Injuries are part and parcel of life in the NHL and the Vegas Golden Knights are having to adjust to life without one of their superstars.
After picking up a mysterious ailment in the shutout over the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 26, Mark Stone has been out of the action for the Vegas Golden Knights with a lower-body injury listed as the official cause for concern.
Currently rated as week-to-week, Vegas Head Coach Peter DeBoer is holding out hope that his elite forward is back before the end of the regular season.
Without knowing the true extent of the injury it is hard to know whether that timescale is realistic or not, but everyone connected with the Golden Knights will be hoping that it isn’t too serious or that it doesn’t linger.
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After all, Stone is one of the best two-way forwards in the entire National Hockey League and he has carved out another stellar year.
Through 65 games this season, Stone has recorded 21 goals and 42 assists for 63 points with a plus/minus rating of +15 and an impressive Corsi of 58.0.
Furthermore, the wing has averaged 19:25 minutes of total ice time per game while amassing 51 blocked shots, 56 hits and 78 takeaways.
Stone is second on the Golden Knights in points and his lethal mix of a high hockey IQ coupled with elite vision puts him in the upper echelons of the best playmakers in the NHL.
As a result, Vegas will be praying that Stone is back sooner rather than later but, on the flip side, they would be silly to rush their star forward back and risk making the injury worse.
After all, Stone will be imperative to the Golden Knights’ hopes of embarking on a deep postseason run and they can’t risk losing him for a prolonged chunk of time by rushing the process.
Therefore, other players will need to step up to the plate and fill the sizeable void left by Mark Stone, and we’ve picked out four forwards in particular who will have the opportunity to take on a bigger role…