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Stepan to center Gabby "thoughts"

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Old
12-08-2010, 10:34 AM
  #1
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Stepan to center Gabby "thoughts"

I love this move. Stepan has earned this in his first 25 games. I think Torts is right when he says he is are best play making center. I hope it works.

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12-08-2010, 10:37 AM
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I love the idea, I also really like that he's playing the point on the PP.

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12-08-2010, 10:38 AM
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I think the kid has earned the right to stay with the pro squad the whole year. Whether or not he plays with Gaborik the whole time... I really dont care. If he is clicking, great. If not, the kid is a 20 year old rookie and is already a PK guy for us. We can play him in a defensive role, just like we did Anisimov.

Get him off the damn point, though.

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12-08-2010, 10:42 AM
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i dunno the staal/stepan pair looked pretty good out there.

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12-08-2010, 10:45 AM
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Seriously though, at this point the Erik Christensen Experiment is wearing thin on me (except as a band name). He is just too up and down and inconsistant, and doesn't seem to embody the 100% effort 100% of the time attitude torts is trying to instill in this team.

I am still leery about thrusting Stepan onto the biggest stage since it is a lot of pressure, but I think he can handle it. I would still like to see Anisimov get some time with Gaborik too though.

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12-08-2010, 10:47 AM
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Dont hate it, but dont love it either.

Stepan, for all the good hes done - especially lately - has some serious issues on the defensive side of the puck...issues that will correct themselves when he gets a bit stronger, but thats not happening overnight. On a line with Gabby, its a given he'll be going against either the opposition's top lines most nights. Not an ideal situation in my mind, then again, there is no ideal situation when you look at this team down the middle right now.

I still think Stepan would be best served with 3rd line even strength minutes and powerplay time.

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12-08-2010, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzy Duke of NY View Post
I think the kid has earned the right to stay with the pro squad the whole year. Whether or not he plays with Gaborik the whole time... I really dont care. If he is clicking, great. If not, the kid is a 20 year old rookie and is already a PK guy for us. We can play him in a defensive role, just like we did Anisimov.

Get him off the damn point, though.
Agreed in full


Apparently the line will be

Feds-Stepan-Gaborik

I was happy with keeping avery on the wing to be honest, but feds has played well and his grittiness is impressive

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12-08-2010, 10:53 AM
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Ranger Blue i have ti disagree about the defensive play of Stepan. Why do you say this, his plus minus is better than most our forwards, You have to remember when you play as many minutes as he has the last 8-10 games your going to see that plus minus go up and down alot more. I would say for a 20 year old he has been way better than alot of the vets.

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12-08-2010, 10:55 AM
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great to see stepan on the top line. the kid plays well in all situations so far: pk, pp, high leverage points in the game, plays well in all three areas of the ice. the kid's been far better than his stats.

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12-08-2010, 10:56 AM
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Let it ride... he'll take some lumps but it's great for his development imo.

Its a balance of ... we gotta win the games + we gotta hope this kid is the future #1 center... bona fide

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12-08-2010, 11:10 AM
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He's getting the same treatment as every other player has been getting with Torts this year. The better you play, the more you're rewarded. Simple as that.

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12-08-2010, 11:18 AM
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I can't wait till prospal is back so we can stop the "next guy to center gabby is..." updates.

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12-08-2010, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by AOWRanger View Post
I can't wait till prospal is back so we can stop the "next guy to center gabby is..." updates.
Probably won't be Prospal.

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12-08-2010, 11:24 AM
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Like centering Gabs.

Dislike the point on the PP.

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12-08-2010, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaqup View Post
Like centering Gabs.

Dislike the point on the PP.
Agree...i'd rather have him on the half boards at least until he is a bit more experienced playing defense and all that.

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12-08-2010, 11:27 AM
  #16
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Originally Posted by Stepanformayor View Post
Ranger Blue i have ti disagree about the defensive play of Stepan. Why do you say this, his plus minus is better than most our forwards, You have to remember when you play as many minutes as he has the last 8-10 games your going to see that plus minus go up and down alot more. I would say for a 20 year old he has been way better than alot of the vets.
The prime example is how Torts ripped Stepan off the top line about 3 minutes into the Pittsburgh game last week.

Im not trying bash the kid at all, but hes not the quickest skater in the world to begin with and it should be obvious to most that hes getting outmuscled during a lot of battles. Like I said, these things will improve over time - hes 20 years old and has a lot of room to develop - Im just not sure that having him go up against Crosby, Richards, and the other best centers in the league when hes going to get physically outmatched is the best approach to that development.

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12-08-2010, 11:29 AM
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This is as much (or more) about maximizing Gaborik's skills than it is about rewarding Stepan for his solid play. He's needs a running mate that can keep up.

