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Red Wings Can’t Get Emotional About Looming Ottawa Rematch



Dylan Larkin
Captain Dylan Larkin was left unconscious when punched in the head the last time the Red Wings played Ottawa.

In the past couple of seasons, when things are going south for the Detroit Red Wings, the Ottawa Senators are frequently the perpretators.

“We’ve had a history with them the past couple of seasons,” Detroit captain Dylan Larkin admitted.

Last season, it was consecutive losses at Ottawa in which the Wings were beaten badly on the scoreboard and physically between the boards struck a death knell to the team’s playoff hopes.

Last month, a 5-1 home-ice loss to Ottawa in early December greased what would be a 3-9 skid over the rest of the month. Even more significantly, the game was the one in which Red Wings captain Larkin was rendered unconcsious after Ottawa forward Mathieu Joseph was punching him in the head. Detroit forward David Perron was also suspended six games for mistakenly retaliating against Ottawa’a Artem Zub after seeing his captain laying prone, face down on the ice.

On the eve of a home-ice rematch with the Senators, Larkin was loathe to talk about the last meeting between the two teams.

“I don’t want to go there,” Larkin said. “I don’t feel there’s a reason to dig up old stuff.”

Red Wings Need Win, Not Revenge

With Detroit on a 9-2-1 roll, the last thing Larkin wants is his team focusing on avenging him. He’d much rather they’d get even with Ottawa by whipping the Senators on the scoreboard.

It’s the same messaging that Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde is delviering to his team.

“I think the message is going to be manage your emotions,” Lalonde said. “Obviously, pushback and (don’t) take anything like that personal. It’s about winning the game and getting the two points.

“That was a very, very emotional game that night that even hung with us there for a while. Obviously, we did a good job of getting past it. Another hockey game that we want to compete in at a high level and that’s it.”

At some point prior to Wednesday’s game, Lalonde will gather his charges. At that point, he’ll remind them that settling scores is secondary to finishing the night with the larger digit on the scoreboard.

“I haven’t talked about it yet,” Lalonde said. “It was just a unique night. A lot of things went astray that night, so we’ll probably address it going into it.”