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Former Maple Leaf Dmytro Timashov debuts in Red Wings lineup

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Kanata, Ontario — The Red Wings finally got to see Dmytro Timashov in their lineup.

The forward, who was claimed off waivers Monday from Toronto, was in the Wings’ lineup Saturday against Ottawa.

Timashov has remained in Toronto because of immigration issues since the Wings claimed him.

Detroit Red Wings left wing Dmytro Timashov (15) vies for control of the puck with Ottawa Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot (72) during the first period.

“He hasn’t had a chance to practice (with the Wings) but he’s been skating on his own,” said coach Jeff Blashill before Saturday’s game (the Wings didn’t hold a morning skate). “We couldn't get him in right away because of immigration, so it’s nice to get him in here tonight.”

The plan right now is for Timashov to pick up his passport Monday, and return to Detroit in time for the game that night against Colorado.

The Wings are intrigued by what Timashov, 23, could add to the lineup.

In 39 games with the Leafs, Timashov had four goals and five assists with a plus-1 rating.

On Saturday night he logged 11 minutes of ice time on 15 shifts and was plus-1.

Timashov is a 5-foot-10, 192-pound left wing who has played mostly on the fourth line in Toronto, because of a deep Maple Leafs lineup. But he’ll get a bigger opportunity with the Wings, where Timashov’s skill could have room to flourish.

“We’re going to ease him into it,” said Blashill, who didn’t expect to use Timashov a whole lot Saturday, and that proved to be the case. “From talking to people in Toronto, he gives you some hard skill at the bottom side of the lineup, and we need more of that. If he can give us that, it’ll be a positive for us.”

Some scouts feel there is more offensive upside for Timashov if given the ice time.

Timashov had 49 points (14 goals, 35 assists) in 72 games for Toronto’s minor league team last season, then added 10 points (four goals) in 13 playoff games with the Marlies.

“When he is playing at his best, he’s got ‘hard skill,’” Blashill said. “Even though he’s not a big, big man, he’s strong on his skates and he can bring some physicality, but he has hands and can make a play and do those things.

“We just need more depth of that in our lineup.”

Digging in

General manager Steve Yzerman made it clear earlier in the week, after the trade deadline passed, the rest of this season is important.

Red Wings players will be judged on how they play, and the character they’ve shown and will show, during this difficult, losing season.

“Individually, each and every one of them has a lot to play for,” said Yzerman, when he met the media Monday after the trade deadline. “Guys are fighting for jobs. I’m also there deciding who we’re bringing back, and not bringing back, and that goes to our unrestricted free agents and restricted free agents, and for that matter, guys who are under contract.

“How they conduct themselves and perform over the end of the season will kind of finalize the decision for me. Players will be judged on their character for me, on how they handle this down the stretch.”

Yzerman’s message was direct and to the point.

So, that makes the two games since that message, lethargic losses at home to New Jersey (4-1) and Minnesota (7-1), rather head-scratching and alarming.

 “I don’t know if dismayed, disappointed maybe,” said Blashill of the two losses. “We have to dig in. Again, when you lose some good pieces, and those guys are both good players, you have to dig in and win other ways and we haven’t done that.

“In two games, we haven’t done the things that we’re going to have to do now more than ever, and more than we did earlier in the year.

“As talented pieces get taken off your roster you got to find other ways to win and that’s the thing I talked about earlier, competing and working and detail.”


Twitter: @tkulfan