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The Evolution of Derek Stepan

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11-06-2011, 07:37 AM
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MisterUnspoken
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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.

Thoughts?

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11-06-2011, 07:44 AM
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If he knew how to hit the net like he did last year, he'd have at least 6 goals.

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11-06-2011, 08:13 AM
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Stepan imho has elite vision on the ice. He's never going to score a ton of goals, but he could be able to net 50 - 60 assists in his prime. With that said, I like the fact that he is becoming more defense as I felt it was his biggest weakness last year. Michael Jordan was famous for working on one specific thing every offseason. I personally think he's a very special player that will gain the most from having Brad Richards around.

I think he could reach 20 - 25 goals and 50 - 60 assists in a couple of years.

IMO, Torts gets too much crap for not allowing the offensive players to play their game. That's complete BS. Torts would be an idiot for telling his players to not be creative in the offensive zone. He benches players for committing stupid penalties and for being defensively irresponsible. Some people just think our "playmakers" (MZA, WW, etc) have more skill then they actually do.

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11-06-2011, 08:26 AM
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Derek is slowly becoming a more and more noticeable, consistent threat on the offensive side. I feel myself saying "that was close" a couple times each game now. He's going to start converting

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11-06-2011, 08:50 AM
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He is certainly coming into his own right now...the only weak spot is in the face-off circle where his FO% is well below the other centres...he needs to bring that above 50% to complete the package

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11-06-2011, 08:53 AM
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Keep him at Center Ice . Hope he hits net with his shot more , missing high and wide a bunch but def playing well and I judging by PP time and having him on 1st unit 5v3 I'd say Torturella AMA Torts the surly clown has a lot if faith in him

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11-06-2011, 09:05 AM
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One of the best thing about having Brad Richards is the influence he will have on our young squad and Stepan seems to be the best suited to learn from the veteran. I'd be glad to hear about a mentor type of situation.

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11-06-2011, 09:15 AM
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mentioned it before, but he leads the team in hits. even if the number is inflated, that's still relative to the rest of the other players on the team. pretty good sign.

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11-06-2011, 09:29 AM
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He has been all over the place, I've really been impressed. He's shooting a lot, he just needs to get his shots on net. I could definitely see him having a good year. I don't see his hitting and shot blocking as changing his play, I just see that as making him more of a weapon. Have you see his puck possession at times? He looks great out thee at times, some teams can't get the puck away from him.

This will only improve his plat and make him a more dangerous and useful player.

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11-06-2011, 10:34 AM
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After inexplicably spending all of last season, and the early games of this season. as a shoot first player, it's nice to see him look to pass more over the last 3-4 games. He's a playmaker - that's where his attention needs to be. That needs to be his priority. There are a lot of guys on the team that can score 20-25 goals, just as he can, but there are very few that can help others achieve those numbers, and he's one of few.

Playing to your strengths, and knowing what you can and can't do is very important. It's a lesson a guy like Dubinsky still hasn't totally figured out yet, but I hope that Stepan figures it out this season.

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11-06-2011, 10:49 AM
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IMO, the biggest thing I've noticed is that he's hitting more and harder. He seems to have bulked up a lot since last season. He's stronger on the puck and not getting pushed around as much.

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11-06-2011, 11:09 AM
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I'll settle for a few less goals if he's a more complete player over all

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11-06-2011, 11:18 AM
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Killem Dafoe
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he'll get his game together a little better and can start putting up some points soon. he could easily be a 15-50 65 guy in the very near future.

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11-06-2011, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maaxse View Post
One of the best thing about having Brad Richards is the influence he will have on our young squad and Stepan seems to be the best suited to learn from the veteran. I'd be glad to hear about a mentor type of situation.
Agreed. Having the presence and mentoring from a star in the NHL (Richards) who is still in his prime is EXTREMELY valuable for Stepan. This cannot be under estimated how valuable this is for Stepan to watch Richards.

