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Stepan on the second line, Anisimov third

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Old
08-26-2011, 08:20 AM
  #1
Beacon
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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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08-26-2011, 08:23 AM
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disagree completely. The natural chemistry between those three was amazing last year. Add that with a true first line and you have two great lines. Then add in a third of Step - Zucc and Fed and thats a really hard team to play against.

Plus Ani's all around game is great, we need to develop his offense. He is already great defensively. Putting him with Rupp and Prust would be a waste of the offensive talents he does have.

Our 2nd line will probably get matched up against top lines seeing how good defensively Cally, Ani and Dubi are.

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08-26-2011, 08:40 AM
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I love how Stepan's repuation as a distributor clouds the fact that he wasn't much of a distributor last year

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08-26-2011, 08:43 AM
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I think your suggestion is pretty interesting.

As it is now, on not so few nights I would otherwise predict that Stepan ends up on a de facto 4th line, and Boyle and co gets a bigger role.

And if you look to get the best balance, Callahan with Step and Zucc with AA is definitely a better fit for both of the two unexperienced players mentioned.

At the same time, as have been said and as will be said several times in this thread -- it will take alot to break up Dubi-AA-Cally if they start were they finnished last season.

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08-26-2011, 08:52 AM
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It will be a battle in camp. I don't put either AA or Steps over the other but everyone is obsessed with the Packline so if Torts feels the same way that is the 2nd line.

could easily be broken up with Dubi, 1st line but then WW should really play with Callahan and whoever at C.

Again whoever gels in camp

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08-26-2011, 08:52 AM
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It's more about minutes, and match-ups.. Anisimov is just a flat-out better player at this moment than Stepan. Top-2 lines are usually going to be facing the oppositions top-2 defensive pairings. I think the third-line is perfect for Stepan in his sophomore season. Little less responsibility. And he'll be playing against third-pairing dmen usually.

If he outplays AA, then I'd consider moving him up.

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08-26-2011, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSG the place to be View Post
I love how Stepan's repuation as a distributor clouds the fact that he wasn't much of a distributor last year
I think you also makes a good point, and its a point that is valid in many situations.

Like, you have a player A who sets up alot of goals and he is instantly labled as a play maker (nothing wrong thus far I guess) but than its very easy to assume that player A would work out well with any kind of goalscorer.

In that sense:
Playmaker+sniper=success is not always true.

More than a traditional playmaker (like Bäckström type), I think Stepan is very good at making 2-3 step plays. More than setting up a office in the corner type his strength is to make plays like give and goes and stuff like that. Give Stepan the puck, get open, he'll have perfect timeing and will serve you at just the right time. In all situations he has a good head on his body and is offensively aware.

The result of that is that I would speculate that Stepan works well with other offensivly creative players. Like say a Blake Wheeler who he worked really well in the WCH's with. I think Stepan would have worked better with a Bertuzzi in his prime as opposed to a Robitalle in his prime.

Brad Richards is also a special type of playmakers who is very good at being a step ahead of everyone on the ice and getting the pucks at the net into the dangerous areas at exactly the right time. Like I am sure Richards would have been a much better fit with Adam Graves than Brett Hull for example. I definitely think it remains to be seen how well he works out with Gabby!

Callahan isn't that offensively creative guy that Stepan someday could end up developing deadly chemistry with -- but he would of course help Step still, Cally is such a good player to have on your wing as a center no matter what.

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08-26-2011, 09:09 AM
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Does it really matter? Both Stepan and Artie will get time on all 4 lines, most likely. We all know Torts will mix and match on a game to game, period to period and sometimes even shift to shift basis.

I don't care what numbers the lines are. Find combinations that work well together, then give more ice time to the combinations playing the best at any given time. Some nights that will be Gaborik, Richards and Dubi/WW/Other, some nights it won't. If some players are playing well, they may get shifts on more than one line.

Both players will get their share of ice time, provided they are earning it.

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08-26-2011, 09:10 AM
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Agreed with the OP.

Dubinsky-Richards-Gaborik makes a lot more sense than putting Wolski there in place of Dubinsky.
Just so you can have the "Packline" together. Attachment 47827

I don't think Anisimov is a second line center. Stepan displays more center talent/ability than Anisimov imo.

As usually the case, lines change throughout the season. But I think it will be Dubinsky-Richards-Gaborik to start out.

