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03-08-2013, 11:44 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: golf course
Originally Posted by
I couldn't disagree more. If anything, I think Stepan in relation to the public opinion have benefitted from people looking too much at stats. Sometimes good offensive plays from Step has been very few and far between.
I think Step leveled off after his rookie season, and he reached a point -- especially in the PO's last season -- were he was demoted to the 4th line and overall one of our teams weakest positions were Derek Stepan as our 2nd line center.
At the end of last season he had 4+8 in 21 games while avg 20 minutes a night. Against NJ he had 1 assist in 6 games (9 pts in 20 games). And I completely find it impossible to understand the talk about him being snakebitten -- because he did not create anything nor was involved offensively in any way really.
I definitely think Stepan had reached a point were it was more or less crucial for him to just step it up in plain english. Now he is playing in a tremendous environement for him with a great dynamo in Hagelin and a extremely strong player in Nash -- and Stepan can concentrate on what he does best. And don't get me wrong, I definitely think that Derek Stepan is a quality hockey player who is really good in many areas. Now he will get a peace of mind to build his game, and hopefully grow into a person who can stand on his own two feets. Just like Nik Bäckström could playing next to AO in Washington and Giroux received tremendous support in Philly early in their careers. Its nothing wrong with that. But I would definitely lie if I said that I agree with you and that I felt comfortable all along that Step would keep improving and so forth.
IMO that knee he took from Orpik really hurt him and his skating ability in PO's and thats why he had such a poor performance. Step and Torts would never admit it but to me it was obvious.
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