The Rangers definately know how to groom the young players. Stepan was not rushed to the NHL just like Kreider is not being rushed. MDZ at least played (1) year in juniors after he was drafted before he made the NHL. Callahan and Dubinsky also were not rushed into the NHL.

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11-06-2011, 09:01 PM
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And stepan steps up big tonight. You guys called it.

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11-06-2011, 09:07 PM
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Steps had a horrendous start to the season and I said the sophomore slump was nailing him hard.

Over the past few games, he's shoving that right in my face.

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11-06-2011, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueshirtBlitz View Post
Steps had a horrendous start to the season and I said the sophomore slump was nailing him hard.

Over the past few games, he's shoving that right in my face.
exactly what I was thinking. I was a little scared after the first few games but he has really turned it on. He will be a big part of this team for a long time.

I actually have hopes for Hagelin forming a solid 4th line with Avery and Christensen in the near future too. Another kid out of college. We will see

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11-06-2011, 09:12 PM
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Awesome the last few. Hope he keeps this up.

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11-06-2011, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyrvana View Post
Stepan imho has elite vision on the ice. He's never going to score a ton of goals, but he could be able to net 50 - 60 assists in his prime. With that said, I like the fact that he is becoming more defense as I felt it was his biggest weakness last year. Michael Jordan was famous for working on one specific thing every offseason. I personally think he's a very special player that will gain the most from having Brad Richards around.

I think he could reach 20 - 25 goals and 50 - 60 assists in a couple of years.

IMO, Torts gets too much crap for not allowing the offensive players to play their game. That's complete BS. Torts would be an idiot for telling his players to not be creative in the offensive zone. He benches players for committing stupid penalties and for being defensively irresponsible. Some people just think our "playmakers" (MZA, WW, etc) have more skill then they actually do.
This 100X. Jury's out on MZA, and Wolski is just way too inconsistent.

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11-06-2011, 10:07 PM
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I take back all my regrets of getting a Stepan jersey last year.

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11-06-2011, 10:33 PM
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Swept In Seven
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Steps is going to be a star. The guy has gotten some bad breaks so far this year, but he is certainly showing that he can be a gamebreaker. ****ing love it

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11-06-2011, 11:15 PM
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Step is going to be a star. I can't believe some people were thinking Anisimov has a higher upside than Step. AA is a tweener: a very good third liner or a meh second liner. Step will be a first line center. His vision is unmatched by any of our other centers. I expect a bunch of 25-50=75 goal seasons from him.

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11-06-2011, 11:48 PM
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Step is going to be a star. I can't believe some people were thinking Anisimov has a higher upside than Step. AA is a tweener: a very good third liner or a meh second liner. Step will be a first line center. His vision is unmatched by any of our other centers. I expect a bunch of 25-50=75 goal seasons from him.
I disagree about Anisimov. The guy is a legit second liner

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11-06-2011, 11:53 PM
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I disagree about Anisimov. The guy is a legit second liner
If second liner means around 60 points then I would probably agree. He put up 44 in only his second season last year... I think he can push 60 at some point in the future.

His main downfall is that he just isn't very creative. But he can still shoot the puck pretty well and pass well enough to get second line minutes throughout his career. The fact that he's developing into an awesome two way player is an added bonus

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11-07-2011, 12:25 AM
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If second liner means around 60 points then I would probably agree. He put up 44 in only his second season last year... I think he can push 60 at some point in the future.

His main downfall is that he just isn't very creative. But he can still shoot the puck pretty well and pass well enough to get second line minutes throughout his career. The fact that he's developing into an awesome two way player is an added bonus

Anisimov had 44 points last year. He's on pace for 50 points this year. I think ~50 points, give or take a half a dozen, is where he'll be for the rest of his career. A 50-point producer who plays solid defense is a good player, but it's not a second liner on a Cup contender.

Long-term, we'll be better off if our second line is Kreider - Stepan - Fasth/Thomas with Hagelin - AA - Cally being the best third line in the NHL.

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