May 16, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in game one of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
4) Derek Stepan’s ability to keep gathering points
Derek Stepan has arguably been the Rangers’ most valuable player this postseason. Especially in his last five games, he really has taken his game to a whole new level. He continues to create offensive chances, and continues to gather up points. Since Game Three against the Lightning, Stepan now has a total of five goals; three of which being in his last five games, and seven assists; three of which also being in his last five games. He scored the game winning goal against the Capitals to send the Rangers through to play the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final, and has since gained two goals and two assists. He is now 10th in the league for playoff goals, and 11th in the league for playoff assists.
Stepan has really been able to find a lot of open space recently, It’s basically the exact reason he was able to score his previous three goals. He’s going to the right positions, and he’s putting the pucks in the net.
Stepan spoke after Game One against the Lightning about how he’s scoring goals, and he said “It’s just how the goals are scored in the playoffs. You don’t see too many tic-tac-toe plays. You kind of have to get the ugly ones, and where they’re going to be scored is around the net.”
Next: Reason Number Five