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12-08-2010, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Rabid Ranger View Post
This is as much (or more) about maximizing Gaborik's skills than it is about rewarding Stepan for his solid play. He's needs a running mate that can keep up.
Im actually puzzled why Anisimov hasn't gotten a shot yet.

Sure, Stepan is a much more gifted playmaker, but Anisimov is the left-hander Torts wants on a line with Gabby, and is more polished physically and on the defensive side of the puck than Stepan.

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12-08-2010, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
Probably won't be Prospal.
Prospal is the only one that proved he can click with gaborik constantly. Prospal could probably out center christensen on one leg

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12-08-2010, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by AOWRanger View Post
Prospal is the only one that proved he can click with gaborik constantly. Prospal could probably out center christensen on one leg
Prospal isn't a center anymore. And, who even knows if he's ever coming back? That said, if he doesn't can't see it as a center.

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12-08-2010, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Dont hate it, but dont love it either.

Stepan, for all the good hes done - especially lately - has some serious issues on the defensive side of the puck...issues that will correct themselves when he gets a bit stronger, but thats not happening overnight. On a line with Gabby, its a given he'll be going against either the opposition's top lines most nights. Not an ideal situation in my mind, then again, there is no ideal situation when you look at this team down the middle right now.

I still think Stepan would be best served with 3rd line even strength minutes and powerplay time.
He makes one bad play on the point last game and all of a sudden he has serious defensive issues? What about the other night when Torts started him out against Crosby? i agree once he gets stronger and faster he will be able to check much more effectively, however he is very defensively savvy for a rookie that skipped the AHL.

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12-08-2010, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Im actually puzzled why Anisimov hasn't gotten a shot yet.

Sure, Stepan is a much more gifted playmaker, but Anisimov is the left-hander Torts wants on a line with Gabby, and is more polished physically and on the defensive side of the puck than Stepan.
I feel the exact same way. Its bizzarre with the amount of line combinations we've seen so far that we haven't seen Anisimov with Gaborik yet.

I would like to see this as the top 3 lines:

Frolov-Anisimov-Gaborik
Dubinsky-Stepan-Callahan
Avery-Boyle-Fedotenko


I'm willing to give Frolov one more opportunity to put up or shut up with the top line. I just have a gut feeling that top line would produce

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12-08-2010, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Prucha15 View Post
I feel the exact same way. Its bizzarre with the amount of line combinations we've seen so far that we haven't seen Anisimov with Gaborik yet.

I would like to see this as the top 3 lines:

Frolov-Anisimov-Gaborik
Dubinsky-Stepan-Callahan
Avery-Boyle-Fedotenko


I'm willing to give Frolov one more opportunity to put up or shut up with the top line. I just have a gut feeling that top line would produce
I agree with that completely but it won't happen. Drury is back sooner rather than later and I think he C the 3rd line and Boyle and Prust go back to the 4th but still get just as much ice time as the Drury line as Boyle deserves it and Prust does too. I am for sitting Boogie against any team that does not have a tough guy so we can get EC in there and it can turn into more of a scoring threat. Boyle can hit the wing

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Old
12-08-2010, 11:53 AM
  #24
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Originally Posted by ColonialsHockey10 View Post
He makes one bad play on the point last game and all of a sudden he has serious defensive issues? What about the other night when Torts started him out against Crosby? i agree once he gets stronger and faster he will be able to check much more effectively, however he is very defensively savvy for a rookie that skipped the AHL.
Its not one mistake, he doesnt make a ton of noticeable mistakes out there, but he is getting outmuscled, especially against the boards on a fairly regular basis.

As for starting against Crosby, yea thats great. You forget to mention that he was removed from the matchup after 2 shifts.

And yes, he is defensively savvy - he has a very high hockey IQ - hes just not there physically yet and nothings going to change that in the nearterm.

Like I said, its a tough issue all-around. Im sure if Torts had a capable center to play with Gaborik, Stepan would be getting 3rd line even strength minutes along with PP time - that should be the natural course of his progression as a 20 year old NHL'er. Its a fine line between developing this kid at a natural rate and jamming him into situations in which he'll be overmatched due to team needs. I think Torts has managed it well so far, but I dont see Stepan on the top line sticking for an extended period of time.

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Old
12-08-2010, 12:07 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by AOWRanger View Post
Prospal is the only one that proved he can click with gaborik constantly. Prospal could probably out center christensen on one leg
Agreed, Prospal is probably the most competent candidate to Center Gaborik when he returns....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
Prospal isn't a center anymore. And, who even knows if he's ever coming back? That said, if he doesn't can't see it as a center.
For whatever reason, Andrew Gross twittered that both Drury & Prospal were expected back in December... Prospal isn't skating yet, but there are 3 weeks left in December, so perhaps he may return just before the new year?

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