The Detroit Red Wings returned home, disappointed after their trip overseas to Sweden. The Red Wings attained just one of four possible points on the trip following a third-period meltdown against the Toronto Maple Leafs, yielding three unanswered goals to lose the contest 3-2.
With the first quarter of the 2023-24 nearly complete, the Detroit Red Wings sit with 25 points through the first 20 games. That places Detroit third in the tight Atlantic Divison behind the Boston Bruins and the Florida Panthers. Ironically, Detroit has one less point than they did a year ago at the 20-game mark. This feels more sustainable this season with all of their off-season additions. The Tampa Bay Lightning also currently sit with 25 points but have a game in hand and one less regulation win than the Red Wings. The Leafs sit a close fifth in the division with 23 points.
Since returning home from Sweden, the Detroit Red Wings have enjoyed quite the surge, and it is partly due to their captain being the leader general manager Steve Yzerman, and the Red Wings organization hoped he’d become. Shayne Gostisbehere recently explained that Dylan Larkin’s speech following Detroit’s loss to the Leafs sparked this current three-game win streak for the Red Wings.
“After that game in Sweden against Toronto, when we gave up a two-goal lead in the third and don’t get any points out of it, Larks, the leader he is — we were getting undressed, and he said, keep getting undressed, but we need to figure out what type of team we are going to be.
“I think guys realized that and we looked at ourselves in mirrors and realized if we do it the right way, we are going to get results and it’s really been working.”
Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin recently got his message across.
It wasn’t a lengthy rant from Detroit’s captain but more of a short and sweet, straight-to-the-point message. Larkin, by all accounts, is a quiet leader. Although he has a long way to go to even be in the same conversation as Yzerman in this regard, the two are very similar in the way they lead. Both are more of a lead-by-example captain than a rah-rah in-your-face captain. This little subtle speech from Larkin reminds me of one Yzerman delivered in the past, and yes, timing is everything when it comes to these things. Yzerman delivered this particular one deep in the postseason, whereas Larkin’s came early on in the season. But remember this: although you can not qualify for the playoffs in November if you find yourself on a lengthy skid, you can play yourself out of the postseason early on in the year.
You’ve all likely heard the story by now. Let’s quickly revisit 2002. It followed Detroit’s game-six victory over the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Finals. You remember, that had been the Patrick Roy Statue of Liberty game. The Detroit Red Wings, down 3-2 in the series, went into Colorado and skated away with a 2-0 victory over the Avs to force what was expected to be an epic game seven. It was epic, alright, that is, if you are a Red Wings fan.
Detroit ended up pummeling the Avalanche to the tune of 7-0. But before game seven, immediately following game six, the locker room door slammed as the Red Wings were celebrating their victory. As a hush rippled through the room, their great yet calm and quiet leader, Steve Yzerman, raised his voice, asking his club why everyone was celebrating. Yzerman followed with, ‘We haven’t won anything yet.’ That was enough to propel Detroit past the Avalanche, and they’d eventually forge their way past the Carolina Hurricanes in five games to win the Stanley Cup.
Dylan Larkin leads the Detroit Red Wings with 21 points (8G 13A) over the first 20 games. He’s a plus-3 on the year while averaging a second under 20 minutes of ice time per night. Alex DeBrincat is a close second with 20 points, and Gostisbehere, thanks to a six-point outburst over his past two games while playing on Detroit’s top pairing filling in for the absent Jake Walman, now has 18 points in 19 games.
Detroit has handed the mighty Boston Bruins their first two regulation losses this season. They’ve played hard most nights, and despite some shotty goaltending at times throughout the year, Detroit has gotten three stellar performances in a row, twice from Alex Lyon and the other from Ville Husso.
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Now, the big question remains: is there help on the way? The Patrick Kane rumors have intensified, and he’s expected to decide this week on where he’d like to play this season and possibly beyond. It seems the Detroit Red Wings have made the final cut along with the Florida Panthers. Next for Detroit is a date with the New York Rangers on Wednesday evening in the Big Apple.