Stepan’s taking his shot


Derek Stepan:

On the speed of the scrimmages:

“It’s faster. It’s definitely faster. You’ve got to be thinking three seconds ahead. You’ve got to be able to get pucks on stick battles, you’ve got to be strong on your skates, you’ve got to be winning draws. Winning draws are very important for me right now because they get puck possession. It’s quicker, but it’s something that I’m starting to get a grasp of, which is good. I’m starting to feel more comfortable with the puck, more and more each day. Even the first day, it just took me a couple of shifts to get going, so it was good.”

He laughed when it was mentioned to him that he scored on his first shift.

“The puck seemed to find me. A little puck luck never hurt anyone.”

On playing with Gaborik and Frolov, and the possibility that he could actually wind up there:

“It’s something that you’ve just got to control what you can control. I’ve said that probably 100 times. I keep saying it, but it’s something I try to do each day — come to the rink, don’t really worry about it, just play your game. Playing with those two is just unbelievable. It’s quite a game when you’re playing with two guys like that. You just try to do what you can do to hold your end and make sure you can compete with those guys. I just try to find them and get the puck to them because they’ll do the rest.”

On whether there’s an intimidation playing with players like that.

“Yeah, initially. Probably like a couple of minutes like, ‘Wow, this is pretty cool’ — something that not many people get a chance to do, but then it set in and it says, ‘OK, now I’ve really got to turn up my game. Playing with high level players, your game always gets tweaked a little bit. So it was something that, at first was, ‘This is cool; this is something special’ and then it’s like ‘Alright, now I’ve really got to get to the grind.’

“It was fun. I had a blast with those two guys. For some reason … I don’t know how chemistry works. You step on the ice and just seem to find guys, and for us three, we just clicked. I don’t know if it was first-day, first-scrimmage, everyone’s excited to play, or chemistry, or what. But I’m excited.

“I don’t really know how to explain chemistry. If you can find it, it’s something special. … Plus I didn’t take chemistry in school.”

Marian Gaborik on Stepan:

“It was pretty good. I didn’t really know him. Was he in camp last year? (no). So, he’s got pretty good skill, good skater, playmaker. So I think he’s going to see some exhibition games for sure, so we’ll see. It’s still early but he looked very good.

“Some of the guys, first camp, you’re scared to do things. But he wasn’t. He tried to make plays, he was good defensively, he scored a goal. He made some nice plays, which is good. He’s not scared to play, and that’s very good.”

Alex Frolov had a hat trick that first day with Gaborik and Stepan, so Gaborik was asked, kiddingly, if he’s going to be an assist guy this year.

“We’ll see,” he smiled. “I like to score goals, too.”

On Frolov:

“He’s good. He’s strong. In the corners he’s strong, and he can finish as well. So I’m sure we’re going to play some exhibition games together and hopefully, who knows who’s going to be at center? We’ll see what happens.”

Here’s Tortorella on Stepan, courtesy of Andrew Gross blog:

“He’s played in some pretty high-intensity tournaments along the way, the World Championships and college. I think most of our kids, including him, have handled themselves well coming into a big camp. He equipped himself very well. Little Kennedy has done some good things in the middle of the ice. I’m just happy that guys are competing and we’re able to see some of the young kids step up here. I think our kids have played very well as we’ve gone through the early part of camp.”

On Stepan playing with Gaborik and Frolov:
“Once we got our numbers, I put some teams together. No question in our mind we want to look at Stepan in a lot of different situations. We want to evaluate how he handles things and see where he is as we go through camp because we’re going to have make a decision on that position with him. So we want to look at him a lot of different situations as far as the big club is concerned.”

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  1. Blue Seat Horror on

    Carped, repost:

    Carp, thanks again for the training camp reports! You’re fueling the frenzy that will only truly be satiated by a piece of frozen rubber bouncing off the Buffalo Sabres logo at 7:10 pm on Oct. 9.

