Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin appeared on the NHL Now to speak about the impending start of the World Championship, which begins on Friday in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark.
Larkin and Team USA will battle Canada at 10 AM EDT on Friday (on the NHL Network and TSN), and Larkin spoke for about five minutes regarding the Worlds and what his expectations are for this year’s tournament:
On the competition of the World Championships vs. the perception it’s just a fun getaway for players: “It’s really competitive. It’s a fast game, it’s big ice. It’s not as physical as the Stanley Cup playoffs, but the speed and the skill is certainly right there. These teams are hard-working teams, and they’ve been training for a while, getting ready for this tournament. They’re really structured and well-coached. They work hard and they’re tough to play against. It makes for some fun hockey.”
On Jeff Blashill: “He’s the same as me, just getting experience and wants to win really bad. We both had a bitter taste in our mouths about not making the playoffs, and we wanted to come over here and gain some experience and try to win this thing.”
On the gameplan to try to slow down Team Canada: “It’s gonna be a good game. I like playing Canada first. It’s an easy game to get up for, and get it out of the game. Gonna have to try to slow down Connor McDavid on the big ice. That won’t be fun, but we’ll find a way.”
Galli continues, and the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan posted a World Championship primer in which coach Jeff Blashill plays a large role:
“Dylan’s going to be a big part of our team, and just building that time together last year was probably the first year where Dylan got to really be a go-to guy with me,” Blashill said. “Maybe a little that year in the Calder Cup (2013 in Grand Rapids) when he came out of Michigan, but last year was certainly the first time.
“I mean a real go-to guy up the middle and we can just build upon that. He’s been in that moment a lot this year, he’s been a go-to guy for us (the Wings) a lot.
“Hopefully this can continue to build upon our relationship.”
The fact Larkin wanted more responsibility and was so self-accountable throughout this season was a good sign for Blashill.
“Anytime you get to put the team on your shoulders and you win or lose, it can help you,” Blashill said. “It can really help you either way. If you lose, you can learn from it and if you win, it gives you confidence that you can put the team on your shoulders and win.”
On Friday, Larkin, Nick Jensen and Team USA battle Canada, and Frans Nielsen and the host Danes battle Germany at 2:15 PM.
Quick update: WXYZ’s Galli posted a clip of Larkin and Blashill speaking with USA Hockey’s YouTube channel: