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PS #6 - 10.02.2010 | New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators | 7:00 PM - MSG (HD)

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Old
10-03-2010, 01:05 AM
  #501
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I would agree with both of you IF we had a #1 center or something close to that already, but we don't. And it's not like Christensen or whoever is going to be there will compete for the Selke trophy.

I have to disagree with the idea that being a scoring thread alone isn't enough to throw someone the the top line center. This is not just someone... Stepan is a player. The dude makes things happen. I think he's one of the best forward prospects we've had in a long, long time. Even better than Cherepanov

I haven't seen anything glaringly bad about his defensive game to be honest. I noticed the occasional turnovers, but something like that doesn't warrant a whole season in the AHL imo. He should be able to minimize those quickly. Plus, we see veterans make these mistakes all the time. Players that like to carry the puck turn it over a lot, even some of the better ones. Sometimes you just have to accept the good with the bad

Sorry if I'm being too optimistic, but I didn't expect him to be this good (even if it's just the preseason), and I'm one of the people who believed he would make the team before even seeing him play in the NHL.
You'll get no arguments from me. I am 100% behind this kid learning in the NHL. He has looked brilliant so far for the most part. However if he starts to show severe defensive lapses or being outmatched by other teams top lines, I'll be the first to agree a little time in the AHL wouldn't hurt.

I don't think many of us are expecting to see NYR beyond the first round of the playoffs, (if they even make it to the playoffs with a core of young defense) and if the season starts looking like a bust I won't cry too much if he spends part of it laughing at Redden with the Whale.

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10-03-2010, 01:10 AM
  #502
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watching rangers in 60 right now and cant help but notice how great boyle has been this pre-season.....really looking forward to seeing him during the year and hoping he keeps it up

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10-03-2010, 01:26 AM
  #503
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Yeah because its not like hes earned a spot or anything

Wanting him to start in the AHL when hes outperformed everyone else at the position because he was on the wrong side of the most useless stat in the game for a game (two empty netters and one minus was docked to Stepan because Gilroy decided to channel Gomez on the first PP) is absurd.

I forget which poster said this but he put it best: People on this site ***** about how we never have that guy who can step in and contribute a year or two after being drafted and now that we finally have a guy who may be able to do that, these same people want to send him down to the A...
Plus he was on ice for one of the goals where Eminger just did not cover his man. So really Stepan had nothing to do with any of the goals scored against us.

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10-03-2010, 02:34 AM
  #504
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AAA(we)son by Zucarello on that 5th goal. Wow.

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10-03-2010, 02:45 AM
  #505
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Im just asking you "and others like you" to look at the situation outside of a vacuum for a second and ask yourself if this kid would be better served developing in the AHL.

Has he been good? Yes, he looks like he has the tools to be a very serviceable player down the line. In fact, he remind me of Valentenko in that regard meaning hes a player with tools who could certainly use some AHL seasoning to aid his development.

This team is absolutely horrendous down the middle. Handing Stepan a roster spot because of that fact is shortsighted and awfully silly in a lot of ways.
Calling him a "serviceable player" down the line is seriously missing his ability AND potential - and frankly sounds insulting. He's a top prospect. This beauty is that this kid has much more than physical skills.

He has instincts that put him well ahead of many TOP prospects thus making him potentially an elite player. I've seen many, many failed prospects on the Rangers with better physical tools than Stepan (mainly faster skater and a harder slapshot). What makes him special is the combination if his hands AND his head/heart. You just don't see guys his age with that level of hockey smarts and instincts. Grachev's a great example. More physically talented than Stepan in every measure but he'll probably never be a better all-around player. Takes more than "on paper" skills the be a star.

Hell, Stepan reminds me of Messier in a lot of ways. Look at how he lead that US Jr team in the WC's. Leadership, confidence, performance under pressure - all the things you CAN'T measure yet make all the difference between a player like Stepan and Pavel Brendl and all those of his ilk.

He's ready for NHL competition and will only get better learning in a more challenging environment where he thrives - as long as he gets more than 12-14 minutes a game (which he will).

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10-03-2010, 02:48 AM
  #506
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MZA ended the game something like -23. While he is dynamic with the puck, he has yet learned how to consistently win NHL puck battles along the boards and he missed a TON of defensive assignments. A work in progress, but we all knew that. Even though he had some highlight reel plays tonight, he had more mistakes.

Minus some serious, longterm injuries, I don't know how many players the Rangers will even have room for over the course of the season. It's looking like if you go to Hartford as a forward this year, you'll get a look at the next training camp.

Also funny to see Sauer's name brought up by so many people, but only games where the broadcasters rave about him. Minus the one Detroit game, minute by minute, he's pretty much outplayed his competition, and quietly. Still think he should of made the squad last year, and this year only cements my belief.
I agree about Sauer.

But, I am pretty scared of our group of forwards. 25-30 games into this season I am afraid that it will look like we have 3-4 forwards who can play on the top 3 lines, and 5-6 holes, instead of like now, 10-11 players fighting for 9 spots. At that stage we would be pretty desperate...

I mean, young very offensively talented rookie forwards are seldom asked to do it all.

Thats the problem with the roster we have now. Many teams would have a position on their team in which they could stick a player like Zuke and don't ask for much if anything of him defensively -- and then let him play to his strengths.

We don't have players who can cover for other players. Many say that Detroit, NJD and co drafts so well, that the good teams drafts so well -- I think a big part of that is that those teams can put their kids in a position in which they can succeed.

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10-03-2010, 03:05 AM
  #507
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Originally Posted by Gresch04 View Post
Calling him a "serviceable player" down the line is seriously missing his ability AND potential - and frankly sounds insulting. He's a top prospect. This beauty is that this kid has much more than physical skills.

He has instincts that put him well ahead of many TOP prospects thus making him potentially an elite player. I've seen many, many failed prospects on the Rangers with better physical tools than Stepan (mainly faster skater and a harder slapshot). What makes him special is the combination if his hands AND his head/heart. You just don't see guys his age with that level of hockey smarts and instincts. Grachev's a great example. More physically talented than Stepan in every measure but he'll probably never be a better all-around player. Takes more than "on paper" skills the be a star.

Hell, Stepan reminds me of Messier in a lot of ways. Look at how he lead that US Jr team in the WC's. Leadership, confidence, performance under pressure - all the things you CAN'T measure yet make all the difference between a player like Stepan and Pavel Brendl and all those of his ilk.

He's ready for NHL competition and will only get better learning in a more challenging environment where he thrives - as long as he gets more than 12-14 minutes a game (which he will).
Great post. I agree so very much. Stepan looks like the best (most potential and most complete) prospect this organization has had since Staal, with the potential to be a truly special player and leader.

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10-03-2010, 03:13 AM
  #508
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My god, the Gilroy hate is unbelievable. He's bad tonight, yeah, but he was arguably the best of the fringe d men this preseason up until right now.

Get him off the the club!? Yeah, that'd be the first step toward improving our asset management - letting a young d man go over 1 game.
Yeah, I don't think its in touch with reality.

Its preseason, when the team doesn't play well enough together -- individuals are exposed.

By the sound of it, we will be scoring 5 goals a night and giving up 8 in december. By the sound of it Fedetenko will be scoring 35 goals and Dubi 30+50=80 pts. By the sound of it we would be a contender if we just had 2-3 players on the team who didn't make defensive misstakes.

I have a feeling, lets just call it a hunch, that we will be top 12 in (fewest) goals against, and around 22-30 in goals scored.

If I am wrong, lets talk about how we can cut down on mistakes (who often is credited to the player who happeneds to be closest to the net when a goal is scored, who more often then not happeneds to be someone covering for someone else who made a mistake BTW).

If I am right, lets talk about where we can find more offense in this org.

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10-03-2010, 03:19 AM
  #509
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Stephan should be a lock on this team.

Anything else is ridiculos. If he can't get it done 100% defensively, if say some teams starts targeting Gabbs line with their best people to get to Stephan, for christ sake you stick Drury on the LW on that line and let him assist Stephan. Or you trade Dubinsky for someone who can play LW on that line and take care of basic defensive dutys.

Like that should be a problem?

Like what if we got a 1st overall pick and a mega talented offensive young center -- should we just throw him away too because of the the 22 other players we had on the roster, nobody else could get it done defensively???

If Tortorella can't make Stephan work on this team he should get the Nicolae Ceauşescu threatment.


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10-03-2010, 04:19 AM
  #510
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ola View Post
Stephan should be a lock on this team.

Anything else is ridiculos. If he can't get it done 100% defensively, if say some teams starts targeting Gabbs line with their best people to get to Stephan, for christ sake you stick Drury on the LW on that line and let him assist Stephan. Or you trade Dubinsky for someone who can play LW on that line and take care of basic defensive dutys.

Like that should be a problem?

Like what if we got a 1st overall pick and a mega talented offensive young center -- should we just throw him away too because of the the 22 other players we had on the roster, nobody else could get it done defensively???

If Tortorella can't make Stephan work on this team he should get the Nicolae Ceauşescu treatment.
Harsh...
But true

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10-03-2010, 07:30 AM
  #511
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watching rangers in 60 right now and cant help but notice how great boyle has been this pre-season.....really looking forward to seeing him during the year and hoping he keeps it up
Yeah, he chased down a loose puck in the open ice at one point and I didn't even recognize it was him because he was skating so fast

As for Stepan...a lot of players jump directly into the NHL without playing in the AHL and do just fine. They aren't "rushed" or "stunted" by that. Other guys need AHL time, which is fine

It's up to the coaching staff to manage his time and if he starts to really struggle, give him a break or send him down. It's not unprecedented to send a guy down and then bring him back up later (did it with Callahan).

He earned a spot, give it to him and help him succeed in it. That's all

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10-03-2010, 08:00 AM
  #512
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I don't think the +/- from this game are even worth looking at. Too many defensive errors--average goaltending by Biron. Yeah he made some good saves but nothing spectacular.

Anyway on MZA he was more involved in this one than in the two previous games he was in and he made some nice plays--I'm not suggesting he's going to make the team though. Rangers lines were all discombobulated--that's what happens when you only dress 10-12 regulars. Ottawa had their team which is another reason to chuck those +/- stats in the **** can.

I don't see how Stepan doesn't make the team at this point. If nothing else all the hype is there behind him now. That's almost always a precursor. I think Fedotenko has earned a contract--however much that is--he'll have to take what he can get. I really didn't think much of his chances going in and wonder if he'll be able to keep up the whole season but so far his play has been eye opening. I still see White as the odd guy out. Maybe he starts the season and gets replaced by Drury or Prospal when they come back but his salary hit is not affordable on the bottom lines.

On the blueline I'd rate them like this: 1. Staal 2. Girardi 3. Del Zotto--though he might be more bottom pairing at even strength 4. Rozsival 5. McDonagh 6. Sauer
7. Gilroy 8. Valentenko--he could use a little seasoning and if someone needs replacing be the first call up 9. Eminger.

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Old
10-03-2010, 08:20 AM
  #513
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Great pass by Biron for D-Step's goal. If he can do that a few times it'll be a nice bonus on top of improved back-up 'tending.

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10-03-2010, 09:19 AM
  #514
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Yeah because its not like hes earned a spot or anything

Wanting him to start in the AHL when hes outperformed everyone else at the position because he was on the wrong side of the most useless stat in the game for a game (two empty netters and one minus was docked to Stepan because Gilroy decided to channel Gomez on the first PP) is absurd.

I forget which poster said this but he put it best: People on this site ***** about how we never have that guy who can step in and contribute a year or two after being drafted and now that we finally have a guy who may be able to do that, these same people want to send him down to the A...
Youre doing nothing but expanding on my point. People seem to be so distracted by a shiny new prospect that the ability to reason is being lost, so I'll try to take it slow for you.

Has Derek Stepan been one of the 23 best players in camp? Yes, no doubt about it. Im not arguing that, at all. What bewilders me more than anything else is that some people can watch hockey for years and years and not be able to look at the development of a player outside of that vacuuum. This team, from a talent standpoint, stinks by and large - especially down the middle. That makes Stepan (who seems to have the tools and the hockey mind to be a really nice player down the road) look even better.

But the truth is, while hes shown a gifted offensive mind in his handful of preseason games, hes also shown some deficiencies in his game that would ideally be handled with some additional seasoning in the AHL. This is the darker side of rushing a kid that nobody likes to talk about or just plain chooses to ignore. The two major ones are:

1. his skating. When the games start to matter and hes not playing against half of a JV squad, this issue will be exposed even more. Its something that can be easily corrected and worked upon down in the minors.

2. Hes looked quite overmatched in the nuetral zone, especially on the defensive side of the puck. The speed issue above plays a part in this for sure. Not to mention hes is trying to make a HUGE jump in competition level - something else a lot of people conveniently like to ignore because they're enthralled by a rare legit prospect coming up through the ranks.

The issue is really two-fold. First, people are excited about Stepan and they should be. Second, our roster is so bad that a hot-shot prospect looks even shinier.

Its still no reason to virtually ignore the flaws of his game and the development curve in general to rush him into the NHL. In fact, its selfish.

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Old
10-03-2010, 09:20 AM
  #515
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There not rushing him at all.....he proves that he can absolutely play in the NHL this pre-season.

Honestly, what is your thinking that he will develop more in the AHL than the NHL. If Step makes the team then he will definatley get playing time...hes not going to be skating for 4 minutes a night. If that were so i could understand sending him AHL because you want a young guy like that to play minutes....however, if he's going to be playing 15 or more minutes a night (which he will be assuming he makes it) then he will develop better than in the AHL.

Book it...step will make this team and will be one of our top players this season.
Lets get one thing straight right away.

NOONE proves they can "absolutely" play in the NHL during the preseason. OK?

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10-03-2010, 09:23 AM
  #516
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Calling him a "serviceable player" down the line is seriously missing his ability AND potential - and frankly sounds insulting. He's a top prospect. This beauty is that this kid has much more than physical skills.

He has instincts that put him well ahead of many TOP prospects thus making him potentially an elite player. I've seen many, many failed prospects on the Rangers with better physical tools than Stepan (mainly faster skater and a harder slapshot). What makes him special is the combination if his hands AND his head/heart. You just don't see guys his age with that level of hockey smarts and instincts. Grachev's a great example. More physically talented than Stepan in every measure but he'll probably never be a better all-around player. Takes more than "on paper" skills the be a star.

Hell, Stepan reminds me of Messier in a lot of ways. Look at how he lead that US Jr team in the WC's. Leadership, confidence, performance under pressure - all the things you CAN'T measure yet make all the difference between a player like Stepan and Pavel Brendl and all those of his ilk.

He's ready for NHL competition and will only get better learning in a more challenging environment where he thrives - as long as he gets more than 12-14 minutes a game (which he will).
This is the insane juxtaposition Im talking about.

Whats more insane? Taking a conservative approach and labeling him a serviceable NHL player down the road? Or tying an elite level to a 20 year old kid and putting him in the same sentence as Mark Messier?

Its the latter attitude that not only is going to rush this kid into the NHL, but also place absurd expectations on him.

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10-03-2010, 09:27 AM
  #517
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Anyone who thinks Stepan doesn't play a strong 2-way game clearly hasn't been watching closely enough. He had one turnover last night, but he was given the puck in a bad spot and lost control of it. Other than that, he forced a few turnovers and stole the puck on the backcheck a couple times.

Defensive responsibility isn't something Stepan needs to work on, at least any more than any other NHL player does. He doesn't need time in the AHL to hone his skills. He's ready. The only reason to send him down would be if he wasn't going to get the minutes at the NHL level, but given our weakness down the middle, I'm sure he'll get plenty of minutes.

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10-03-2010, 09:37 AM
  #518
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I haven't seen Stepan's skating hindering him. Sure he's not fast...he's about average, but being a fast skater isn't a requirement to being a good offensive/overall hockey player. More importantly, he seems to have pretty good overall mobility, and pretty good balance on his skates with the puck and when fighting for the puck.

