It's time for these players to step up big-time in the wake of costly injuries to their teams.
Injury: Kovalchuk out 4 weeks (broken foot)
Who needs to step up?? Bryan Little… He had 31 goals and 51 points last year, but has just 5 assists so far. With ‘Kovy’ out, Atlanta will need Little’s scoring touch if they want to hang with the pack in the East.
Injury: Savard out 4-6 weeks (broken foot)
Who needs to step up?? David Krejci… No one will be able to fully replace Savard’s production. But Krejci can come close if he plays to his potential. He had 73 points last year, but has just 5 points. It’s his time to step up.
Detroit Red Wings
Injury: Franzen out 4 months (torn ACL)
Who needs to step up?? Tomas Holmstrom… He has already filled in nicely for Franzen. Holmstrom is getting up there in age, but can still be effective in front of the net. Detroit needs him to keep it up in Franzen’s absence.
Injury: Booth out indefinitely (concussion)
Who needs to step up?? Nathan Horton… There’s no timetable for David Booth’s return (not yet) after taking that vicious hit from Mike Richards. Booth is arguably the Panthers’ best player, and will be missed. It’s time for Horton to step up, or else he could get traded.
Injury: Markov out 4 months (Achilles)
Who needs to step up?? Marc-Andre Bergeron… He has been good in his first three games with Montreal, scoring 2 goals and adding an assist. Markov will be out for at least 3 more months, so Bergeron needs to keep it up offensively.
Injury: Gonchar out 2 months (broken wrist)
Who needs to step up?? Alex Goligoski… He is starting live up to the hype, already tallying 9 points in 11 games. This is his first full season in the league, and it’s going to be critical for him to continue to fill in nicely for the underrated Gonchar.
Injury: D. Sedin out 4-6 weeks (broken foot)
Who needs to step up?? Mikael Sameulsson… Since Daniel went down, Samuelsson has been pretty good. The Canucks’ off-season addition up front has 10 points in 11 games, and jells well with Henrik on the top line.
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