Here’s some indirect advice from one Derek to another; from the Yankees’ Jeter to the Rangers’ Stepan, who in another 10 days will be skating on the rink at the Stadium that will cover the portion of the infield on which the shortstop makes his living. That counsel, unknowingly delivered during the summer of 2011 when Jeter was batting in the .250’s as late as the first week of July, is that Stepan should not look at the scoreboard where statistics are flashed a few stories high. “I never look,” Jeter said at the time. “I don’t need to be reminded.” There are four games to go before Stepan skates on the Stadium ice Jan. 26 against the Devils in which the Rangers center has a chance to change the narrative, but the numbers that currently would go on the scoreboard behind the bleachers are enough to make anyone look away: seven goals and 20 assists for 27 points in 49 games. “Of course it bothers me,” Stepan told The Post before his drought reached 13 games in the Rangers’ 1-0 victory over the Red Wings at the Garden on Thursday. “For sure it weighs on me.” Sooner or later, the Blueshirts are going to need production from the earnest 23-year-old who led the club in scoring last year when he posted 18 goals and 26 assists for 44 points in the lockout-truncated 48-game season. Of course they will. But for now, the Rangers are 9-3-1 through the entirety of Stepan’s famine that follows by a few months a 12-game drought with which he opened the season. It helps more than a little bit, of course, that Henrik Lundqvist seems to have regained his powers.
Goals scarce for Blueshirts’ young forward Stepan
New York Post | Jan 17