The Detroit Red Wings are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since the 1989-1990 season. They sit in last place in the Eastern Conference, 10 points behind the Boston Bruins.
Everyone thought Waterford native Dylan Larkin was going to be one of the next biggest stars to play for Detroit. He has simply disappeared this season. In his last seven games, he has one point and has a plus/minus of -3.
Larkin led the team in goals in his rookie season, but he only has 12 so far this season and has a plus/minus rating of -18 through 55 games.
It seems that the league has adjusted to Larkin in his second season. It’s time for him to make an adjustment if he wants to succeed at the NHL level. Larkin has great speed and that is a huge tool to have in the league these days. He will need to be more reliable on more than just his speed to be successful. All great players have to be able to make adjustments throughout their careers.
Larkin has been trying to learn the center position this season. He played the wing last season but played center before jumping to the NHL level. According to NHL.com, he has only won 44.5 percent of his faceoffs. That is not nearly good enough if he wants to be considered a first or second line center.
He is trying to learn on the fly and that could be a major reason for his decline this season.
The Red Wings are borderline pathetic this year, but they still have three players that they can build around for the future. Those three players include Larkin, Anthony Mantha, and Andreas Athanasiou. Hopefully, Larkin is just having a sophomore slump and can snap out of it soon.
The Wings will try to end their five-game losing streak Saturday when they host the Washington Capitals at Joe Louis Arena.