  2. I’m afraid to post today!

    is anyone going to the hockey fest at Iona College in New Rochelle Sunday? Here’s the whole line-up, including the youngest man in hockey :)

    Mark Messier
    Brian Leetch
    Mike Richter
    Paul Coffey
    Adam Graves
    Ron Greschner
    Brett Hull
    Jeremy Roenick
    Harry Howell
    Gordie Howe
    Mario Lemieux
    Chris Chelios
    Mike Keenan
    Scotty Bowman

    fran, a boneheads fest is exactly like an ocktoberfest! except it’s held any month of the year!!

  3. Blogmama – Wow, that sounds like fun, no matter what they do.

    One more person for the Avery Gifted Gaborik fantasy league. You better be active if you join. It’s on Yahoo, ID#19753, password torts. :)

  4. Carp:
    Great job so far with Training camp

    I’m def excited to see what the team actually looks like on opening night

    So many questions:

    Does McDonough, Grachev or Stephan make the final cut?
    Whose getting demoted to make cap space?
    Does anyone get traded before the season starts?

    Love that Hokcey season is upon us once again

    Let me be the first to say it



    All team owners of the “Carped 4 Life” ESPN Fantasy Hockey League

    *LIVE DRAFT IS TONIGHT @ 9PM!* The link will be available one hour before the draft takes place. To enter live draft, please visit main page of the league and click on “My Team” tab and click the link under your team logo that will say “Snake Draft” Thank you.

  6. Oh, you mean the puck during the Prospal interview? I deflected it away from the other guy’s head and off his back. but no catch.

  7. I should be there on Saturday – given that I work at Iona :-) I will be the “big guy” wearing my Jean Ratelle jersey.

    I really like the idea of Stepan playing on the top line with Frollov and Gaborik. My only concern is that they might get roughed up a bit before Boogaard can quiet down any problems. All in all, still worth a try during preseason. I hope Torts goes through with it on Thursday night.

  8. Cool beans. Maybe I’ll swing by, that is if the crack MSG ushers don’t turn me away. I didn’t thing they were starting the renovations until after this season, you know in April. At least that’s what it said in the letter they sent to season ticket holders.

  9. Joekuh - still playing NHL '94... on

    CCCP, about 3 minutes into the Prospal interview on the Rangers site, a puck comes over the glass into the middle of the interview.

  10. Gift of GAB-orik on

    #18- Doug Gilmour for the St. Louis Blues in 1984.

    Tony Granato- NYR 89-90
    Adam Hall- NYR 07
    Stu Kulak- NYR 87
    Gord Labossiere- NYR 65

    The list goes on and on. Alot of 18’s in Ranger history.

  11. CCCP – How come you chose to have 20 people in that league? Way too many for me. Redden might get drafted!!

    One of McDonagh, Stepan, or MZA better make the roster. It sounds like Grachev is not really on the radar and needs more time, possibly half a season.

  12. video link on tr’s earlier post … click on Prospal interview. Good looking guy in red shirt, blue hat (no doubt hiding lots of hair).

    Hah. Stu Kulak. Another one who was supposed to be something special.

  13. Joekuh - still playing NHL '94... on

    Sounds like Stepan has a good head on his shoulders. EC better play his ass off. I like seeing the competition of training camp, if you dont bring it, you’re not making the team.

  14. Spiderpig

    yeah i know… i realized it later but it was too late! many people wanted to join so i had to choice i guess. Less good players to go around which makes it tougher to play…maybe not so bad, eh?

    My first time running the league so this year is a lesson year :)

  15. Booger on the top line? No way, in fact I don’t want Derek to even utter the thought – although it might happen for a shift or two if an opponent is going to target Gaborik. You figure it would take Boosie that long just to catch up to someone :-)

    My concern was that something would/could happen before Derek even took a shift. That is part of the problem with having an enforcer whose ability to play a regular (or even semi-regular) shift is slim to none and slim already booked his flight out of town.

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