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Entries with the tag: derek stepan
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
No one is comparing Derek Stepan with Trottier, but from the first moment of Stepan’s first day of his first training camp in September 2010, there was an inescapable sense of security, maturity and poise beyond his years within the 20-year-old out of the University of Wisconsin that was similar to Trottier’s right from the start.
For two seasons, Stepan handled pretty much everything thrown at him. Except for the playoffs. A year ago, scoreless in five games against Washington, moved out of the middle onto the wing for the final three matches after getting a fair share of time during his rookie season as a first-line pivot. This year, scoreless in his first five games against Ottawa, demoted to the fourth line for Game 3 after spending his entire sophomore season as a top-six forward.
But then, toward the end of the Game 5 defeat, it started to click. And then in Game 6, it clicked in. It clicked in with a goal — the first goal; the tying goal; the goal that was essential for his team — and two assists. And then in Game 7, it clicked again, Stepan threading a right wing pass between defenseman Sergei Gonchar’s skates to set up Marc Staal in front for the first goal; Stepan on the ice for 8:37 of the third and 3:14 of the final 7:09 with the Rangers protecting a one-goal lead amidst bedlam at the Garden.
“He willed himself,” is what coach John Tortorella said about the growth spurt that took place within a week. “It was weighing on him, but he found a way.”
Green is questionable to return and no penalty on the play.
Today’s three cheers for those who deserve as much from their performances of a night ago:
***Cheers to Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers, who burst onto the NHL scene last night with a hat trick in his first career game. Dallas’ Fabian Brunnstrom was the last player to manage three goals in his NHL debut and Stepan became the fourth player in league history to accomplish the feat. That it came against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, too, makes the performance that much more impressive. If Stepan’s contributions in the early-going are any indicator, New York will fare far better than some of us may have predicted.
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Tags: alexei+yashin, david+hale, derek+stepan, fabian+brunnstrom, guy+boucher, john+tavares, kyle+okposo, mark+streit, mike+milbury, radim+vrbata, ryan+miller, steve+downie, todd+fedoruk
Guest writer Erin Nicks is covering the NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa for Kukla’s Korner this weekend.
By Erin Nicks
Those concerned about Ottawa picking up some grit in this year’s draft will need to dig deep into Round 5, when the club (after much apparent hemming and hawing) selected defenceman Mark Borowiecki with the 139th pick.