So far, Dylan Larkin is laughing at the NHL learning curve.
He’s part of the red-hot line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader that has helped power the Detroit Red Wings to two wins in as many games.
That trio has combined for 12 points and a collective +15 rating.
New head coach Jeff Blashill told MLive.com that “age doesn’t matter” to him when putting lines together, but it sounds like Zetterberg is elated to skate with a young up-and-comer.
“It’s been a good start obviously, but I’ve been playing with some young fresh guys, too, so that keeps me younger,” Zetterberg said.
NHL coaches are known for scrambling lines, especially with less familiar combinations, which Larkin is to Zetterberg and Abdelkader. So far, the fresh-faced forward is fitting right in, though.
Well, that didn’t last long.
Heading into the 2015-16 season, the Milan Lucic – Anze Kopitar – Marian Gaborik line stood as a scary combination of skill, size and contract year motivation. (Even if Kopitar blanches at such talk.)
Like other Kings, that trio didn’t get much done through a couple embarrassing games, so Dustin Brown‘s already taking Lucic’s spot, according to LA Kings Insider.
(Maybe Lucic’s late flame-out on Wednesday didn’t help matters?)
Lucic isn’t exactly getting buried, mind you; he’ll remain with talented linemates, only he’ll roll with Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli for now.
To Darryl Sutter, it’s all about experimenting with different options while simultaneously maintaining some chemistry.
“We’re just not getting enough, so we’re kind of looking at it, ‘OK, who’s playing well, and who looks like they have a hot hand, and who’s worked it before,’ that sort of thing,” Sutter said. “I still like pairs. I still like Gaby and Kopi, I still like Ty and Jeff, and that’s how we do view it, right? Brownie’s getting lots of good shots and good looks and a lot of time with the puck, so we’ve just kind of got to look at all that.”
Robin Lehner may not suit up for the Buffalo Sabres again in 2015.
The team announced that Lehner is expected to miss six-to-ten weeks with a high-ankle sprain.
It’s a tough break for both the player and the team.
After a stop-and-go start to his career with the Ottawa Senators, it seemed like Lehner would get the chance to prove that he is a legitimate No. 1 goalie in Buffalo. That’s obviously been put on hold.
The Sabres are already showing signs of growing pains with a slew of new players and new head coach Dan Bylsma, and now they face even deeper questions in net.
At the moment, it seems like the Sabres will roll with backup Chad Johnson.
The big question for GM Tim Murray: how hard should he work to find another goalie? Should he just stick with what they have right now?