Detroit Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin searching for more offense
Detroit – Dylan Larkin continues to develop into a good two-way center that can offend and defend even the best player on opposing teams.
Larkin’s defense has been fine this season. Although Larkin leads the Red Wings with 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in the game on Thursday, the offensive has lagged.
Larkin’s shooting rate is 5.9%, a career low at this point. He continues to score an average of three shots per game, which gives Blashill confidence that the goals will come at some point.
“Shoot out percentages over time, that’s what all statisticians tell you,” Blashill said. “He certainly didn’t have the production that we want or want from him. But if he keeps getting shots, in time it will be closer to what that shooting percentage makes up for.
“Like our team, it ebbed and flowed.”
Larkin went into the last 11 games without goals on Thursday (three assists).
The Wings have focused on becoming an effective defensive team that have been winning low-scoring games over the past few weeks.
Larkin is one of the reasons the Wings have had slight success in this regard.
“For Dylan to be the type of player he wants to be, the high-end elite player in this league, he has to be a great defender,” said Blashill. “He’s going to defend differently from some of the other guys who are considered great in the league. He’s going to be a little different from a guy like (Boston’s Patrice) Bergeron, but he can do it with his tenacity and his legs as long as he does . ” because he ensures that he stays on the defensive side of the people at all times.
“If he does that, it will be very difficult to play against him because no one can overtake him and he is really strong on the puck.”
Larkin was expected to center a top line with Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi, a trio that had taken steps over the past two seasons to become one of the most dynamic lines in the NHL.
But Mantha had a bad season from the start and Bertuzzi missed his 13th game in a row on Thursday with an upper body injury.
Larkin had a revolving door with linemates, and there was a lack of chemistry.
Blashill continues to look for a combination that can score goals.
“It starts with every single player playing to the best of their ability and finding what that chemistry is,” said Blashill. “We look for scoring pop and do things to see if that helps.”
Sit down and wait
Forward Evgeny Svechnikov is currently on the Wings taxi team, pending between the Wings squad and minor league partner Grand Rapids.
Svechnikov played three games for the Griffins (one goal, one assist) after clearing the waiver.
“We kind of have cyclists in and out of cabs,” Blashill said. “It gives us the ability to have people here if we need them and get them into games. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, but that’s how we deal with it now. “
Svechnikov had serious knee surgery two years ago that missed an entire season. He returned last season and worked to regain his full strength.
The wings want Svechnikov to stay healthy and take his chance if it arrives.
“He must continue to be healthy. It was a difficult thing for him, ”said Blashill. “If he gets his chance, he has to show that he’s the type of guy who can help our NHL team win.
“If he does that, here or down there, he’ll have more opportunities.”
Robby Fabbri did not train on Wednesday, but was involved on Thursday morning and should be in the line-up.
…Troy engraver (Lower body) stays day after day and has missed its third game in a row.
… Frans Nielsen was assigned to the taxi squad on Thursday. Blashill spoke about how Nielsen, an alternate captain, has handled boarding and disembarking this season.
“He comes out with a great attitude every day and he’s a role model for his leadership and the way he is selfless,” said Blashill. “Putting the team first, and that’s easy to talk about until you’re really tested like it’s been tested. He did a good job, went back to training camp and put the team first. “