Are the Red Wings using Larkin's injury as an excuse for the slump?

Are the Red Wings using Dylan Larkin's injury as an excuse for the slump?

Detroit Red Wings v Carolina Hurricanes
Detroit Red Wings v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

The Detroit Red Wings have fallen since the injury to captain Dylan Larkin. They have not looked the same since then and have dropped quite a few games, six in a row to be exact. However, are they using the injury to Larkin as an excuse for how they have played?

Larkin has been out of action since March 4th due to a lower-body injury and was expected to miss around two weeks.

While his leadership and work ethic are sorely missed, do the Red Wings now use this as motivation instead of using it as how they have recently played? They do still have talented players on this team capable of producing and leading them to wins so why haven't they?

Do not get me wrong, losing Larkin, or any player of his talent, for any period can hurt a team in the standings.

Things have been tough for the Detroit Red Wings lately without Dylan Larkin

He has led this team for years now and continues to be the heart and soul of this organization. He is one of the best two-way players in the league and is competitive like no other. He cannot be replaced by position or talent and the team is suffering without his services.

However, this Red Wings team is different than in years past, they have four solid lines that can score. The roster still consists of players who have the ability to score goals and be creative in the offensive zone.

Detroit has 12 players who have double-digit goals this season and some are on the verge of career highs. Then why are they struggling?

While Larkin is a massive piece out of the lineup, Detroit still has a solid roster filled with offensive producers.

Alex DeBrincat (23 goals and 31 assists for 54 points, Patrick Kane (13-18-31), David Perron (13-21-34), Lucas Raymond (17-34-51), Moritz Seider (7-27-34), and Shayne Gostisbehere (10-31-41) have put up solid numbers.

However, they are not struggling and losing games because of Larkin's absence. They are losing because nobody has stepped up in his place.

Everybody is to blame for this losing streak at such a critical time in the season. Patrick Kane is one of the best United States-born players but has cooled down recently.

DeBrincat has 40-goal potential but has been streaky. Seider is still a good, solid defenseman but has also cooled.

Gostisbehere is leading the defense in scoring but he cannot do it himself. Raymond has been consistent and is the best player over the past month. Perron is another streaky player who has to show up in Larkin's absence.

In their last six games, the Red Wings are 0-6 and have been outscored 32-11. They are now 5th in the Atlantic Division with a 33-26-6 record and 72 points.

Detroit is now tied with the New York Islanders for the second wild card spot, 2 points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first wild card.

A few weeks ago, Detroit had an eight-point cushion for the first wild card spot but now that is only a memory. Atlantic Division teams around them have loaded up at the trade deadline and now Detroit is looking for answers.

While Larkin should be back soon, does that change the way this team will play from here on out? Can he save the season for Detroit?

The team has often looked lost the past two weeks and could use something to inspire them and get them motivated again.

Have they thrown in the towel or are they still hungry for points? When he does in fact return, the Red Wings need to find a way to go on a winning streak because time is running out quickly.