The Athletic’s Max Bultman posted a late-night column discussing Dylan Larkin’s early-season successes with the Red Wings despite dealing with adversity in the form of a one-game suspension, a family emergency and a false positive COVID test:
It’s certainly early, less than 20 games into the season, and his 16 percent shooting percentage is by far the highest it’s been in his career. But Larkin’s eight goals and 15 points in 15 games have him off to exactly the kind of bounce-back start he sought coming into the season, after a down campaign by his standards last year.
To do that with everything that’s been going on in the periphery makes it all the more impressive. And if you ask Larkin, part of the way he’s achieved that start is precisely by managing that turbulence — whether it be on-ice bounces, or some of the weightier experiences of recent weeks.
“I think the highs and lows of this league, they’re pretty dramatic at times,” Larkin said Thursday morning. “And especially if you let them. And at times I feel like I’ve really let them get to me, and this year I really worked on not letting that happen, whether it’s going well or it’s not. Whether things come into your life and take you out of the lineup for a week, or you can’t play a third period, I’m really just trying not to let it get to me and be grateful that I’m here.”
Certainly, managing highs and lows is not an idea unique to Larkin. It’s a quintessential pro sports talking point that has long since become cliché.
But its ubiquity in the hockey lexicon doesn’t invalidate its meaning, either.
“I imagine a lot of guys are like that,” Larkin said. “There’s a lot of pressure. But I’ve always felt that I put the most pressure on myself. And this year I’m just trying to play hockey.”