DETROIT, MI – Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill was hurting the confidence of forward Dylan Larkin, and he knew it.
He knew he needed to do it.
Larkin had excelled in his first 50 games as a rookie in 2015-16, scoring 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists). He had shown holes in his game after that — not stopping on pucks, not managing the puck well — but the stretch run wasn’t the time to teach.
So after the season, Blashill told Larkin it was his job to make him a complete player. When Larkin didn’t do what he was supposed to do early in 2016-17, he got his ice time cut, or got an earful on the bench, or got a video session.