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07-13-2011, 06:17 AM
  #2
JeffMangum
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Several reasons why I'm highly opposed to this;

1) Stepan is not a goal scorer in any sense — most of his goals are a result of being in the right place at the right time; putting him on LW, on his off-wing, puts him in the position of a sniper, whereas Stepan is essentially a pure playmaker. His shot isn't nearly good enough for him to play there. He needs to be in a position where he can play off of his strength's — LW is the worst place you could put him. You have to either keep him at center, or play him at RW; and this team doesn't need another top-6 RW. So, it's logical that he'd stay at center.

2) I don't think a player of Stepan's ilk would so so well on that line — regarding puck control skills and board work. That line needs a player who is excellent along the wall and strong on the puck; Stepan is neither of those things at this point in time. Richards makes his living off of the cycle; throwing him on a line with two players who aren't exactly brutes along the wall will hurt his overall game.

It's why I want to see one of Dubinsky or Boyle on that line; Richards directs the play to the front of the net on the cycle; have Boyle/Dubinsky work the walls, and have Gaborik at/around the haskmarks waiting for the pass.

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