For the first time in a long time, it was a difficult season to be a fan of the Detroit Red Wings this past season. The team’s 25 year record of consecutive playoff appearances was halted and the team looked further away from a Stanley Cup than at any point in the preceding three decades. The team’s offence was abysmal, its defense was lacklustre and its goaltending was inconsistent.
Many players struggled for the Wings this season, but perhaps none more than young forward Dylan Larkin. The 20 year old’s production dipped from 23 goals and 45 points in his rookie campaign to just 17 goals and 32 points in his sophomore campaign. Recently being named to team USA for this week’s upcoming IIHF World Hockey Championships, may help Larkin end his 2016-17 season on a high note, however.
"It's another opportunity to get better and have fun playing," Larkin said. "USA Hockey, I always enjoyed playing for them and representing my country so I'm really excited about it." He’ll be provided every opportunity given that the team’s head coach will be Jeff Blashill, his bench boss in Detroit.
When asked to reflect on his season in Detroit, Larkin was surprisingly direct in his self-assessment saying, “I want to be a good player, and the only way to do that is to look in the mirror and understand it is not just going to magically happen. I’m going to put a little pressure on myself this summer, and it will be good to feel that I need to do my part this summer to come back and have a solid year.” For Larkin and the Wings, that summer starts this week in Paris at the IIHF World Championships.