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08-26-2011, 09:36 AM
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I disagree with the OP's lines. I do agree Richards and Gaborik need a LW who can work the corners and boards so I would put Feds there. He has played with Richards in Tampa so the learning curve would be a little smaller. He is solid in the corners and boards and defensively responsible. The Pack line is great in cycling down low and has real chemistry and allows Dubinsky to work below the goal line and Anisimov to set up in the slot which he loves. All three players are solid in all three zones and are a solid second line. The third line of WW-Stepan-MZA, did play well in stretches last season and should have a shot at the beginning of the year atleast to see what they could build on. The fourth line of Rupp-Boyle-Prust will be a gritty solid line to match up against teams. Remember last year the Feds-Boyle-Prust line was technically the fourth line but played solid minutes.

Feds-Richards-Gaborik
Dubi-Anisimov-Callahan
WW-Stepan-MZA
Rupp-Boyle-Prust

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08-26-2011, 09:40 AM
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I think many aren't under the assumption, just realize that Callahan has played well with Anisimov and that Anisimov is much more rounded out as a hockey player at this point while Stepan still has a lot of work to do physically and with growing.

I was saying a lot of the things you were saying much earlier in the off-season. Stepan IMO is the bigger offensive threat and his numbers will most likely go up next season if he gets the same or more ice time.

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08-26-2011, 09:40 AM
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"2nd and 3rd lines" will prob get relatively the same amount of ice time IMO, due to the 1st line gouging minutes. Does it really matter then?

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08-26-2011, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyBasedNYC View Post
"2nd and 3rd lines" will prob get relatively the same amount of ice time IMO, due to the 1st line gouging minutes. Does it really matter then?
Not really. And also, the first time one of the "lines" has a bad game, they'll be reshuffled.

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08-26-2011, 09:53 AM
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If the third line does become some approximation of Wolski-Stepan-Zuccarello, there is a doggone good chance in my eyes that in a lot of games it gets lowered behind the ever effective Boyle line in the pecking order.

I'm talking about the return of the Avery-Christensen-Drury line that played below Feds-Boyle-Prust type stuff.

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08-26-2011, 10:02 AM
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Wolski - Richards - Gaborik

Dubinsky - Anisimov - Callahan

Fedotenko - Stepan - Zuccarello/Avery

Rupp - Boyle - Prust

These are the lines that I would like to see coming in to the season.

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08-26-2011, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSG the place to be View Post
I love how Stepan's repuation as a distributor clouds the fact that he wasn't much of a distributor last year
He can be, he still passed the puck nicely at times. He went to the WC's and did very very well as the main puck distributor for team USA.

To me, last year showed that Stepan can score goals as well as pass the puck, not that he can only do one or the other.

I like Anisimov a lot, but Stepan has a higher ceiling and in the long run, I think a center lineup of Richards - Stepan - Anisimov is the most likely thing we'll see.

But at this point, I think we'll see Anisimov and Stepan kind of fighting it out and whoever is playing the best at the time will get the "2nd line minutes"

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08-26-2011, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrl9281 View Post
I disagree with the OP's lines. I do agree Richards and Gaborik need a LW who can work the corners and boards so I would put Feds there. He has played with Richards in Tampa so the learning curve would be a little smaller. He is solid in the corners and boards and defensively responsible. The Pack line is great in cycling down low and has real chemistry and allows Dubinsky to work below the goal line and Anisimov to set up in the slot which he loves. All three players are solid in all three zones and are a solid second line. The third line of WW-Stepan-MZA, did play well in stretches last season and should have a shot at the beginning of the year atleast to see what they could build on. The fourth line of Rupp-Boyle-Prust will be a gritty solid line to match up against teams. Remember last year the Feds-Boyle-Prust line was technically the fourth line but played solid minutes.

Feds-Richards-Gaborik
Dubi-Anisimov-Callahan
WW-Stepan-MZA
Rupp-Boyle-Prust
You give richards and gaborik feds, youre basically going with Dubinsky minus the first line production

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08-26-2011, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
He can be, he still passed the puck nicely at times. He went to the WC's and did very very well as the main puck distributor for team USA.

To me, last year showed that Stepan can score goals as well as pass the puck, not that he can only do one or the other.

I like Anisimov a lot, but Stepan has a higher ceiling and in the long run, I think a center lineup of Richards - Stepan - Anisimov is the most likely thing we'll see.

