"Stepan finished fourth in scoring with the New York Rangers. He scored 45 points. He did so by playing a relatively easy offensive role with many offensive zone starts and a poor quality of opposition. The New York Rangers will likely need him to play a more significant role next season and if they do, they may find he is not ready. They will likely find that he can't maintain his offensive numbers playing a tougher role."
...ummm, Stepan played on the power play, penalty kill, and on probably every line. He also shifted between center and wing. I'm pretty sure he played a very significant role last season?
...i love when so-called experts make up statistics just to back-up their claims. Seriously, wtf is an offensive zone start? And how is he playing a poor quality of opposition? He played against the same teams and players as everyone else in the NHL.
KK adds that given how soft Stepan's role was his rookie season it will be a tough adjustment for him when asked to fulfill a more difficult role during his sophomore season and will likely affect him statistically.
...man, now I really hope Stepan has a ridiculous year just to make this idiot eat his words.
And if you want some reasoning why Stepan isn't a candidate for a sophomore jinx, check out Jess Rubenstein's piece at The Prospect Park.
I've seen some stupid articles in the past, but this is going to rank top 5. Stepan was a huge piece of last year's team, often centering the top line, PK, AND he was running the point on the PP after about 20 games into the season. Also, he projects to be the 3RD line center this year! What an idiot.
The only reason Stepans stats might take a dip would be due to decreased ice time simply because we have Richards. If anything Stepan will have less responsibility because Richards will be playing in more vital situations. This Kukla guy is not that bright.
any rookie is a prime candidate for a sophomore slump.....i dont think stepan is any more or less likely to have one...think about all the good rookies last year who will have much more pressure put on them to support bad teams...say grabner or skinner...they will be expected to score much more and will be the spotlighted by other teams...guys like colture or stepan who have much more veteran talent around them will really have a better chance to shine rather slump...i just think this really wasn't the best thought out article when it comes who may or might not slump
looks to me like this guy just looked at the stats and didnt watch him play at all. stepan may have got more offensive zone starts last year but on a team that loses most of its faceoffs so its not like he gets an automatic scoring chance every time. also being on the 3rd line at the start of the game means dick if torts is the coach, you're probably gonna play with 5-6 different linemates during the game and therefore probably end up playing minutes against most of the oppositions lines anyway.
you used the word idiot to describe kula. i whole heartedly concur. this is the best he could drum up about hockey in august, eh? i would like to add the word douchebag to describe this negative nancy sh!tbird. LGR!!!
If you don't know what an offensive zone start is, you should look for the statistics articles written by George E. Ays at BlueShirt Banter. Or go to behindthenet.ca and read through their FAQs
I happen to agree more with Jess - who takes into account the non-statistical measures of "heart" and "desire" - but the stats still bear watching. If Stepan ends up centering the 3rd line (presuming ??-Richards-Gaborik is one and Dubi-AA-Cally is two) - he may actually get similar 'quality of competition' as last year - and be able to grow without being in "tougher situations".
Too many "ifs" to predict at this time - we'll have to revisit come April....
One of the worst segments I've ever read. Prob a scrub devils fan that built his article on his own thoughts
What planet is this guy living on? Stepan played a significant role on the team last year and he is going to get better..give him break..he is very young and talented !!
@dbmaven Thanks for the heads-up I'll have to check that out. Just too much stats, how about forming an opinion on a guy based on actually watching him.
It was not Paul Kukla himself that posted that. It was the guy who has the Puck Stops Here blog on KK>
@KevinDeLury Kevin - you need both to form a well-rounded opinion. Stats alone can be misleading. So can just watching a guy. Use both together and you have a more realistic combination of impressions and facts to base a decision on.
A perfect example of this is Wolski. Most fans have an very negative impression of him just from watching. But 'skilled' observers see that he's not as bad as the 'rep'. Add in the stats and you get an entirely different picture (go look at the stats to see what I mean).