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08-26-2011, 08:20 AM
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Stepan on the second line, Anisimov third

There seems to be an assumption by many that Anisimov will be on the second and Step on the third line. I think this is wrong.

The first line needs a Scrapper to go into the corners. The right man for the job is Dubinsky. Nobody argued otherwise as far as the first line goes. Those who want Dubi on the second are just worried more about the second line than the first. But if the Rangers fielded one line only, there is no doubt Dubi would be the first line LW.

This means Wolski has to move Dow to the second line.

On the second line, Wolski will need a playmaking center who can play with the puck and dish it out well. That person is clearly zstepan. Anisimov is just too passive for W2.

Last season, W2 had good (but brief) success with Step and Zuccarello. Everything Zuccarello did that helped this line (dump and chase, scrap, etc) Callahan will do that much better.

Callahan would be the scrapper fighting in corners and in front of the net, Step would set up plays and W2 would be the finisher. If they all have solid seasons, it would be a heck of a second line. And playing together would maximize their chances of doing well.

On the third line, Anisimov could be a great two-way checking center. Zuccarello would help out on offense and either Feds or Hagelin would help on defense.

In particular if Hagelin makes it, I don't want a line of Hagelin-Stepan-Zuccarello that has under 125 total games experience in the NHL and only 160 games of North American pro experience at any level, NHL or minor league.

Even if instead of Hagelin and Zuccarello, the Rangers dress veterans Avery and Feds, Anisimov is still a better fit with those guys by virtue of their style of play.

I would also want my third line center to be able to play on all lines just to get him more ice time because both Step and Anisimov deserve more than third line duty. Again, this is where Anisimov fits best.

Both kids can play on the second line if one of the centers ahead of them is injured, but Anisimov could also double shift on the fourth line when Boyle is injured or benched. A2 is better defensively and all around than the sophomore Steoan. That makes him more quality to cycle and defend with Rupp and Prust.

Finally, Step has a higher upside and I would like to see him play with more talented offensive players.

A2, on the other hand, needs to develop his all around game, which is where his future lies. Taking regular shift on the third line while getting occasionally double shifted on the fourth and getting special team time, plus seeing some top 6 minutes when injuries hit, he will learn to be the Jack of all trades. Ultimately, that is where his.? success lies: in the ability to play an all-around game.

Long term, this would be good for
both players and short term for the team this year.

But as usual' who knows how guys mesh with each other.

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