Derek Stepan Video Derek Stepan
One minute and 13 seconds into the third period, Zdeno Chara picked up the puck behind the net and started to skate with it toward the side of the net.
One minute and 14 seconds into the the third period, Derek Stepan came in behind Chara and took the puck.
Giannone asked Stepan about the game winning goal that he scored and Stepan said, "We talked about getting pucks to the net. I'm just gonna go to the net and keep my stick down and he just has to hit it. I didn't really do much, if If anything it should be Rick's goal, it just bounced off me."
Joe Micheletti said during the broadcast on MSG recently that Stepan has the added pressure of Brad Richards' slow start, but Stepan has "really grown this year."
John Tortorella, after the Rangers win over NJ, praised the work that Stepan and his line have done not only in the offensive zone, but in the defensive zone as well.
The 22 minutes he was averaging in February were about four minutes more than he averaged during seven January games.
In the NY Post, Stepan, while speaking with Larry Brooks, said that his game appeared to make a "drastic change" for the better around the start of February.
He played over 20 minutes last night but was only 25% on faceoffs and is 45% on the season.
Stepan only has three points in the last eight games, John Tortorella said on Monday that Stepan is still going through the process:
On Stepan, Leetch said, "He is a great playmaker and a great passer. I compare him to a young Brad Richards but I think he is more physical than Brad was at a young age"
Brandon Prust said on MSG that Stepan has grown as a player and as a person in his time with the Rangers.
Stepan was questionable for the game after blocking a shot on Thursday with his ankle, but John Tortorella told the Daily News that he had no doubt that Stepan would play:
As far as the intangibles, as far as being a pro, he gets it. And I didn?t think there was any time we thought he was going to be sitting out this game.?Anisimov told Larry Brooks of the NY Post in the post game that he is a big fan of his line mate, ?[Stepan], he has [gonads] you know,? said Anisimov, holding his hands together in front of him in a universally understood manner. ?He?s got game, you know. That winning goal was huge.?
The Ottawa Citizen called him their "STUD" of the game:
On the MSG postgame show yesterday, Stepan said, "I am getting more comfortable, I wouldn't say that I am comfortable but I am getting there and I have been having a lot of fun so it has been a good process."
... Stepan showed the patience of a 10 year NHL Veteran with that goal. The rookie now has 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points on the season.