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AWOL: Derek Stepan

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Old
04-17-2012, 10:01 AM
  #1
Kane One
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AWOL: Derek Stepan

This is the second year he's been invisible in the playoffs and throughout the end of the regular season. Is he still not used to playing 82 games in a season and he's now overwhelmed? Our low scoring could use him right now.

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04-17-2012, 10:03 AM
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I was just about to start a thread reporting him MIA.

Its upsetting. Ever since he was moved away from Gabby, he's been useless.

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04-17-2012, 10:08 AM
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He is playing hurt, without a doubt. His skating has been worse since getting kneed by Orpik.

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04-17-2012, 10:11 AM
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With the way we play, players like Dubinsky, Stepan, Anisimov and co, even Callahan I guess sooner or later, will take turns in being unproductive.

Before Step can add intensity to his skating, so far what he can contribute with is more or less smaller plays -- ie passes, opening moves and shots -- and a player like that is often streaky and seldom much better than his environment. Step is also focusing alot on defense these days.

I've always been a little scared of peolpe who have been really satisfied with Stepan's production his rookie year and for periods this season. We had a big opening at center last season, and Stepan really was put in a environment that really really suited him. He is a great looking kid, but he does need to improve his overall intensity and skating to establish himself as a good top 2 center.

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04-17-2012, 10:17 AM
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hes been making soft plays. weak on the puck. him and torts keep saying that he is at his best when hes playing with grit and initiating contact but hes not been doing that for a while now.

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04-17-2012, 10:24 AM
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Has he done anything in the off season to improve his game? I had asked this question early this season.
I really wonder...

Haven't heard anything from him/reported that he did. You know like we heard that Boyle worked on his skating couple years ago.


He needs to put more weight on. Work on his skating too.

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04-17-2012, 10:28 AM
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I gotta assume that his legs are still not conditioned for an 82 game season plus playoffs. The kid competes hard and has shown himself to be one of the top performers in pressure situations during his career in college and the World Junior Tourney. Torts has never shown a hesitation to use him in high pressure situations and I think he is just a step behind right now.

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04-17-2012, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYR Boyler87 View Post
He is playing hurt, without a doubt. His skating has been worse since getting kneed by Orpik.
Pretty clear that that is it.

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04-17-2012, 10:37 AM
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Maybe he is hurt, but even before the knee he's been invisible. He disappeared towards the end of his time on the top line and he never returned since then. This same thing happened last year around the same time.

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04-17-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneone View Post
Maybe he is hurt, but even before the knee he's been invisible. He disappeared towards the end of his time on the top line and he never returned since then. This same thing happened last year around the same time.
He's not exactly playing with players who score. Just like how Richards was struggling when playing with similar players.

Shocking.

We need two more goal-scorers on this team.

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04-17-2012, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadwayBlues View Post
Has he done anything in the off season to improve his game? I had asked this question early this season.
I really wonder...

Haven't heard anything from him/reported that he did. You know like we heard that Boyle worked on his skating couple years ago.


He needs to put more weight on. Work on his skating too.
He works with a skating coach every off-season and worked out with Zach Parise last off-season. It's not for a lack of effort with Derek.

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04-17-2012, 10:43 AM
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mug25
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He looked better yesterday. It really looks like he's playing hurt however just because he's not racking up points, does not mean he's useless. He made quite a few good defensive plays last night in the Rangers zone.

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04-17-2012, 10:45 AM
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He is definitely hurting. I think watching him you can see something physically is off. I am not making excuses but it does seem he is taking some big hits lately and his lateral movement is off.

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04-17-2012, 10:46 AM
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Kane One
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan. View Post
He's not exactly playing with players who score. Just like how Richards was struggling when playing with similar players.

Shocking.

We need two more goal-scorers on this team.
He disappeared while playing with Gaborik, not after.

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04-17-2012, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneone View Post
He disappeared while playing with Gaborik, not after.
Not really. He was slumping a bit but he did not "disappear."

