Dylan Larkin received a one-game suspension for a match penalty received in the Detroit Red Wings’ season opener.
But Larkin could be out longer for a different reason.
“He could not practice today,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “I don’t know what that means moving forward. But he will go see some people today. So we will see where that goes.”
When Blashill says “people” he is referring to a specialist. Dylan Larkin was injured when he was hit from behind by Tampa Bay Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph. Larkin responded to that blow by taking a swing at Joseph with a gloved hand. That earned him the match penalty.
Larkin missed the end of last season when he suffered a neck injury that required many weeks of physical therapy.
While Blashill was talking to the media about Larkin’s situation, Larkin was in a hearing with the league’s Department of Player Safety to determine with supplemental discipline is warranted.
“If you remember, at the end of last season, late in a game against Dallas, Larks got cross-checked to the back of the neck with enough force…that he spent the night in the hospital and spent eight weeks in a cervical hard collar,” Blashill said.
Larkin Trying to Protect Himself
Based on no penalty being called on the Jamie Benn hit against Dallas, Blashill felt that the thought process for Larkin and he Red Wings becomes “that we got to make sure that we police ourselves a little bit.”
Blashill said that he understands that Larkin saw his swing as protecting himself after a dangerous play along the boards.
“What he was really trying to do was to get his attention to fight him,” Blashill said.
Blashill added: “Personally, we’d like to be in a position where there was a penalty on the original hit. (Then) I don’t know if anything happens.”
At practice, Robbie Fabbri was centering the top line with Lucas Raymond and Tyler Bertuzzi. Carter Rowney took Fabbri’s spot on the second line.
The Red Wings signed Luke Witkowski in the offseason just in case they needed him to help protect the younger players they anticipated having in their lineup. Witkowski is in Grand Rapids.
“If it goes on, we have to get people in here to make sure we are protecting them,” Blashill said.
— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) October 15, 2021