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04-09-2013, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by MaxV View Post
I would say Nikulin has been more then just "decent" on PP.

The most interesting battle for roster spots will probably be for the #3 and #4 Centers.

The choices are probably Anisimov, Tereschenko, Schipachyov, Tikhonov, Svitov and possibly Burmistrov (if he makes significant improvements).

- Tereschenko's experience with the NT is a big plus. I think he was on all 3 of the WHC gold medal teams and has played very well in every tournament. He isn't a great scorer, but he is very responsible in his own zone and has enough offensive skills to play with scoring wingers. I would say he is the top choice.

- Anisimov often shows flashes of excellent skills, but has been very inconsistant so far in his career. He has all the tools to be a very good Center, but hasn't put it together yet. Still, he should be considered. His game could compliment a line with 2 good wingers.

- Schipachyov is a skilled offensive Center, but average in defensive zone. With the offensive talent that Russia should have at Wing positions, I'm not sure he is needed. He might be a decent choice as an extra forward, as he could provide versatility.

- Svitov is the best defensive forward and the worst offensive forward on this list. People might view his stats at last year's WHC and assume he had a terrible tournament. Also some might remember all the missed 1-on-1s golden opportunities, but what I remember is his line pretty much keeping the puck at opponent's side of the ice every time. Svitov's hustle, physical play was excellent at that tournament and I'm sure Bilya has noticed. I'm not sure he is my top choice, but again he might be a decent choice as an extra forward.

- Tikhonov is a decent all-around player. He is "jack of all trades, master of none" kind of a player. His biggest case for this team might be chemistry with Kovalchuk and Tarasenko.

Burmistrov and other talented young Centers (Grigorenko, Khokhlachev, Namestnikov, Telegin, etc.) aren't ready and probably won't be in time for the tournament.
All the discussion about Nikulin stands and falls with the rink size. That's what most ppl forget. He has no real experience on the small rinks. On the big rinks he's the man. And he's a PP machine too.

Also there will be no discussion about 4th and 3rd line centers with Bill. His 3rd and 4th lines are different worlds. There will be a competition for the 3d line center spot. And my humple opinion is we shoud go with 5 centers because of the lack of depth at center. We then could have specialists like Tereschenko(not the big scorer indeed. But he has that karma to score in every big game. He needs to be there even if it is as a charm ) for the PK or faceoffs like Svitov and rotate them to keep them fresh. Also a guy like Shipachyov can make a very good winger as seen during the Channel One Cup. True that.

The 4th line center role should go without contention to Anisimov, but injuries are part of the business, right? You underestimate Anisimov, bacause you try to push him into that skilled-player-big-scorer role.

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