Larkin will miss Detroit’s final six games, and although the Red Wings have been nothing short of atrocious as the calendar changed from 2021 to 2022, Larkin has been one of the few bright spots.
Although the team is underachieving down the stretch, the captain has been the model of consistency while enjoying a stellar bounce-back season. It’s been a career-like year for Larkin, who finishes his season with 31 goals, and 38 assists, totaling 69 points in 71 contests. This production came after a nine-goal 23-point effort a season ago.
Along with Larkin, the Detroit Red Wings have gotten spectacular production from a pair of rookies in Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider. Both youngsters should end up in the top five in the Calder Trophy race, with Seider winning the award (in my opinion). The Red Wings have gotten consistent scoring from Tyler Bertuzzi, who is usually a staple on Larkin’s wing. Still, aside from those four, Detroit once again hasn’t gotten consistent depth scoring.
Raymond has achieved 55 points, including 23 goals, and Seider, not only a physical force, has added six goals and 47 points as a rookie. Bertuzzi currently sits with 27 goals and 56 points over 63 games on the year.
Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin’s stellar season comes to an abrupt end.
Larkin’s lack of consistency on the offensive side of things throughout his young career is mainly due to lackluster support throughout the roster. Since becoming ‘the guy,’ the Detroit Red Wings, amid a substantial rebuild, hadn’t really provided Larkin much help. The organization tried with players like Anthony Mantha and Filip Zadina but neither worked out as expected.
The Red Wings eventually flipped Mantha to Washington for additional draft capital and forward Jakub Vrana. Not only does Vrana appear to be the better player, but he’s proven he can score at an elite level but needs to find a way to remain healthy for an entire season.
Vrana has recorded 15 points, including ten goals in 20 games this season. He’s scored 18 goals and totaled 26 points in just 31 games while dawning the winged wheel. In comparison, the 22-year-old Zadina has recorded ten goals and 23 points over 73 games this season, with 25 goals totaling 60 points over 159 career games.
The Red Wings are headed in the right direction, but it is time for some new leadership, and I don’t mean on the ice or management. It’s time Steve Yzerman cuts head coach Jeff Blashill loose. The team clearly needs a new voice.
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It seems the ‘YzerPlan’ is beginning to come to fruition, and despite adding a couple of young building blocks this year, Yzerman needs to double down and continue to stack these impactful players year after year until the organization is once again the force to be reckoned with it had been for many years in the past.