As far as returning to the line-up after four games as a healthy scratch, Matt Lashoff couldn’t have faced a more difficult opponent last night at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston than the Minnesota Wild.
With their trapping and neutral-zone clogging, the Wild can make life difficult for any young defenseman, let alone a young, up-and-comer like Lashoff.
Lashoff had his shaky moments in his 13:18 of ice time, but didn’t wind up hurting the club in its 1-0 loss. And after four games on the sidelines, he said the key was getting involved as soon as he could after the first puck was dropped.
“It’s always good to get into the game quick,” he said after the game. “It’s tough sitting around there sometimes for seven, eight minutes. But I felt I got it going pretty good. I got to handle the puck quick, got a little bit of movement.”
Some young players might find it difficult to stay sharp during the stretches they’re not getting any game action. But Lashoff said, with the Bruins it’s impossible to get distracted.
“The main thing is just the way you practice and the way you kind of attack each day,” said Lashoff, who hadn’t played since Dec. 27. ” It’s been tough obviously. You want to play every day, but it’s good to be around everybody. The toughest part of it is keeping your head into it. I think with (head coach) Claude (Julien) and the coaching staff and with the way the practices are, it’s not to tough to do that.”
Lashoff took a holding-the-stick penalty in the third period that the Bruins killed off. Some coaches might’ve made Lashoff call it a night after that, but he got a few more shifts in with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara before the final horn.
Forward Petteri Nokelainen also got back into the line-up. He had missed 10 games with an upper-body injury. He skated just7:14 of ice time with the fourth line.