accountable,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said. “I really have grown to respect him in that.”
While breaking down the Leafs-Lightning series, Lalonde is utilizing his past experience working as an assistant coach for Tampa Bay to pull back the curtain on strengths and weaknesses of some of that club’s players.
from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,
Cossa just turned 20 in November, and he’s current playing for the Toledo Walleye in the ECHL playoffs. Cossa and former Michigan State goalie John Lethemon, another Red Wings’ prospect, each played a game when the Walleye took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series against the Indy Fuel. Games 3, 4 and 5 are tonight, Thursday and Saturday in Indianapolis.
Yzerman is content to be patient with Cossa (Drafted 15th overall in 2021). That means not burdening him with a timetable. To Yzerman, the Cossa situation is about properly developing the player, not rushing him to the show.
“Going into next year, if he’s the best goaltender to play in GR and grabs the reins so to speak to be the starter, he’ll be that,” Yzerman said. “If he’s not ready for that, whether he’s the backup there or he plays in Toledo, we’ll let it play itself out.”
Yzerman did make the right call on Cossa going to Toledo this season. Grand Rapids didn’t qualify for the playoffs, and the Walleye have the potential for a lengthy run.
“We’re excited to see what he can do in the most important part of the year,” Detroit assistant GM Shawn Horcoff said. “Playing playoff hockey is a big part of development. Being in pressure-filled games, in important games, especially in goal when you’re the man, it can be a really good experience for him.”
The Red Wings have appreciated Cossa’s attitude this season. He’s worked hard all season. The 6-foot-6 Cossa struggled early and then worked his way through it to have a strong season. Cossa posted a 26-15-4 record with a 2.56 goals-against average.
“His determination has been excellent and his play has continually improved throughout the course of the season,” Yzrman said. ” They have a very good team in Toledo. He’s got competition in the net, which is good for him. We hope Toledo has a good playoff run and we hope Sebastian is an important part of that. I’m really pleased with his development, his progress throughout the season. It was great for him to struggle early. He had to battle and he battled and worked hard. There was no excuses, no feeling sorry for himself, no pouting. He just went to work every day and he continues to get better. We just hope he continues with that mindset and continues to get better as a goaltender.
He is letting fans know what the scouts already know.
I was thinking about this last night. I don't think he's sharing anything that the people in the game don't already know. But I could see him getting on the nerves of some people in the game.
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
Cossa, though keeping a clear eye on the NHL, is in lockstep with the Wings organization in that he wants to make sure he's ready when he gets there.
"I want to get there as soon as I am able, but I also know there's a lot of work ahead of me — and I want to put that work in," Cossa said. "I'm looking forward to it. Maybe one, two or three years, I honestly I can't tell you (when he'll be in the NHL). But there's work ahead of me."...
It's been a tale of two seasons basically. Cossa, after Christmas, has been the goaltending prospect Wings fans envisioned.
"It starts with the team," Cossa said of the turnaround this season. "We've tightened up a lot defensively. Guys started buying in and being accountable in the defensive zone, putting their bodies on the line and blocking shots. Then I had a couple (good) games and the confidence grew from there."...
When Cossa was ultimately assigned to Toledo, there was work to be done. Like, where is Toledo and what exactly was the ECHL?
"Nothing, absolutely nothing," Cossa said of what he knew about the city or league.
It didn't take long to realize Toledo was a hockey hotbed, and the ECHL was a darn good hockey league.
"It's unbelievable," Cossa said of Toledo's passion for the Walleye. "Just crazy. We've had sellouts throughout the year, and they are such die-hard fans. I've had lines for about an hour just for autographs. It's cool, it really is.
"As for the hockey, it's a good league. The guys are bigger, the traffic is harder to see through (in net). These guys are pros and they've been doing this for a while. They know how to get in front of the net and they tip pucks a little better. The shots are better, they know where to shoot and know goalies more.
"Just the consistency through the lineup, there's quite a bit of skill through the the first two lines. There are guys who can really rip it. Just getting ready for that, you learn a lot."
from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,
The arrival of Pontus Andreasson to the Detroit Red Wings was a move with much fanfare accompanying it. Andreasson’s departure from North American hockey is being greeted with much less pomp and circumstance.
Following one season with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins, Andreasson is returning home to play for the same club from which Detroit signed him a year ago – Lulea of the SHL.
“I had a good adventure in North America, where I matured further in the game and believe that I will be able to contribute a little more all over the ice than last time,” Andreasson told the Lulea club website in the announcement of his return to Swedish hockey.
In 63 AHL games with the Griffins in 2022-23, the 24-year-old left-winger was good for 12 goals and 13 assists. He was also an alarming -20.
Create an Account
In order to leave a comment, please create an account.