One week ago, we were celebrating the return of Detroit Red Wings hockey. Given what fans have seen from this team in recent years, going 2-2 in the first week of games was a bit of a pleasant surprise. As the Wings prepare to hit the road for the first time this season to face Chicago on Friday, let’s take a look back at the last week in Hockeytown.
Welcome to Detroit, Bobby Ryan
October free agent signing Bobby Ryan only played in three of Detroit’s first four games, but he’s had the biggest impact on the team by far this season. With four goals in those three games, Ryan is currently in a four-way tie for the NHL lead in goals. That doesn’t mean too much considering there’s only been one week of hockey for the league. However, Ryan’s added boost to the Wings’ offense has been tremendous to watch.
Bobby Ryan’s red hot start in Detroit is actually historic. He’s the first player to ever score four goals in their first three games as a Red Wing. He’s been excellent on the second forward line so far in the new season. It’ll be exciting to watch if he can keep this up.
Checking In With the Captain
The biggest headline of last week in Detroit before the start of the season was the news of Dylan Larkin being named captain. Larkin’s first week wearing the “C” was a good one for the 24-year-old. His two goals and two assists have him tied with Bobby Ryan for the team lead in points. He also tallied an assist on Tyler Bertuzzi’s OT game-winner against Columbus on Tuesday.
The best moment of Larkin’s first week as captain might have been this scuffle with his friend and former Michigan teammate Zach Werenski. Some people might say that fighting isn’t the best thing you want to see from your new captain. However, it shows toughness and leadership to take charge in moments like that on the ice.
Up next for Detroit are the first meetings of the year against Original Six rivals the Chicago Blackhawks. Although neither team are expected to be contenders this season, Chicago’s start to 2021 has been a bit rougher than the Wings’. The Blackhawks are 0-3-1 in their first four games with -11 goal differential, which is worst in the NHL by far as of now.
Chicago is also allowing an average of five goals per game, the most in the league from the first week of the season. The two squads are actually tied when it comes to average goals scored at 2.25. It will be interesting to see if the Red Wings offense can pick things up and take advantage of Chicago’s lackluster defense. The longtime rivals faceoff Friday night then again Sunday afternoon for a national TV game on NBC.