Detroit Red Wings: Life is bleak without Dylan Larkin in the lineup

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings miss captain Dylan Larkin in more ways than one; it’s apparent how valuable the teams’ top center is to the organization.

You don’t have to look very far to realize how valuable Larkin is to the Detroit Red Wings.  Jeff Blashill’s club looked horrendous a couple of nights ago in Montreal, falling to the Canadiens 3-0, albeit forced to play without Tyler Bertuzzi while in Canada as well as Larkin.  Losing 2/3 of your top line generally doesn’t go well–even for the better teams around the league. And we’ve yet to mention Detroit’s also playing without winger Jakub Vrana.

The Detroit Red Wings followed up their embarrassing effort in Montreal with an even worse effort in Boston Thursday evening, losing 5-1 to the Bruins behind a four-goal bid from captain Patrice Bergeron.

The Detroit Red Wings mustered just 15 shots on goal in Boston and failed to generate any sustained offensive zone pressure.  Thomas Greiss was left out to dry but still made 32 saves for the Red Wings.

If you are looking for a silver lining, rookie Lucas Raymond scored the lone Detroit goal.

Life without Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin is miserable.

Unless you live under a rock, you know by now that Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin has stepped away from the team due to personal reasons.

The organization has been tight-lipped on Larkin’s status, only mentioning that he would not dress in Montreal, did no practice leading up to Thursday’s game in Boston, and is currently away from the team.

We hope Larkin is ok, and wish him the best with whatever is going on, but when it comes to the Detroit Red Wings, they are a completely different team without their top two-way center.

Before stepping away, Larkin maintained a point per game pace totaling eight points, scoring three times while averaging 17:43 minutes per game which is a few minutes less than his usual workload.

Larkin’s 2020-21 season was shortened due to a neck injury suffered from a vicious cross-check by Stars’ captain Jamie Benn that went unpenalized and without any league repercussions.  The blow left Larkin hospitalized overnight and in a neck brace for two months. Larkin mentioned he was concerned after suffering numbness in his extremities over that stretch.

In Detroit’s season-opener against Tampa Bay, Larkin sustained a similar hit and retaliated with a punch that caught Mathieu Joseph’s face that apparently warranted a one-game suspension from the league, yet the hit from behind garnered nothing.

Larkin is a do-it-all player that works as the teams’ top center plus on the top power-play unit and also in penalty killing situations, typically with the second group.

Through the first month of the 2021-22 season, Larkin has maintained a stellar Corsi For Percentage of 60.2, which is a career-high, while winning a career-best 55.2% of his faceoff opportunities.

Next. A pair of Red Wings pace the Calder Trophy Power Rankings. dark

I’ve often referred to Larkin as the ideal second-line center on a contender, and I maintain that stance, but it’s apparent by the teams’ recent play that he’s vital to this organization.