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AWOL: Derek Stepan

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Old
04-17-2012, 10:32 AM
  #26
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Originally Posted by dccuse View Post
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.
Excellent points made here. Stepan is obviously not the best skater or the most physically imposing player. He relies more on his on ice awareness more than anything else. He was a bit better last nite especially defensively in the last 5-6 minutes but he needs to play harder and make a more meaningful impact on the stat sheet.
Putting him with Kreider would be a very good idea for the next game.

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04-17-2012, 10:35 AM
  #27
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He is playing hurt, without a doubt. His skating has been worse since getting kneed by Orpik.
I agree with this. He lost a step big time.

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04-17-2012, 10:50 AM
  #28
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He did have a nice pass to MDZ in the 2nd period last night, but MDZ's tentativeness resulted in no shot. Overall though, he has been less noticeable, but like most, I chalk it up to him being hurt and playing with non-scorers.

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04-17-2012, 10:56 AM
  #29
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Having him on the 4th line with Rupp/Prust is a waste.

Even though he's playing bad, putting him on the 4th line with two non-goal scorers isn't exactly going to help him breakout out of his slump. I'd rather Torts try him out now with maybe centering a line with Kreider.

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04-17-2012, 11:03 AM
  #30
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2 seasons into his career, and I'm still generally at a loss as to why his greatest strength prior to entering the NHL has yet to manifest itself. He has rarely passed the puck in the NHL with the kind of vision or creativity that he displayed in college. Even when racking up points with Gaborik, there was something missing. I think it'll be a shame if he can't develop that aspect of his game in the NHL, because that was easily the biggest asset he brought as an NCAA player.

He has become a reliable player away from the puck, more or less, and he has a shot, but those are secondary qualities for him. Or at least they need to be. I used to think it had something to do with Tortorella's instruction. I don't know what to think anymore. Hopefully, year three of his career will see him take a leap that allows him to feel more confident dishing the puck.

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04-17-2012, 11:09 AM
  #31
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Stepan's game is very similar to Richards, as he always looks to pass first. If we can pair him with a player who likes to shoot and either a power forward or gridner, we will start seeing numbers put up again.

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04-17-2012, 11:12 AM
  #32
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he's a kid. We're a young team. You guys better get used to these growing pains. We had it last year with MDZ, we had it with Ryan Callahan getting sent to the minors in his 2nd year, etc, etc.

THIS IS A YOUNG TEAM.

Ppl keep forgetting that.

According to this site:
http://nhlnumbers.com/teams

We have the 4th youngest team in the NHL, there's a reason many of us feel that the teams "year" isn't till next year or the year after just because of how frikkin young they are AND how many solid players are in the pipeline.

If you can replace John Mitchell, Ruslan Fedotenko, Stu Bickell, and Anton Stralman with JT Miller, Chris Kreider, Dylan McIlrath, and Tim Erixon, you're going to see one HELL of an improvement in this club.

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04-17-2012, 11:15 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by RL605 View Post
Having him on the 4th line with Rupp/Prust is a waste.

Even though he's playing bad, putting him on the 4th line with two non-goal scorers isn't exactly going to help him breakout out of his slump. I'd rather Torts try him out now with maybe centering a line with Kreider.
Oh, c'mon. During the season Torts also put Anisimov, Dubinsky, even Richards and now Stepan on the 4th line because they did not DESERVE playing on top 2 lines. There is nothing wrong with that. It builds accountability. If anything playing against lesser quality opponents could help demoted players get their level of confidence and assertiveness back up.

If we are talking from the whole season's perspective I'm very happy that Stepan was able to avoid sophomore slump and build on his rookie year (same as Anisimov a year before). Right now it's apparent that he's playing hurt and he did do better last night than in game 2. If he continues to get better - he's either going to be moved to a higher line or give us advantage in the match up against the opponents lower lines.

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04-17-2012, 11:16 AM
  #34
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Two Words: Brian Boyle.

The thing I notice is that Stepan is contributing less than Boyle when Boyle was at his worst.

That said, before people decide to traips down this road of Stepan or the lack there of...too much....just remember Boyle and how bounced back.

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04-17-2012, 11:20 AM
  #35
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Stepan needs to add muscle.

He's not fast to begin with, so it isnt like it will slow him down much.

