Let’s face it, after the Detroit Red Wings started off 1-7-2, many fans immediately wrote the season off and started to talk about tanking. The goal for many fans quickly became losing as much as possible so the team would get a better chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
But that was then and this is now. After Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win over the New Jersey Devils, the Red Wings have now won 8 of 10 and sit at 9-9-2 on the season. Yet there are still plenty of fans who are shaking their head each and every time the Red Wings win another game.
Following the game, Dylan Larkin, who scored the game-winner against the Devils, spoke to the media and he had a message for those who doubted the Red Wings.
From Detroit Free Press:
“I think everyone was counting us out,” Larkin said. “And here we are the last 10 games, we’ve shown not only the league and our fans, but we’ve shown ourselves we can play with every team on a nightly basis. We’re having fun and we’re rolling and we need to keep this going.”
Larkin is clearly excited about the way he and his teammates are playing this season, compared to a year ago.
“It’s awesome,” Larkin said. “It feels good coming in after games. We’re finding ways to win, instead of last year where it was going the opposite way and we were leading and we found ways to have nights where we’d fall apart. It feels good.”
Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill acknowledges that Larkin loves big moments and that the youngster is a “natural-born leader.”
“There’s no question that Dylan wants the big moment,” Blashill said. “Sometimes he wants it too much and he tries too hard and makes mistakes out of trying too hard, but there is zero doubt that he wants the moment. When you get an ‘A’ on your chest it gives you a little more latitude to speak and those types of things, and I think he’s done a good job of it, but he’s a natural-born leader.”