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The Malik Report

Dylan Larkin’s Commitment To Defense

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Dylan Larkin's commitment to responsible defense was essential for his transition to center. His improved 200-foot game hasn't forced him to sacrifice offense.

Larkin has only four goals in 21 games, but he leads the Detroit Red Wings with 20 points.

"I came into the season with the mindset of wanting to make my linemates better," Larkin said. "The way I look at a centerman is as someone who is the director of the line. How the line plays and the kind of game they're having usually depends on the game the centerman is having.

"It's doing things like going back and getting pucks. You're not going to get the breakaway or two-on-one, but you might help set it up. It's doing things that as a winger you don't have to worry about doing in the D-zone. I'm just trying to focus on being good defensively and that will lead to getting pucks and getting offensive chances."

continued

Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press with her report...

“I think we’ve gained an understanding over the last month of the type of hockey we have to play to be successful,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We revisited it this morning. We did a good job up there of getting pucks behind them and forechecking and spending time in their end and spending little time in the d-zone.

“We had the most d-zone time we’ve had all year on Sunday. We certainly don’t want that against Edmonton because they will be a handful. Their power play I think has scored every game since we were out there, so it will be a great challenge.” 

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Comments

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oh no no no.

Neilsen, Helm and Glenny are showing defensive skill is useless to NHL teams.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 11/21/17 at 04:49 PM ET

dreamsofhope's avatar

Neilsen, Helm and Glenny are showing defensive skill is useless to NHL teams.

I actually have been really impressed with them.

Posted by dreamsofhope from Colorado on 11/21/17 at 06:01 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

“I came into the season with the mindset of wanting to make my linemates better,” Larkin said. “The way I look at a centerman is as someone who is the director of the line. How the line plays and the kind of game they’re having usually depends on the game the centerman is having.

“It’s doing things like going back and getting pucks. You’re not going to get the breakaway or two-on-one, but you might help set it up. It’s doing things that as a winger you don’t have to worry about doing in the D-zone. I’m just trying to focus on being good defensively and that will lead to getting pucks and getting offensive chances.”

Captain. Material.


And you just dont get this being on Z’s wing, and probably not even with Z on the sane line - because Z is the leader; the (current) captain. This is why I advocate for Larkin chilling as the 2nd line C.

Posted by ilovehomers on 11/21/17 at 06:53 PM ET

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Playing center allows you to be the “director” of the line. Whether your linemate is Tatar or Abby or Mantha or Zetterberg doesn’t change that. Just like Nielsen is the “director” of the match line, even though his wingers are also converted centremen.

But I guess some are digging their heels in on this. It’s not enough for Larkin to play center. It’s not enough for him to play 17,18,20 minutes at center. Nope. That’s just part of it. The real, real important thing is that his wingers are NOT named Zetterberg. Makes total sense now…

Posted by fatsavage on 11/21/17 at 09:55 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

“When you get on your feels, you’re in trouble,” Blashill said. “It’s hard to be in attack-mode if you’re worried about getting score on, if you’re worried about letting players in behind you.


Muh feels

Posted by ilovehomers on 11/21/17 at 11:31 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Getting a chance to finish the Khan article…

He has a plus-4 rating. He’s playing a prominent role on the power play and the penalty kill, averaging 3:20 more per game in ice time. His faceoff percentage has gone from 45.4 percent to 52.6 percent).

“He’s getting more of a voice in the room, on the ice,” Glendening said. “Just the way he’s taking care of himself, whether that’s sleep or the way he eats, or working out—he’s in the gym a lot.

Larkin is the proto-type player for the “Red Wings Way.” Hope he continues to trend up and is our future Stevie Y. Or like 75% of him.

Posted by ilovehomers on 11/21/17 at 11:43 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Hope he continues to trend up and is our future Stevie Y. Or like 75% of him.

That’s a mighty high bar to meet; it’s just not going to happen.  I hope he can be like Zetterberg, though.  Or at least the best leader possible.

It’s funny; I didn’t think much of Z as a leader-type prior to his promotion but I’m hella impressed by him in that role.  Larkin is already impressing.

Posted by TreKronor on 11/22/17 at 11:23 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by TreKronor on 11/22/17 at 10:23 AM ET

Yeah, I did struggle with hitting “submit” on that. Not sure if he can get to that level of talent or what have you, but that drive, dedication and leadership.

Posted by ilovehomers on 11/22/17 at 11:46 AM ET

Avatar

Hope he continues to trend up and is our future Stevie Y. Or like 75% of him.
Posted by ilovehomers on 11/21/17 at 10:43 PM ET

....but that drive, dedication and leadership.
Posted by ilovehomers on 11/22/17 at 10:46 AM ET

If that’s the part of his game that meets the 75% then Larkin will likely be better than 75% of Yzerman.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 11/22/17 at 02:36 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.