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Stepan on the wing?

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07-13-2011, 07:10 AM
  #1
Barnaby
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Stepan on the wing?

What would you guys think of trying Stepan on the LW alongside Richards and Gaborik? It may not be a bad idea to try out in training camp. Stepan's elite vision should compliment the scoring of both players. Personally, I think it comes down to him or Fedotenko in that spot, unless another player is brought in. Torts has shown that he isn't afraid to move players to the wing (Dubinsky), and even though I like Stepan at center I just don't see the players for him that will bring out his talents. I could see him developing at a much higher pace playing with such skilled players and having the extra open ice.

Stepan - Richards - Gaborik
Dubinsky - Anisimov - Callahan
Fedotenko - Boyle - Prust
Avery/Rupp and one of Wolski/Hagelin

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07-13-2011, 07:17 AM
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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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07-13-2011, 07:19 AM
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If we can have Boyle and Prust on the 4th line with Rupp, I think the 3rd line would then have a much higher level of skill, combining Fedotenko, Stepan, and Zuccarello.

I really think Sean Avery isn't going to be here next year.

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07-13-2011, 07:24 AM
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Barnaby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Boyle View Post
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 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.
I tend to agree with that. I actually see Fedotenko as the best fit for that line. He can grind, and score the dirty goals. I wouldn't be surprised to see him pot 20 on that line while providing solid 2-way play. I also see the idea of center as the most important player (outside goalie) on the ice to set the tempo so you don't want to stunt the growth of a young player with that ability.

Perhaps on the PP?

I see this as sort of a boom or bust idea..I just can't get excited watching Stepan with Wolski and/or MZA. I want to see him play with real talent.


Last edited by Barnaby: 07-13-2011 at 07:29 AM.
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07-13-2011, 07:30 AM
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I would actually condone playing Stepan in the LW area on the powerplay -- having Stepan and Richards direct the flow on the PP could be an artistic masterpiece.

Otherwise, yeah, I'd be fine with Fedotenko on there as well; I believe they actually played together (Richards/Fedotenko that is) in Tampa.

As for Stepan — I think a line of Wolski/Fedotenko-Stepan-Zuccarello/Wolski could actually work out well; but, I wouldn't worry about him not playing with offensive players. I think that he'll overtake Anisimov's spot as the "de facto" 2nd line center by the middle of the season. Reason being that Anisimov is more defensively oriented, and a combination of Fedotenko-Anisimov could shutdown pretty much any offensive unit in the league; whereas Stepan is more suited to be in a scoring role.

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07-13-2011, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Boyle View Post
I would actually condone playing Stepan in the LW area on the powerplay -- having Stepan and Richards direct the flow on the PP could be an artistic masterpiece.

Otherwise, yeah, I'd be fine with Fedotenko on there as well; I believe they actually played together (Richards/Fedotenko that is) in Tampa.

As for Stepan — I think a line of Wolski/Fedotenko-Stepan-Zuccarello/Wolski could actually work out well; but, I wouldn't worry about him not playing with offensive players. I think that he'll overtake Anisimov's spot as the "de facto" 2nd line center by the middle of the season. Reason being that Anisimov is more defensively oriented, and a combination of Fedotenko-Anisimov could shutdown pretty much any offensive unit in the league; whereas Stepan is more suited to be in a scoring role.
Two points.

1. Stepan may find himself playing center on the top PP unit if Richards does end up QBing the PP.If not, LW would also be a strong option.

2. I think it may be a better fit playing Stepan between Cally and Dubinsky. I'm not saying he would be more successful in that role than AA - but I could see AA centering Boyle and Prust. AA plays very well with guys who cycle so I could see them compliment him much better then a guy like Stepan. I just don't see the Wolski - Stepan - MZA line being very good. I don't see Tortorella trusting it night in and night out. I see it becoming the de facto 4th line..

Fedotenko - Richards - Gaborik
Dubinsky - Stepan - Callahan
Boyle - Anisimov - Prust

I could see that third line going up against opponents top lines and be devastating with the deep cycle. I remember a couple of years ago when AA just totally clicked in that role.

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07-13-2011, 07:46 AM
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^ That is what I think would happen; Stepan would slot in with Callahan/Dubinsky, and Anisimov moves back to center a defensively oriented third line. Frankly, I think that deepens the lineup a bit, but also gives the players more defined roles.

EDIT:

In regards to the powerplay, this is how I see it shaking out:

Stepan/Callahan-Dubinsky-Gaborik

Richards-Erixon

Dubinsky/Gaborik/Richards are locks, IMO. Stepan/Callahan will battle it out for that LW spot; or, I could see Tortorella rotating them depending on the type of PK unit the Rangers will be facing. We can't forget Callahan's 11 PP goals this past season.

