Ever since Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin had to be helped off the ice after being knocked out in the first period against the Ottawa Senators, J.T. Compher was placed on Injured Reserve, and David Perron was suspended for six games after seeking justice for Larkin, there has been an opportunity for some of the Red Wings to step up their play and help fill the gap left by the absence of those three key players.
Even with the Detroit Red Wings off to a good start this season, there are some players who can seize this chance to get their season back on track. Three players that come to mind are Andrew Copp, Michael Rasmussen, and Jonatan Berggren.
In the game against St. Louis, all three of these guys racked up more points, so I hope they continue to step up. If the Red Wings want a chance to keep competing, they will need these players to step up.
Let’s dive into the three key players.
Detroit Red Wings need Andrew Copp to step things up.
The first Red Wing that comes to mind for me to step up in Larkin’s absence is Andrew Copp. Even though he had five points in the five games leading up to the Ottawa contest, Copp went scoreless in the seven games before that. After last season, I have adjusted my expectations for Copp after having high hopes based on his performance with the New York Rangers in the 2022 playoffs.
Even with my adjusted expectations, I was hoping for more production out of Copp at this point in the season. I know that he had an abdominal surgery before the start of last season that slowed him down, so it makes sense that the campaign did not go as expected. However, this season, Copp has come in healthy and has the opportunity to make the most of that fact.
With the teams’ number one center out, Copp centered the top line in Dallas with Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane and was not able to record a point. In the game against St. Louis, the Red Wings went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, so the centers were rotated between forwards throughout the night. Copp did make good on his opportunity against St. Louis, picking up an assist on the goal by Robby Fabbri.
I don’t want to make it sound like Copp has been a total letdown this season. I think this is an opportunity to break out and show everyone that Steve Yzerman wasn’t crazy when he signed him to his current five-year contract. With the two top centers for the Red Wings out, this is his chance to show that he deserves to be a center for this team moving forward, as the competition for ice time will increase as the team continues to improve over the coming seasons.