Updated 3x a 2:58 PM: Of post-practice note in the article department, subsequent to the practice Tweets, the post-practice comments and the videos of coach Jeff Blashill and forward Robby Fabbri’s remarks:
- MLive’s Ansar Khan posted a summary of the situation, noting that Fabbri took Larkin’s place on the top line during Friday’s practice…
Larkin was on the ice briefly before practice Friday but didn’t try to accelerate or do anything. He took a short twirl and left after a minute or two.
Coach Jeff Blashill said he had no health update on Larkin or any indication of the significance of the injury.
It was Larkin’s first game since April 20 in Dallas, when he suffered a neck injury on a cross-check from Jamie Benn. Larkin was hospitalized and placed in a cervical collar for eight weeks.
Neither Benn or Joseph was penalized for their initial hits on Larkin, and Benn was not disciplined by the NHL.
2. And the Free Press’s Helene St. James noted coach Jeff Blashill’s exasperation regarding the situation surrounding Larkin’s injury:
“At the end of last year, Larks got a crosscheck to the back of the neck with enough force that he spent the night in hospital and spent eight weeks in a cervical hard collar,” Blashill said. “There was no penalty on the play, which, that happens. Things happen fast. And there was no suspension.
“So if you’re Dylan Larkin, or you’re us, it kind of sets the standard a little bit. It sets the standard a little bit that that’s not worthy of it and we have to make sure we police ourselves a little bit. Certainly, that’s what partially would go through his head. Then you fast-forward to (Thursday’s) game and they have a player that’s trying to play up the lineup for the first time, and kind of took a run at (Lucas) Raymond on one side, and then comes back over. … He hits him right in the numbers and Lark’s head goes into the glass. At that point, he gets up, there’s no penalty called. He’s thinking, we have to police ourselves out here.”
Larkin punched Joseph in the head, sending him to the ice. Joseph went to the dressing room but returned to finish the period. Larkin was not made available to media postgame.
“I think Larks would tell you that he’d like to take that back. That really what he was trying to do was get his attention to fight him. Personally, we’d like to be a position where it’s a penalty on the original hit. Then I don’t know if anything happens. I feel bad, pissed off, for Larks that he has to take that punishment and then feels the need on a regular basis to defend himself.”
Update: Here’s a telling quote from Khan:
“In the game of hockey right now the most dangerous plays are the plays around the boards,” Blashill said. “There’s a lot of talk about when guys turn, but that wasn’t the case at all, (Larkin) was clearly going for the puck. When you get up on the numbers and make any kind of pushing motion, whether it’s a push or a cross-check – there was one on (Michael Rasmussen) late in the game that was a cross-check and that was called – but the push is the same effect as the cross-check. It’s something that’s dangerous. I’ll be disappointed (if Larkin is suspended), but I also know where Larks is coming from. He’s got a feeling like he’s got to police himself a little bit.”
Update #2: Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen weighed in:
Based on no penalty being called on the Jamie Benn hit against Dallas, Blashill the thought process for Larkin and he Red Wings becomes “that we got to make sure that we police ourselves a little bit.”
Blashill said that he understands that Larkin saw his swing as protecting himself after a dangerous play along the boards.
“What he was really trying to do was to get his attention to fight him,” Blashill said.
Blashill added: “Personally, we’d like to be in a position where there was a penalty on the original hit. (Then) I don’t know if anything happens.”
Update #3: Here’s even more from the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:
Forward Robby Fabbri, after watching replays of the hit, felt Larkin was justified to retaliate.
“I didn’t like the hit at all,” Fabbri said. “Kind of saw his (Larkin’s) numbers the whole way. After what Larks has been through the last three months with his injury, it wasn’t nice to see. I’m not surprised with the way he reacted.”
Certain opponents over the last several years have appeared, at times, to play physically against the Wings. If that continues this season, the Wings might alter the lineup.
“I guess if it goes on, we have to get people in here to make sure we’re protecting them,” Blashill said.