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07-13-2012, 07:19 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: SF/Bay Area
Originally Posted by
Qui Gon Dave
Generally in game situations, his acceleration seems to me to be rather average, he takes a couple of strides to really get moving but then once he has some momentum, he goes through the gears better and has decent speed. If he's really pissed off over something then his acceleration looks a bit better but in the normal flow of things, I wouldn't rate his acceleration very high (nor is it especially bad). As for his top speed, it's nothing that puts him in with the fastest in the league, but his speed is a little underrated by some fans IMO. He can close up some decent sized gaps between himself and the player he is chasing, be it on the forecheck or when chasing down an icing, he can put himself in contention on a play he looks to be too far away from at first. And once he gets up to speed, with his size he can really hammer into guys.
As for his anticipation on the forecheck, bit difficult to accurately gauge as the Habs have tended to play a rather passive system most of the time where it seemed to me that any player on a line could be the F1, F2 or F3. Sometimes we'd send one guy in deep but more likely they'd just cover the front of the net and then try and force the play to one side of the ice if the D already have the puck under control behind the net. When he does press, he showed on a few occasions that he can use his stick well to steal pucks inside the defensive zone or use his body to pressure opponents. Not to the point of being absolutely brilliant at it, but he could do it well enough.
AK tended to have different roles with the Habs depending on what line he was on. With Pleks and Cammy, he and Pleks seemed more responsible for the board work because there was little point in asking Cammy to do that. But with Eller and Moen, while he would sometimes do the board work, he was the guy we wanted to get the puck to on that line so his play with them was a little more about getting open or to the net. AK also commented that having stable linemates he could learn to play with and knowing what his role was helped him play better (so naturally, we bounced him all over the place).
If he is given some stability then whatever his role is (physical presence, trigger man, playmaker, net presence), I'd expect him to show he can adapt to it and play it fairly well even when matched against the other teams best players (which he had to do a lot with Pleks). He can also work well with a range of centers with different skillsets. The exception to that being Gomez, who he struggled a lot with. But he has shown chemistry with Plek and Eller and showed promise in the little time he got with Saku, Lang and Desharnais. He is a fairly adaptable player all in all. Just not with Gomez
Thanks for the detailed insight. I think AK would be a solid addition to the Sharks as the 7th forward. Slot him next to Marleau/Thornton as the F1 or along with Pavelski on the 3rd line along with Wingels (assuming Pavs goes back to the 3rd line).
In any case, it's probably a pipe dream since DW doesn't seem fond of Russians unfortunately.
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