Who is the better line 2 center
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07-11-2011, 06:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Stepan is much more decisive and a "go" player in the offensive zone. His job is to create and he did that in his rookie year playing mostly on a third line. His stock is rising and his potential is sky high right now.
Anisimov is better defensively because he's more of a typical 3rd line two-way "checking" center (although he passes up more hits than a good catholic girl at a grateful dead concert) who can put up 40ish points while playing defense-first hockey. That's extremely valuable to a championship team, but I don't see Anisimov ever putting up the offensive numbers that Stepan's going to be putting up in a few years.
Stepan reminds me of a mix beteween Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. I'd love that to be our 2nd line center for the next decade, maybe even our 1st one day. I see Anisimov as our version of Jordan Staal for the Pens. An above-average 3rd line center who could easily play 2nd line C with the right wingers on the right team, but will succeed admirably in a 3rd line shut-down role playing against the opponents best players while still being able to produce offense when he gets a chance to.
I also have to add that if Anisimov didn't play with Dubinsky and Callahan last year, he wouldn't have sniffed 40 points. He simply didn't create enough on his own. That's not to say he won't improve in that area because he has significantly improved every year he's been in the pros. Best case scenario he's similar to a Nemchinov (the early years with the Rangers) who if he stays healthy can be a perennial 40-50 point center who makes life miserable for the other team's best players. If that's the production from your
line center, you're in fantastic shape, offensively.
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