Derek Stepan had 19 points in 14 games last month. Even he was surprised.
"A little bit, yes," the New York Rangers center told NHL.com Tuesday. "I'm really happy with the way it went, but now it's a new season, a new start."
Stepan will have to continue his surge into May if the Rangers want to match offensive wits with Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals starting in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).
There's no reason to think Stepan can't -- or that he won't. He's 22 years old and he has hit the next level of his career, so much so that outside of Henrik Lundqvist, a case can be made for Stepan being the Rangers' most important player going into the playoffs.