But at this point, I think we'll see Anisimov and Stepan kind of fighting it out and whoever is playing the best at the time will get the "2nd line minutes"
I think that center lineup will end up coming next year, but for now I see Anisimov on the second line

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08-26-2011, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJBergy86 View Post
I think that center lineup will end up coming next year, but for now I see Anisimov on the second line
Yeah I don't totally disagree, except I think it'll change on whoever is playing better at a given time.

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08-26-2011, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
Yeah I don't totally disagree, except I think it'll change on whoever is playing better at a given time.
Probably, we all know how Torts loves to shuffle up the lines

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08-26-2011, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyBasedNYC View Post
"2nd and 3rd lines" will prob get relatively the same amount of ice time IMO, due to the 1st line gouging minutes. Does it really matter then?
The last thing you want is this because then the team is dependent on one line which the opposition runs a unit of 5 against and looks to shut down all game. Instead you want distributed scoring throughout your lineup which you can't stop.

I agree with the OP with some variations.

1) Stepan will rise to be our #2 center and take on a greater playmaking role as he will adjust to the speeds of the NHL game in his 2nd year. His first year at Wisconsin he had 9g 24a, his second year he went 12g 42a. His first year in the NHL was better than his first year in college at 21g 24a.

2) This organization wants Gaborik going and will start him with Richards, it doesn't mean it will stay that way once he's going. Neal and Erickson are too much like Dubinsky and Callahan. If Gaborik can net 40 on his own like he has 2 year ago, it just makes too much sense to turn Dubinsky and Callahan into 30+ goal scorers with Richards.

3) If #2 happens we've seen WW-Step-Gaborik before and we can see it again and if that's the case there's no reason why a kid who got 24a in his rookie year couldn't get 35-40 feeding Gaborik and Wolski.

4) AA is our Jordan Staal. More offense, less physical but just as effective. Boyle was a shutdown guy for us as well and dominant on faceoffs, put him on AA's LW so you're covered in case anyone ever gets tossed. He's also a big body coming off the wing who can cycle and chip in some goals. Prust on the other side.

5) Now you have 3 solid lines that will eat minutes which will allow Torts to fall back to the way he originally likes to use his 4th line, as a specialist line. Rupp the toughguy, Avery the agitator, Zuccarello the shootout specialist, and Fedotenko the utility player, insert or scratch as needed. None get a regular shift. Your top2 scoring lines have hi scoring potential and your shutdown line does exactly that with some ability to chip in goals. You role mostly 3 lines.

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08-26-2011, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
Yeah I don't totally disagree, except I think it'll change on whoever is playing better at a given time.
Indeed. I'm not sure why people are getting so hung up about the 2nd/3rd line distinction. Whoever is playing well will get more ice time from Torts, as I think he's shown pretty clearly in his time here.

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08-26-2011, 11:14 AM
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Well, AA needs to hit a 50 point season before we can declare him better offensively than Jordan Staal.

Staal is better on faceoffs
Staal is a unique shorthanded threat
Staal is a marginally better skater

Anisimov is a better stickhandler


AA is an even strength player. Thats where he thrives. J. Staal is more a special teams guy.

AA's even strength play is a big reason why I think he should be on the second line. Get him good minutes there, give Stepan the PP minutes (where he has room to maneuver and make plays) and it'll work out the best for everyone.

I like the board voted forward lines. PP unit should be...

Callahan-Dubinsky-Gaborik

MDZ-Richards

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08-26-2011, 11:56 AM
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I'd do Erixon-Richards and let MDZ man the point on the second unit.

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08-26-2011, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLU Hockey View Post
Well, AA needs to hit a 50 point season before we can declare him better offensively than Jordan Staal.

Staal is better on faceoffs
Staal is a unique shorthanded threat
Staal is a marginally better skater

Anisimov is a better stickhandler


AA is an even strength player. Thats where he thrives. J. Staal is more a special teams guy.

AA's even strength play is a big reason why I think he should be on the second line. Get him good minutes there, give Stepan the PP minutes (where he has room to maneuver and make plays) and it'll work out the best for everyone.

I like the board voted forward lines. PP unit should be...

Callahan-Dubinsky-Gaborik

MDZ-Richards
Staal works hard around the net and gets the puck in but AA can rip a wrister and bury it. If Jordan Staal is a Micheal Peca type then Anisimov is a Pavel Datsyuk type.

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