Anisimov, Hagelin Can Help Fuel The Rangers Secondary Scoring
New York – The New York Rangers have been in need of some secondary scoring this season. Fans have been waiting for some players to step up in this department and one 23-year-old veteran has stepped up and that’s Artem Anisimov.
The Rangers pivot (6-4, 200) is in the midst of his third full season with the Blueshirts, not counting his one-game cup of coffee in 2009, and his numbers have been steadily increasing to the point where he’s on pace to get around 50-55 points this year.
In November he’s had four 2-point games which is pretty impressive and the Rangers have won every one of those games. The Rangers needed players to take more shots, create more chances, and he is doing just that. He had a season high of 7 shots in the Washington game.
“When we play tough defense it actually helps us get chances, defense first,” he said after the Rangers 2-0 win against the Flyers. “I’m trying to find my game. I just enjoy the game. I like my line.”
He was very familiar with Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and had a lot of praise for what he’s been able to do so far.
“He’s a pretty good goalie. He’s great. I know him; I played against him in Russian Jr. a hockey. He doesn’t give up many rebounds.”
BOB said the two faced each other 3 times or so in Russia but they played in different regions. His memory wasn’t as vivid as Anisimov’s, maybe the Rangers forward played well against him in those games, goalies like to forget those performances.
Hagelin’s Time Has Come
Carl Hagelin had a chance to play for one of the great hockey coaches on earth, Red Berenson, when he was a captain at Michigan. In a rare occurrence the Swedish winger stayed all four years there, excelled on and off the ice, and then he turned pro.
At 5-11, 180 pounds he plays a fearless brand of hockey. He has a nose for the net and he’s always around the puck. At 23, he only needed 5 playoff games last year and 17 games this year with Connecticut to earn himself a call up. So far after two games he has two points and he got his first NHL goal against the Flyers, it put his team up 2-0 and he got it in impressive fashion. He took a wicked backhand shot that Bobrovsky couldn’t glove and he backhanded in the rebound, in the crease, and that iced the game for his team.
“Feels great. (John) Mitch made a great play there down low, keeping the puck, made a great play to (Ryan) McDonagh. I saw the “D” was kind of cheating along the wall so I went to the net. I got a good backhand at it and another and it went in. Great feeling.”
This forward has a ton of hockey sense. He won’t be fazed by the bright lights on Broadway because he’s played in big games. The Rangers brilliantly drafted him in the 6th round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
“The most pressure comes from myself,” he said in a businesslike approach. “I just try to play well on every shift. Skate a lot and try and create chances.”
Look out for both of these guys, they are both 23, and they are both going to be important players for the Rangers going forward.
photo by del Tufo