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11-06-2011, 07:37 AM
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The Evolution of Derek Stepan

This guy is flying under the radar (as far as conversation goes) this season. No one is talking about him because he hasn't put up any flashy numbers or anything of the sort.

But watching the games it appears that Stepan has been working very hard on the defensive side of his game and increasing his 'grit' level.

He is on pace to exceed his hit total by about double (yes MSG stats I know) and triple his blocked shots from a season ago. Not only that, when you watch the games he has been cycling like a champ and standing in front of the net (though he seems to move out of the way a bit more than Callahan or Dubinsky).

Are we seeing Derek Stepan evolve his game this season into that Tortorella style of play? Will this style affect his offensive abilities in the long run? It appears his shooting percentage is way down already.

It's certainly an interesting topic imo. I know Stepan is more of a playmaker, but he appears determined to add a Callahan-esque element to his game, either on his own or at the heed of the coaching staff.


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