The Athletic’s Max Bultman posted a 2 AM story, which means that your friendly neighborhood Malik Report was up trying to calm down after the Red Wings’ 5-2 win over New Jersey, so you get a tease as to Bultman’s fine article’s discussion of Dylan Larkin’s first career hat trick:
“It did feel good,” Larkin said. “I had obviously never had one, and I think about my Nana — she would always give me $5 every goal, and she would always — like most proud Nanas do — they’re always like, ‘Will you score a hat trick? Will you just do it?’ And I (would say), ‘Nana, it’s kind of hard.’”
It is, indeed, quite hard, and Larkin’s long wait to pull it off in the NHL certainly underscores that. But when he finally did it — dedicating the feat to his Nana and his other grandma in the process — it propelled the Red Wings to victory on a night that could have easily gone any direction.
Now, Larkin sits at 15 goals this season, and after tacking on an assist to Tyler Bertuzzi’s late insurance goal, he’s up to 29 points in 27 games. He’s scoring goals and points at a career-best rate, currently on pace for a 40-goal season.
For all the deserved attention that’s gone toward Detroit’s dazzling trio of rookies — Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider and Alex Nedeljkovic — nights like Saturday are a reminder that Larkin is still the engine that drives the Red Wings in so many ways.
Continued (paywall) with some really astute discussion of the COVID conundrum the NHL finds itself navigating: