Thread: Player Discussion: Derek Stepan
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02-02-2013, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfgaze View Post
Stepan's skating issues on the ice arent solely a product of a lack of ability. When he gets going he's really not a slow skater. The main issue is that he doesn't move his feet enough out on the ice. You see players like Callahan & Hagelin motoring around on the ice and constantly moving their feet. It's a conscious decision to play that way - you have to have that mindset when you play. Kreider has speed like Hagelin but you do not see Kreider having the same impact on the ice the way that Hagelin does when you see him motoring around. It's not just an issue of speed.

Far too often it feels like Stepan is observing the play or playing positional hockey rather than using his legs to engage in the play and have an impact on what happens with the puck.

He needs to become more hungry and more tenacious out on the ice and willfully more engaged in factoring into the play. He needs more passion in his game because more often than not he looks like an observer rather than a participant in what's transpiring on the ice.
Yep. And it is not something new, Stepan had the same issue at times in college. And even at that lower level, his game noticeably suffered.

These were my thoughts from a week ago. He hasn't done anything yet to make me change my mind:

Regardless he is playing the game right now the same way he played not just the playoffs but also too much of last season before he got hurt: without moving his legs much, without any edge to his game and (scariest) without much creativity with the puck.

He had the same problem at times in Wisconsin. Stretches of a game or whole games where he was content to let other dictate the flow. And his game always suffered.

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