Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Watch: Dylan Larkin and Steven Stamkos Get Physical

For the second consecutive game Red Wings' rookie Dylan Larkin notched the game-winning goal, but it wasn't all that Larkin did on Tuesday night in Detroit. He also ruffled the feathers of Tampa veteran Steven Stamkos after being harassed by him all the way down the ice during a shift in the second period of Detroit's 2-1 win over the Bolts (see video above).

“I didn’t know it was him,” Larkin later said, after exchanging in a bit of collegiate-style wrestling with Stamkos along the wall. “Obviously he’s one of the best players in the league. It was just hockey, caught up in the moment. He didn’t like it and it happens.”

What also seems to happen, and with increasing regularity, is Larkin netting a big goal. Over the weekend he scored the game-winner against Ottawa with a world-class wraparound, and tonight he floated this rubber-ducky past Ben Bishop to give Detroit the lead in the third.

“He’s tenacious and he’s hard on the puck and he’s really intense,” Teammate Riley Sheahan said of Larkin, according to Bob Duff of the Windsor Star. “If you add that to a guy with skill and a good head on his shoulders, it makes a special player.”

Larkin's coach, Jeff Blashill, also had some praise for the 19-year-old. But despite the fact that Larkin has nine points and is a plus-10 through 12 games (the plus-minus is third in the NHL), the coach says Larkin still has plenty of work to do.

Here's what Blashill told Bob Duff:

“To be honest, we don’t look lots at some of those stats, not that they don’t mean anything. They mean something. Being on for lots of goals for and not much against means something, so I don’t want to totally downplay it but we spend much more time, especially with our forwards, looking at our own scoring chances, plus-minus, how many scoring chances they’ve created compared to how many scoring chances they’ve given up and within that how many Grade-A scoring chances compared to how many they’ve given up. ... But he’s done very well in that stat as well.”