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04-17-2012, 11:23 AM
  #36
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Who was it on the line with Steps and Kreids at the worlds? I think someone from St Louis but I can't remember who. It wasn't Backes was it?

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04-17-2012, 11:36 AM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYR Sting View Post
2 seasons into his career, and I'm still generally at a loss as to why his greatest strength prior to entering the NHL has yet to manifest itself. He has rarely passed the puck in the NHL with the kind of vision or creativity that he displayed in college. Even when racking up points with Gaborik, there was something missing. I think it'll be a shame if he can't develop that aspect of his game in the NHL, because that was easily the biggest asset he brought as an NCAA player.

He has become a reliable player away from the puck, more or less, and he has a shot, but those are secondary qualities for him. Or at least they need to be. I used to think it had something to do with Tortorella's instruction. I don't know what to think anymore. Hopefully, year three of his career will see him take a leap that allows him to feel more confident dishing the puck.
It does seem inexplicable, doesn't it? In college and at the WJC, it was like he was three moves ahead of everybody in a chess game. He was constantly finding ways to get the puck to teammates in open ice. He's still generally smart with the puck, but the anticipation doesn't seem to be there yet.

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04-17-2012, 11:41 AM
  #38
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It does seem inexplicable, doesn't it? In college and at the WJC, it was like he was three moves ahead of everybody in a chess game. He was constantly finding ways to get the puck to teammates in open ice. He's still generally smart with the puck, but the anticipation doesn't seem to be there yet.
Exactly. That's why I was so excited about him as a prospect. He seemed like one of the smartest young players I'd ever seen. I can count on one hand the number of NCAA players I've seen over the last decade or so that I thought as highly of as I did Stepan. He simply doesn't seem to think think the game at nearly that high a level in the NHL.

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04-17-2012, 11:44 AM
  #39
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Originally Posted by MorrisWanchuk View Post
Who was it on the line with Steps and Kreids at the worlds? I think someone from St Louis but I can't remember who. It wasn't Backes was it?
Backes would have been too old. McRae is a Blues prospect who was on the WJC team with them, but I don't remember if he was on their line or not.

Edit: Oh, you probably mean the regular WC not the WJC's. My bad.

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04-17-2012, 11:50 AM
  #40
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from my memory it was Blake Wheeler

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04-17-2012, 11:53 AM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYR Sting View Post
2 seasons into his career, and I'm still generally at a loss as to why his greatest strength prior to entering the NHL has yet to manifest itself. He has rarely passed the puck in the NHL with the kind of vision or creativity that he displayed in college. Even when racking up points with Gaborik, there was something missing. I think it'll be a shame if he can't develop that aspect of his game in the NHL, because that was easily the biggest asset he brought as an NCAA player.

He has become a reliable player away from the puck, more or less, and he has a shot, but those are secondary qualities for him. Or at least they need to be. I used to think it had something to do with Tortorella's instruction. I don't know what to think anymore. Hopefully, year three of his career will see him take a leap that allows him to feel more confident dishing the puck.
I think part of the problem that you bring up is the limited finishers we have on this team.

he added 10 assist from season 1 to season 2, his goals dipped, but to me that's not his game.

I would expect that when we have a team that has mor ethan one legit and bonafide scorer, you will see his assist totals creep up into that 40-45 range while keeping his goal totals to the 15+ range.

If we are lucky enough to sign Parise I think that will go a long way towards helping him develope that passign ability he has.

Kreider - Richards - Gaborik
Parise - Stepan - Callahan
Dubi - Anisimov - Hagelin
Rupp - Boyle - Prust

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04-17-2012, 11:57 AM
  #42
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Originally Posted by NYR Boyler87 View Post
He is playing hurt, without a doubt. His skating has been worse since getting kneed by Orpik.
Even worse when you consider that Stepan isn't that great of a skater to begin with.

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04-17-2012, 11:59 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by NYR Sting View Post
Exactly. That's why I was so excited about him as a prospect. He seemed like one of the smartest young players I'd ever seen. I can count on one hand the number of NCAA players I've seen over the last decade or so that I thought as highly of as I did Stepan. He simply doesn't seem to think think the game at nearly that high a level in the NHL.
Honestly, I think his skating is one of the reasons. He was never a great skater in college, but he could get around just as effectively as most other guys. Now, he's generally one of the poorer skaters on the ice, and seems to have trouble evading defenders and creating time for himself. Some work on his stride and quickness might help him put his intelligence to better use.

