The Detroit Red Wings ended their 2022-23 season with a disappointing 31-46-5 record, finishing last in the Atlantic Division. In a recent press conference, team captain Dylan Larkin addressed one of the team's key issues – their lack of toughness. Larkin highlighted the importance of being able to push back against opponents and stand up for teammates, citing instances where he felt that other teams had “free nights” due to the Wings' inability to respond to cheap shots. Coach Derek Lalonde also acknowledged the team's need for improvement in this area, stating that while fighting may not be necessary, it is important for the team to be able to push back and show their opponents that they won't tolerate any unsportsmanlike behavior.
Why it Matters
Dylan Larkin recently spoke out about the team's lack of toughness during the 2022-23 season. Larkin emphasized the importance of pushing back against opponents and standing up for teammates, even if it doesn't involve fighting.
- Larkin acknowledged the Red Wings' lack of toughness during the 2022-23 season
- Larkin emphasized the importance of pushing back against opponents and standing up for teammates, even if it doesn't involve fighting
- Coach Derek Lalonde also acknowledged the team's need for improvement in this area
- The Wings struggled in games against opponents who were more physical and aggressive
Dylan Larkin says Detroit Red Wings lacked toughness in 2022-23
Larkin recently spoke to the media and he addressed the Red Wings' lack of toughness during this past season.
“There were plenty of times this year I felt guys took liberties,” Larkin said in his end-of-season availability with reporters. “Whoever it was, whatever their role on the other team — their tough guys — they kind of had free nights. I think that’s something that needs to be addressed, to have an answer to that.”
The Bottom Line – Toughness matters in the NHL and Larkin knows it
While the Red Wings had a disappointing season in 2022-23 when it comes to toughness, Larkin's comments show that the team is aware of its shortcomings and looking to improve. By focusing on toughness and the ability to push back against opponents, the Red Wings can become a stronger, more competitive team beginning with the 2023-24 season. Whether it's through fighting or simply standing up for teammates, the ability to show toughness on the ice is crucial to success in the NHL, and Larkin, along with head coach Derek Lalonde, know it.
“You don’t need to fight, but you do need to stick up for teammates and push back,” Lalonde said.