Larkin's skating, skill in full display on highlight reel goal
This was one of those plays that Jeff Blashill admitted you can't coach, had nothing to do team systems, it was just about the player.
Dylan Larkin's goal in the second period, going coast to coast, was one of those highlight reel type of plays that will be highlighted on telecasts for weeks to come.
And it should be. It was a dynamic play.
Larkin started in his own end, began wheeling up ice, and beat an estimated three Dallas Stars on the play including defenseman John Klingberg in the end, Klingberg prone on the ice.
Larkin capped the play flipping the puck off the arm and shoulder of goaltender Braden Holtby, into the net and electrifying the crowd at Little Caesars Arena.
"Their guys were trying to tag up for a delayed off side," Larkin said. "I was able to get the puck and noticed they were looking to change. I had speed and beat a couple of guys and I kind of saw a lot of open ice to the middle. It was kind of lucky I flipped it (puck) at the net and it went up and in."
Blashill saw the play as a dynamic player making a dynamic play.
“There’s not much about systems or planning there,” Blashill said. “That’s just real skill."
Larkin has always been a prolific skater, but it's been a particular strength in recent games.
"Dylan’s skating really well with the puck and that’s what can be a real separator for him," Blashill said. "He’s got the puck on his stick lots and obviously he’s got good ability to finish, and he’s showing that. He's finished a number of different ways this year, and even in tight, in those types of areas. I
"It's been a real good year so far for Dylan, but we're going to continue to need lots out of him."
It was a successful homecoming all the way around for Luke Glendening.
The Dallas forward, who signed with the Stars as an unrestricted free agent last summer, returned to LCA after being a member of the Wings for eight seasons.
Glendening played one of his typical hard-nosed games, playing 13 minutes 7 seconds including four minutes of shorthanded time, won 78 percent of his faceoffs, and had two hits and two blocks.
And Dallas rallied for a 5-4 overtime victory.
The trip back to Detroit was emotional and memorable.
“I grew up a Red Wings fan, that’s always going to be a part of me," Glendening said. "The organization has always treated me so well, gave me a chance to live out my dream, so that will always have a special place in my heart.”
What were Glendening's best memories playing for the Wings?
“One would be my first game, just growing up a Red Wings fan, watching those teams win Cups, and then being able to go to Joe Louis and know I was dressing in the same locker room as those guys, I had my family there,” Glendening said. “And then when we were in the playoffs just the atmosphere at Joe Louis was something special.”
Smith to GR
The Red Wings assigned forward Gemel Smith to their minor league affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins for conditioning.
Smith, 27, is looking to play his first NHL game since appearing for the Tampa Bay Lightning on May 10, 2021 at Florida. He has yet to play this season due to injury.
Smith joined the Wings on Wednesday after he was claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay.
Smith is the older brother of Wings' forward Givani Smith.
The Red Wings are above .500 at the halfway mark of a season for the first time since 2015-16, when it held a 21-13-7 record after 41 games.
Tyler Bertuzzi recorded a power play goal and two assists Friday for his third-straight multi-point game. In all, Bertuzzi has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his last three games and 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in nine games since Jan. 2.