Thread: Derek Stepan
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02-08-2013, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mschmidt64 View Post
I wouldn't agree that you "need" your 2nd line center to be a big time goal scorer, but you do need your second line to be a big time scoring line. You can't get by with one line scoring and then your second line being basically grinders and defensive players.

Stepan can be a defensive-minded player and good passer on that line, but that line just isn't going to function with him in that role if he's flanked by a garbageman in Callahan and Hagelin, a speedster with very little offensive touch.

Nash or Gaborik is going to have to come off that first line. Stepan centering Gaborik, who snipes from the slot and the circles, with Callahan there for cleanup, looks like a much more effective combo than three non skilled players.

Then you still have Richards and Nash working their magic on the top line and Hagelin can be a catalyst for them up there with hustle.

Of course, this is moot if Kreider turns into a 30 goal scorer type player because then HE can be the 2nd line scorer and Gaborik can return to the top line.
Agree with everything but the last bit. Even if Kreider becomes a 25+ goal scorer, I'd keep that top line split up. It's just better depth management. It hasn't been good. Certainly not the dominant offensive force you'd expect. I'd keep Nash and Gaborik separated. It makes us even better if Kreider can be a 25 goal guy in the future.

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