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07-13-2011, 07:46 AM
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Keep Stepan at center. Richards can mentor him about what it takes to be a top line center in the NHL. If he can improve on his faceoffs and skating (which it seems like he is working on this summer) he should take a nice little leap forward in his development. It certainly will be exciting to watch.

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07-13-2011, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Boyle View Post
^ That is what I think would happen; Stepan would slot in with Callahan/Dubinsky, and Anisimov moves back to center a defensively oriented third line. Frankly, I think that deepens the lineup a bit, but also gives the players more defined roles.

EDIT:

In regards to the powerplay, this is how I see it shaking out:

Stepan/Callahan-Dubinsky-Gaborik

Richards-Erixon

Dubinsky/Gaborik/Richards are locks, IMO. Stepan/Callahan will battle it out for that LW spot; or, I could see Tortorella rotating them depending on the type of PK unit the Rangers will be facing. We can't forget Callahan's 11 PP goals this past season.
It should be very interesting to see how the PP shakes out. I would honestly consider:

Dubinsky - Anisimov/Stepan - Callahan

Richards - Erixon/Staal

Last years Gaborik gets 2nd unit. If he reverts back to playing the way he is capable then I think Dubinsky moves to center, and Cally to the left side to make room for him..

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07-13-2011, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnaby View Post
It should be very interesting to see how the PP shakes out. I would honestly consider:

Dubinsky - Anisimov/Stepan - Callahan

Richards - Erixon/Staal

Last years Gaborik gets 2nd unit. If he reverts back to playing the way he is capable then I think Dubinsky moves to center, and Cally to the left side to make room for him..
Eh...don't think Tortorella will split Gaborik/Richards on the PP. Having a more fluet powerplay will allow Gaborik to have more space to utilize his shot; unless it doesn't work, I don't see a scenario where Gaborik doesn't start the PP.

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07-13-2011, 08:06 AM
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PP1

Christensen-Stepan-Gaborik
Richards-Erixon

PP2

Pack Line
Girardi-McDonagh

Reasoning: Christensen has quiet a good shot, and if he works hard, it would be a good spot for him.
Stepan was very good at finding rebounds infront of the net.
Gaborik, Richards, and Erixon are obvious.
The Pack line is well... the Pack Line
Girardi, and McDonagh just seem like the best choice, although we could sub McDonagh.

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07-13-2011, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nils2317 View Post
PP1

Christensen-Stepan-Gaborik
Richards-Erixon

PP2

Pack Line
Girardi-McDonagh

Reasoning: Christensen has quiet a good shot, and if he works hard, it would be a good spot for him.
Stepan was very good at finding rebounds infront of the net.
Gaborik, Richards, and Erixon are obvious.
The Pack line is well... the Pack Line
Girardi, and McDonagh just seem like the best choice, although we could sub McDonagh.
I STRONGLY feel that Christensen is an extra forward at this point. I wouldn't be surprised if he was dealt away to a lousy team for a 5th or 6th rounder. I don't see him being on the opening roster unless we have injuries.. Absolutely not #1 PP unit.

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07-13-2011, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nils2317 View Post
PP1

Christensen-Stepan-Gaborik
Richards-Erixon

PP2

Pack Line
Girardi-McDonagh

Reasoning: Christensen has quiet a good shot, and if he works hard, it would be a good spot for him.
Stepan was very good at finding rebounds infront of the net.
Gaborik, Richards, and Erixon are obvious.
The Pack line is well... the Pack Line
Girardi, and McDonagh just seem like the best choice, although we could sub McDonagh.
I'd prefer

Callahan-Stepan-Gaborik

Richards-Erixon

though after the faceoff it would be

Stepan-Callahan-Gaborik

Richards-Erixon

Second line would be

Wolski-Anisimov-Dubinsky

Del Zotto-Girardi

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07-13-2011, 09:39 AM
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I think that the top line LW spot is basically up for grabs for anyone on the team. I can see Wolski, Avery, Duby, Callahan, Feds, Zuccarello, or Boyle there to be honest. For what Torts first choice is I'd probably give Fedotenko the upper-hand because of the fact that he already played with Richards (although that was 7-8 years or so ago) and he seems to have insane faith in him.

Regarding Christensen... I honestly don't know what to make of him. Just looking at the roster I don't see him as more than a 13th. I'd say I'm a bit unsure of getting rid of him though. I read somewhere that he's gotten us a lot of points in shootouts and if it hadn't been for his shootouts we'd missed the playoffs (although I seriously doubt that). Can for the life of me not remember where I read this though, but he does seem to take a bit of an unfair beating on these boards.

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07-13-2011, 09:52 AM
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I like Stepan at Center much better than the Left wall.

