What’s The Grind Line? Apart from the once-famous line of Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, and either Joe Kocur or Darren McCarty, The Grind Line is also The Hockey Writers’ weekly column about the Detroit Red Wings. This week Devin Little, Logan Horn and Evan Sabourin are the muckers who make up THW’s forechecking unit and sound off on Red Wings topics.
All-Star weekend is just around the corner, and Alex DeBrincat has the distinction of representing the Red Wings at this year’s festivities, set to take place in Toronto. The first-year Red Wing has 18 goals and 43 points to his credit this season. This is his first time attending the All-Star Game, and he is doing so while representing his hometown team. He is a deserving All-Star for a team that has multiple All-Star caliber players.
With that in mind, the question needs to be asked: is DeBrincat the right choice to send to Toronto? There is no questioning the winger’s merits as the Red Wings’ All-Star representative, but is he who our writers here at THW would have sent? Continue on to find out….
Devin Little – Alex Lyon
Let’s face it, the All-Star Game seems to mean less and less as each season passes. There is still some prestige attached to being named an All-Star, but attending the event instead of going on vacation or simply resting up doesn’t always seem appealing to the participants – just ask Seattle Kraken forward Oliver Bjorkstrand.
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With that being said, if it were up to me, I would send goaltender Alex Lyon to Toronto as the Red Wings’ All-Star representative. First and foremost, the 31-year-old has earned the recognition this season, leading all Red Wings goaltenders in wins, goals-against average (GAA), save-percentage (SV%) and shutouts. Second, with just 59 NHL games to his credit, he is a relative unknown across the league and it would be fun to see a player with his profile be rewarded for what he has done with the Red Wings this season.
Plus, for what it’s worth, Lyon is just as good of a representative for the Red Wings off the ice as he is on the ice. The best All-Stars, in my opinion, are the ones that combine high-level skill with great personality and showmanship – after all, this weekend is more of a spectacle than an actual competition. The All-Star Game has never really been about the goalies, but he would have been an excellent All-Star representative regardless.
Logan Horn: Dylan Larkin
Larkin’s transformation from two-way speedster to legitimate offensive threat every time he’s got the puck has been a joy to watch and I think the development of his shot has been the biggest factor there. He is on pace to score 30-plus goals for the third consecutive season and the fourth time in his career and I think he’s worthy of another All-Star Game appearance.
Evan Sabourin: Alex Lyon
I’m sending Lyon – the Red Wings aren’t in the playoff hunt without him. Ville Husso and James Reimer are not adequate starters in this league and we have large enough sample size now to see that. Lyon has helped bring this team back from that awful December.
Now it’s your turn! Let us know down in the comments section which Red Wing you would have sent to the All-Star Game in Toronto!