Detroit Hockey Now’s Bob Duff penned an article discussing Dylan Larkin’s return to the Red Wings’ lineup tonight vs. Columbus (7 PM EDT on Bally Sports Detroit Plus/97.1 FM):
This appears to be a positive development in the Red Wings’ preseason planning. Originally, the process was suggesting that Larkin wouldn’t be seeing action until later into the NHL exhibition slate. Instead, he’s getting back into action for the third game of preseason play.
“Our medical group did a really good job of putting a plan in place to get hm ready,” Blashill said. “You obviously go through a period of time with no contact and then we had him initiate contact and then contact was initiated on him. But that was when he knew it was coming, so you kind of work your way into it. So you’ve got to go from there into full (contact) and part of full is those battles.”
Aside from the serious injury, people many be forgetting how forgettable Larkin’s 2021 campaign was already proving to be. All of his offensive productivity numbers – goals (nine), assists (14) and points (23) – were career lows.
“Dylan and I talked and one of his good attributes is he’s really strong,” Blashilll said. “He’s got to use his body to win pucks, and if he doesn’t use his body to win pucks he won’t have the puck as much.
“He’s got to get back to playing normal in those circumstances. The reason I want to play him in preseason games is to prepare him, so when we play Tampa (in the regular-season opener) he’s not feeling his way into the game, he’s going all-out. The quicker he can get there the better.”