That slot needs a workhorse. Stepan can grind it out and he plays better hockey when he is more physical, however he has the hockey smarts of a natural Center. Stepan needs a big winger to give him a little more room. For this reason, I want to see Boyle upon the Right side, and maybe even Hagelin on the left if he can beat out Feds. Hell Feds maybe be your top line LW anyway by default if a trade doesn't occur.

Boyle on Stepans right side is very intriguing to me. Boyle and Prust was an awsome duo. They two totally elevated thier games to a level that I don't think anyone here expected. I see no reason to believe that Boyle can't continue development and make a successful transition to the wing.

Sather is in a position of power here. He has spare parts, asstes, and a desireable place for players to come. I think we will see a major deal for a bonafide winger to play the wall on the top line. A players along the lines of a Ryan Clowe or Scotty Hartnell who are both almost identical players.

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07-13-2011, 10:33 AM
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Given that Feds-Boyle-Prust could be this team's 3rd line (possibly), I think that Stepan being LW on the top line is more of a possibility that what people think. I understand the arguments against it, but Stepan is a tremendous playmaker and has shown he can finish too. If it is between giving him 4th line minutes or playing him with Gabs-BR, then I would assume they would go with the 2nd option.

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07-13-2011, 10:34 AM
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No. Stepan stays a center. He had an excellent rookie year and will only get better. I would want him to have surrounded by 2 vets as in Fedotenko & Prospal as his wingers this year. Next year enter - Kreider & Thomas! The Pack line stays intact. Need to figure out who will be our 1LW. Lot´s of options to try out. Add in Boyle + Prust + Avery/Rupp/Hagelin and we have a winner! Then we are good to go.

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07-13-2011, 10:38 AM
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So Stepan who along with Zucca is our best playermaker and now we want to move him to the wing. Come on man.

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07-13-2011, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnaby View Post
I tend to agree with that. I actually see Fedotenko as the best fit for that line. He can grind, and score the dirty goals. I wouldn't be surprised to see him pot 20 on that line while providing solid 2-way play. I also see the idea of center as the most important player (outside goalie) on the ice to set the tempo so you don't want to stunt the growth of a young player with that ability.

Perhaps on the PP?

I see this as sort of a boom or bust idea..I just can't get excited watching Stepan with Wolski and/or MZA. I want to see him play with real talent.
I get what your saying but when the Stepan, Wolski and MZA line was together for 18games they did have alot of success. I cant remmember everyone's point totals but i do know Wolski had 12pts in that span. They were seperated because Stepan hit the rookie wall and Zucca wasnt able to continue to produce at the nhl level. That line has offensive talent and with Wolski's resurection im expecting some good numbers.

Feds Richards Gaborik
Dubi Anisimov Cally
Wolski Stepan Boyle
Avery Rupp Prust

Size, Scoring, Playmaking, and Two-way play on both sides of the puck.

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07-13-2011, 11:00 AM
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Stepan on the wing ...eh not so much. Anisimov on the wing...yes please.

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07-13-2011, 11:01 AM
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JeffMangum
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Stepan on the wing ...eh not so much. Anisimov on the wing...yes please.
Anisimov on the wing makes even less sense than Stepan on the wing, IMO.

Why waste Anisimov's defensive talents?

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07-13-2011, 11:06 AM
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Swept In Seven
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Steps should stay at center. He has great vision, and he does not have the shot needed to play the wing imo

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07-13-2011, 11:08 AM
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Swept In Seven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Boyle View Post
Anisimov on the wing makes even less sense than Stepan on the wing, IMO.

Why waste Anisimov's defensive talents?
I think that if Steps shows a good leap in his game, he should take second line center, and Ani should be moved to the third line. I think that we are going to have all 4 lines being solid this season. I am really excited

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07-13-2011, 11:08 AM
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Chalfdiggity3
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Everyone can we please stop trying to move centers to wings. I know we need another top 6 LW but there is no need for this. The only player that should and could possibly slot into a LW role is Brian Boyle. Other than that leave Richards, Anisimov, Stepan, and whoever as our center lineup. I dont get it, we FINALLY have great depth and skill at center and now people want to change their positions? Come on guys!

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07-13-2011, 11:15 AM
  #25
Swept In Seven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalfdiggity3 View Post
Everyone can we please stop trying to move centers to wings. I know we need another top 6 LW but there is no need for this. The only player that should and could possibly slot into a LW role is Brian Boyle. Other than that leave Richards, Anisimov, Stepan, and whoever as our center lineup. I dont get it, we FINALLY have great depth and skill at center and now people want to change their positions? Come on guys!
Exactly, I think our center depth next season goes Richards - Anisimov - Stepan - Rupp.

If Stepan plays well and shows a good leap in his game, I switch Ani to the third line, and Steps to the second.

Wolski - Richards - Gaborik

Dubinsky - Anisimov/Stepan - Callahan

Boyle - Anisimov/Stepan - Prospal

Fedotenko - Rupp - Prust

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