Red Wings' Dylan Larkin named to Atlantic Division All-Star team
Detroit — Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin's impressive season has earned him a trip to the NHL All-Star Game.
Larkin was part of the Atlantic Division roster, revealed Thursday on ESPN.
This will be Larkin's second All-Star Game appearance.
In 2016, Larkin participated in the fastest skater competition during All-Star weekend, and had a time of 13.172 seconds, breaking Mike Gartner's record of 13.386 set in 1996, six months before Larkin was born.
Larkin leads the Wings with 16 goals and 32 points in 32 games.
Larkin returned to the Wings' lineup Thursday after missing one game. He was injured in the first period of Sunday's game in Anaheim, missed the rest of the game, and didn't play Tuesday in San Jose.
Larkin had a team-high eight shots in the 3-0 loss to Winnipeg.
"It's an honor but it doesn't feel good right now after this game," Larkin said of the All-Star selection after Thursday's loss. "But it's a nice honor."
The injury was just the latest obstacle to an already turbulent season for Larkin.
He was limited in training camp, recovering from a neck injury late last season. On opening night, was suspended one game for throwing a sucker punch at Tampa Bay's Mathieu Joseph (after Joseph ran Larkin into the boards). Larkin also missed three games in November for a family emergency, then later in the month had a COVID false-positive test which resulted in him being pulled from a game in Dallas after two periods.
Larkin returned for the next game.
"Good for him, he's done a good job this season, done an excellent job with his effort," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "He's definitely been our engine. He's certainly deserved it (the All-Star selection), it's great for him."
In his second full season as captain of the Wings, Larkin has consistently led the Wings emotionally into games with his effort.
"He's done a really good job of leading us to play to an identity, and just staying with it," Blashill said.
Larkin talked earlier this season about having a new attitude after the COVID scare, and frustration.
"There's been some difficult things going on," Larkin said. "I was really hoping when I came back after the time away (for the family emergency), I was really hoping to have all that in the past and try to move forward. I'm looking forward to doing that and continue to play and be there for the guys and play real hard and that's what I've been trying to do. Not worry about whether pucks are going in, worried most about the team, and playing a good game for the team.
"The highs and lows of this league, and they're pretty dramatic at times especially if you let them. At times, I've really let them get to me. This year, I've really worked on not letting that happen and whether it's going well or not, or other things have come into your life and take you out of the lineup for a week, or you can't play in the third period, I'm just trying not to let it get to me and be grateful I'm here."
The 2022 NHL All-Star Game will take place at 3 p.m. Feb. 5, on ABC, simulcast on ESPN-plus. The skills competition takes place the day before, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4, on ESPN from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Each of the rosters for the four NHL divisions — Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific — consists of 11 players. Each division will have one more player voted in by fan voting that runs through Monday. Rookie Lucas Raymond is the Red Wings' representative in the Last Men In vote.
The All-Star Game consists of a three-game tournament played in a 3-on-3 format, featuring one team from each of the four divisions.