In Detroit, it’s a culture of winning that has been handed down from Steve Yzerman to Nicklas Lidstrom to Henrik Zetterberg and now to Dylan Larkin, Petr Mrazek and Andreas Athanasiou.
You can excuse Holland and the Red Wings if Sebastian Aho Jersey they’re not overly eager to rip out that fabric of success in exchange for the opportunity to draft somewhere closer to the top.
But I’ll admit that I’ve wondered if a few down years might do the Red Wings some good. I’ve suggested as much. I’ve wondered what this organization could do if it added a couple of top-10 picks to its talented young core. I certainly understood why some fans were puzzled the past couple of years that Detroit brought in guys such as Mike Green, Vanek and Ott instead Brandon Dubinsky Jersey of young players who might be able to do the same thing much more cheaply, gain experience, lose a few more games and help improve the draft odds.
Holland has done the analysis — and decided that the cost and risk of going down that path far outweighed a possible reward.
But on Tuesday, Larkin joined the party with a two-goal game against the Carolina Hurricanes. They were his first goals of the season. Athanasiou scored for the second consecutive game, showing what it can look like when all generations are contributing for the Red Wings.
Detroit has opted not to go all-in on the youth movement, and if there’s a franchise that has earned the benefit of the doubt, it’s this one.
“The media wants a young game, they want the speed, they want the addiction,” Ott said, before being interrupted momentarily.
Given the struggles of goaltenders around the NHL, Red Wings GM Ken Holland is in a position of strength with two solid netminders. Does that change?
“No, I think it’s true,” he continued. “Who is the model that built completely young and won everything? It hasn’t happened. Why has that not happened? You tell me.”
Because successful teams need a mix of youth and experience. It’s early, but the Red Wings believe they have the right mix. They’re winning with veterans and young guns, they have a kid in forward Anthony Mantha, who is banging on the door with six goals in five AHL games. They don’t think Tyler Bertuzzi is too far behind him. Eventually Evgeny Svechnikov will be there, too.
There’s a plan in place to keep the success going. No, the Red Wings are not interested in tearing it down. Just winning, as they’ve done for two and a half decades. Perhaps, in Detroit, they’ve earned the right to keep trying.
I’ve also heard the argument that players will be demoralized by failing to go for two early and then get shut down, but I’m more skeptical there. The Browns had every reason to turn off the switch after failing to score their two-pointer, given the general hopelessness of the short-term situation in Cleveland, and they promptly played their butts off to get the ball back and score again.