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Old
04-17-2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan. View Post
He's not exactly playing with players who score. Just like how Richards was struggling when playing with similar players.

Shocking.

We need two more goal-scorers on this team.
Exactly. Stepan might not have the best stretch of his season, but the main reason he is way less noticeable are is linemates. Stepan and the whole GAS line had a few bad games (it happens) was broken up and suddenly Stepan has to play with Feds, Rupp, Prust and Mitchell and his offensive production miraculously disappears.

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04-17-2012, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jniklast View Post
Exactly. Stepan might not have the best stretch of his season, but the main reason he is way less noticeable are is linemates. Stepan and the whole GAS line had a few bad games (it happens) was broken up and suddenly Stepan has to play with Feds, Rupp, Prust and Mitchell and his offensive production miraculously disappears.
I would say he had a good season. Put up 51 points -- more than last season. No true sophomore slump.

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04-17-2012, 10:53 AM
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I'd like to see him get a chance centering Kreider for maybe 10-12 minutes in the next game. They have some chemistry from before, plus it'll push some speed down the line-up and Let Kreider have a chance to skate against some lesser defenseman. IF that's the case, it could open up more room for Stepan and let him get a little bit more time to be creative - could be a good fix.

What hagelin brought to the top line, in addition to his speed, was his ability to challenge the other team's puck holders in their own zone - our team is full of capable forecheckers who could play a similar role.

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04-17-2012, 11:08 AM
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Stepan doesn't seem to have a lot of physical prowess--I've never seen why people think he's such a great player, but will accept that more sophisticated hockey minds than mine on this board (and Tortorella's) see something very attractive in him. I assume it's that he has hockey smarts and vision, and to take advantage of those he needs to be with super talented, creative linemates who have more speed and physicality and scoring pop. Maybe unlesss he's not w/ Gabby, his skill set doesn't really contribute all that much to a line.

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04-17-2012, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1994sec311 View Post
Stepan doesn't seem to have a lot of physical prowess--I've never seen why people think he's such a great player, but will accept that more sophisticated hockey minds than mine on this board (and Tortorella's) see something very attractive in him. I assume it's that he has hockey smarts and vision, and to take advantage of those he needs to be with super talented, creative linemates who have more speed and physicality and scoring pop. Maybe unlesss he's not w/ Gabby, his skill set doesn't really contribute all that much to a line.
There are only a few that think he's a great player.

Most think he'll be a solid 60-65 point 2nd line center (or a first line tweener, really). His defense has been rapidly improving, too.

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04-17-2012, 11:11 AM
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mug25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1994sec311 View Post
Stepan doesn't seem to have a lot of physical prowess--I've never seen why people think he's such a great player, but will accept that more sophisticated hockey minds than mine on this board (and Tortorella's) see something very attractive in him. I assume it's that he has hockey smarts and vision, and to take advantage of those he needs to be with super talented, creative linemates who have more speed and physicality and scoring pop. Maybe unlesss he's not w/ Gabby, his skill set doesn't really contribute all that much to a line.
I think its that he makes smart plays often and doesn't buckle under pressure.

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Old
04-17-2012, 11:18 AM
  #22
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Dubi's playing better so now the firing line has it's sights set on Stepan?

Predictable thread is predictable.

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04-17-2012, 11:21 AM
  #23
ChrisKreider20
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I like Stepan but I have my doubts whether he can elevate beyond a 50 point guy with his physical limitations. I think he really needs to work on his skating. He has trouble finding room sometimes...

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04-17-2012, 11:24 AM
  #24
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I thought he made two smart plays in the 2nd period last night to either deny the Sens possession or to get the puck out of our defensive zone. Not the kind of plays that suggest to me "overwhelmed."

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04-17-2012, 11:30 AM
  #25
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I mentioned in the PGT that his skating his gotten worse as the season progressed. I'm sure the Orpik knee hasn't helped, but his skating started to decline before that.

Right now, he's not being aggressive or assertive as he needs to be. And it's only going to get tougher as the opponents get more physical and the games get tighter. He needs to be more engaged.

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