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04-17-2012, 12:00 PM
  #44
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I said it before and I'll say it again.

In the playoffs, you need grit and intensity to succeed. You need to fight for every puck and battle in the corners.

Step - this year or last year's playoffs - has done jack ****. Why? Because the guy has absolutely no grit, no fight, and no edge whatsoever.

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04-17-2012, 12:04 PM
  #45
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Originally Posted by Rangerfans View Post
I said it before and I'll say it again.

In the playoffs, you need grit and intensity to succeed. You need to fight for every puck and battle in the corners.

Step - this year or last year's playoffs - has done jack ****. Why? Because the guy has absolutely no grit, no fight, and no edge whatsoever.
Wait to overreact. Again, we're talking about a 2nd-year pro. Less than a season ago the same EXACT things were said about our current hero Brian Boyle.

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04-17-2012, 12:09 PM
  #46
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Oh, c'mon. During the season Torts also put Anisimov, Dubinsky, even Richards and now Stepan on the 4th line because they did not DESERVE playing on top 2 lines. There is nothing wrong with that. It builds accountability. If anything playing against lesser quality opponents could help demoted players get their level of confidence and assertiveness back up.

If we are talking from the whole season's perspective I'm very happy that Stepan was able to avoid sophomore slump and build on his rookie year (same as Anisimov a year before). Right now it's apparent that he's playing hurt and he did do better last night than in game 2. If he continues to get better - he's either going to be moved to a higher line or give us advantage in the match up against the opponents lower lines.
Bingo.

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04-17-2012, 12:20 PM
  #47
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Originally Posted by NYR Sting View Post
Exactly. That's why I was so excited about him as a prospect. He seemed like one of the smartest young players I'd ever seen. I can count on one hand the number of NCAA players I've seen over the last decade or so that I thought as highly of as I did Stepan. He simply doesn't seem to think think the game at nearly that high a level in the NHL.
Being an effective play maker at the NHL level is one of the hardest roles to fill, IMO. Stepan has the ability to think the game at a level that not many people can, but he's also at his best when he's being physical and playing with swagger. He's been lacking that as of late, but it's also due to the fact that he's just not physically strong enough to play the puck possession game in the NHL that made him so successful at the WJC and in the NCAA. I think it'll come, but he could use a summer with Barb Underhill as well.

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04-17-2012, 12:21 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by pld459666 View Post
I think part of the problem that you bring up is the limited finishers we have on this team.

he added 10 assist from season 1 to season 2, his goals dipped, but to me that's not his game.

I would expect that when we have a team that has mor ethan one legit and bonafide scorer, you will see his assist totals creep up into that 40-45 range while keeping his goal totals to the 15+ range.

If we are lucky enough to sign Parise I think that will go a long way towards helping him develope that passign ability he has.

Kreider - Richards - Gaborik
Parise - Stepan - Callahan
Dubi - Anisimov - Hagelin
Rupp - Boyle - Prust

I don't think Dubinsky salary works if they sign Parise?

Cap geeks.....

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04-17-2012, 12:24 PM
  #49
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Stepan is a smart hockey player and that will go a long way to having a good NHL career. He is not the biggest or fastest player as he does have limitations to his game but he seems to produce in every league he has been in. However, it does seem that Stepan plays well when he is on a line with great players. It is no coincidence once he was off the Gaborik line his point production dropped significantly.

Confidence is a fine line in the NHL and Stepan had tons of confidence on that first line.

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04-17-2012, 12:26 PM
  #50
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Originally Posted by Inferno View Post
he's a kid. We're a young team. You guys better get used to these growing pains. We had it last year with MDZ, we had it with Ryan Callahan getting sent to the minors in his 2nd year, etc, etc.

THIS IS A YOUNG TEAM.

Ppl keep forgetting that.

According to this site:
http://nhlnumbers.com/teams

We have the 4th youngest team in the NHL, there's a reason many of us feel that the teams "year" isn't till next year or the year after just because of how frikkin young they are AND how many solid players are in the pipeline.

If you can replace John Mitchell, Ruslan Fedotenko, Stu Bickell, and Anton Stralman with JT Miller, Chris Kreider, Dylan McIlrath, and Tim Erixon, you're going to see one HELL of an improvement in this club.
Agreed.

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