Carolina’s beared master
When you talk about the new faces in the dressing room who will play big parts this season, you think of the netminders and of the new defenseman. Someone who likely doesn’t cross your mind is the 4th line center, yet Derek Stepan has turned the clock back a long way to make the Carolina Hurricanes as deep as any other team in the NHL.
If you assumed that the Carolina Hurricanes would be getting the 60 point player that Derek Stepan once was, then you were very much fooling yourself. However, Stepan has shown so far this season that he isn’t a passenger. He’s still got that scoring touch, and he picked up first star honors in this game to match.
So far, Stepan has amassed 2 goals and an assist this season, but all three have indeed come against the Chicago Blackhawks. It’s not to say that Stepan can only score against teams that aren’t the same caliber as Carolina, but it is worth pointing out that he is still yet to record a point against anyone else. He’s been very good against the Blackhawks.
With that said, this doesn’t mean he’s not been bad in other games. He’s just not had the same level of production against other opponents. He’s been a good fourth-liner. He’s always willing to dive in on the forecheck and attack the net whenever he sees the chance. He doesn’t play as much as he did as a Ranger, but he’s still got incredible talent at his disposal when the team needs it.
With that said, that’s it for this one. Thank you very much for joining me, but that’s it for now. Carolina improves to 9-0 with a 4-3 come-from-behind-win over the Chicago Blackhawks.