The Malik Report
by Paul on 10/24/16 at 06:52 AM ET
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Here are five things to watch this week:
Larkin looking to break through
After six games, nobody expected Dylan Larkin to have more fights (one) than goals (none). But Larkin is second on the team with 17 shots and is playing hard and generating chances. The transition to center, with added defensive responsibility, was difficult. He has moved back to the wing the past two games.
Others also are looking to break through; one line (Gustav Nyquist-Darren Helm-Thomas Vanek) is supplying most of the offense. Henrik Zetterberg, back at center the past two games, has no goals, three assists and just seven shots. Tomas Tatar has one goal and one assist but has created chances and leads the team with 18 shots.
Rookie defenseman Ryan Sproul made a strong impression in his first two games, contributing offensively (two assists, seven shots) and playing well defensively.
The defense played well enough over the weekend that there likely won't be a change for Tuesday (Xavier Ouellet was the lone healthy scratch). Can Sproul secure a regular spot in the lineup, even when Niklas Kronwall returns from his knee issue? The 6-4 Sproul's big right shot is an asset, especially on the power play.
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