I've also been more impressed with his board work...I thought that would be a huge problem for him at this level

As for the other stuff, defensive positioning, etc...there's no guarantee that he or any other player learns that well enough at the AHL level to translate it directly to the NHL level. It's still a jump, and a big one at that. He could spend a year in Hartford and get good at that level, and still run into the same problems at the NHL level until he adjusts to that level of play.

I think some people are just scared about "rushing" prospects regardless of how well they play. Sometimes it's a legitimate worry, but I don't think that's really the case here. I think it's also pretty hard to say "hey, you had a great camp and did everything we could have asked of you, now go to the AHL". Doesn't send a very good message

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10-03-2010, 09:50 AM
  #519
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I haven't seen Stepan's skating hindering him. Sure he's not fast...he's about average, but being a fast skater isn't a requirement to being a good offensive/overall hockey player. More importantly, he seems to have pretty good overall mobility, and pretty good balance on his skates with the puck and when fighting for the puck.

I've also been more impressed with his board work...I thought that would be a huge problem for him at this level

As for the other stuff, defensive positioning, etc...there's no guarantee that he or any other player learns that well enough at the AHL level to translate it directly to the NHL level. It's still a jump, and a big one at that. He could spend a year in Hartford and get good at that level, and still run into the same problems at the NHL level until he adjusts to that level of play.

I think some people are just scared about "rushing" prospects regardless of how well they play. Sometimes it's a legitimate worry, but I don't think that's really the case here. I think it's also pretty hard to say "hey, you had a great camp and did everything we could have asked of you, now go to the AHL". Doesn't send a very good message
All good points Lev...its not like Im going to be upset or something if Stepan makes the squad full time.

For me, it comes down to this issue - are we propping this kid up because we are so incredibly weak at the center position?

Has he truly shown that hes a surefire NHL talent right now, or are we making him one to rush him into attempting to fill a massive team need?

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10-03-2010, 10:17 AM
  #520
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I didn't watch the game. How the **** did we let in 8 goals? I'm assuming we sat our top Dmen out.

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10-03-2010, 10:20 AM
  #521
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I didn't watch the game. How the **** did we let in 8 goals? I'm assuming we sat our top Dmen out.
Two of them were empty netters so it wasn't as bad as it seemed.

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10-03-2010, 10:46 AM
  #522
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Stepan should be on the opening night roster, but not on the Gaborik line. He looked best this preseason on the Fedotenko line, lets keep him there until Drury comes back, and then make the difficult decision.

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10-03-2010, 10:55 AM
  #523
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Entertaining game, despite the loss. We battled well.
Agreed. I actually found both games against the Sens fun to watch.

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10-03-2010, 11:06 AM
  #524
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All good points Lev...its not like Im going to be upset or something if Stepan makes the squad full time.

For me, it comes down to this issue - are we propping this kid up because we are so incredibly weak at the center position?

Has he truly shown that hes a surefire NHL talent right now, or are we making him one to rush him into attempting to fill a massive team need?
Eh, a little bit of both I think. If the team was stacked at center then yeah he probably wouldn't start the year in the NHL...but it's part of the prospect development process to fill the holes on your team with prospects who you hope can grow into or take over that role.

I also don't think he's going to be a default #1 center playing there all the time, if he makes the team. I don't think they'll throw all of that at him at once., but he'll be managed to some extent to make sure he's not crushed by the weight of expectations

But yeah, I think he's shown he can be a NHL player (at least as much as one can show that in preseason), so the next step is to see if he can do it in the regular season

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10-03-2010, 11:08 AM
  #525
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Has he truly shown that hes a surefire NHL talent right now, or are we making him one to rush him into attempting to fill a massive team need?
It's a combination of the two.

I don't think he's being rushed at all as he has the talent and seems mature for his age.

If we were stocked at center and Stepan was only going to get 6-7 minutes on the 4th line. it would make sense to send him down and get major minutes.

But we're not stocked at center and he'll probably get 15 plus minutes even if he's the third line center.

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