Cathartic. That’s how this game felt. Which seems weird to say, I think.
There weren’t really questions about the Red Wings coming into the game, demons to exorcise or anything like that. But a loss to the Maple Leafs, a bad team led by Detroit’s former coach, could have started those questions. With that win, instead of questions we have a statement. Or a series of them.
No, the Wings don’t need Mike Babcock. Yes, the new kid really is pretty damn good. No, Jimmy Howard is not done.
The energy in the arena felt like a playoff game. And a huge amount of it was surrounding Dylan Larkin. Every goal was a celebration but people lost their minds over Larkin’s goal. For the first time in seemingly forever, the Red Wings have a kid – a home-grown kid at that – to be excited about. A kid that can jump onto the top line for his first career game and not look out of place. Not just not look out of place, but produce.
I mean, that game was pretty much The Abby and Larks Show with special guest Henrik Zetterberg. The way those two were playing, it was possible for Zetterberg to “quietly” put up three points of his own.
Yeah, it was an awful Maple Leafs team. Gotta take that into consideration. Yes, it’s only one game. But we saw something to be excited about and the opponent doesn’t take away from that.