The evolution of Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s game has focused on his defending style, his passing and his shot. But one of the more-noticeable developments is probably one of the more unexpected — he can be pretty scrappy, too. “I don’t know,” he said with a smile. “I’m a pretty mean person.” Obviously, his ability to defend and offensive instincts are his trademarks, and both were on display in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. He not only shadowed superstar Sidney Crosby and limited Crosby’s effect, but Ekman-Larsson also assisted on the game-winning goal from defensive partner Zbynek Michalek. “Everything a top defenseman has ever had in this game, he’s got it,” goalie Mike Smith said. Apparently, that includes being an agitator. Ekman-Larsson was physical against Crosby and even got chippy with center Evgeni Malkin. Foes seem to be more aggressive against him this season, but Ekman-Larsson isn’t backing down.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson willing to scrap
Arizona Republic | Feb 3