March 24, 2012; Toronto, ON, CANADA; New York Rangers forward Artem Anisimov (42) during the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. New York defeated Toronto 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-US PRESSWIRE
Artem Anisimov is in his third full season with the New York Rangers, and is a key component of the Rangers secondary scoring. While Anisimov may not be the fastest skater on the ice at any given time, he can make up for that with his nifty hands.
This season Anisimov has currently put up 15 goals, 20 assists, for a total of 35 points. While it doesn't beat out last year's performance, where he put up NHL career-high numbers, with 44 total points, Anisimov still has done stuff the right way. This season, Anisimov has scored some pretty looking goals, one being in the game against the Philadelphia Flyers this past week.
One thing I have noticed with Artem Anisimov, he tends to get to the open areas of the ice, and break through. As I stated earlier, this goes hand-in-hand with his quick hands. He also has a defensive upside to his game as well, and you will often see him on the back check, making some great plays. Overall, Anisimov game isn't perfect, but it's the little things that count out on the ice.
Follow after the jump for a video of Anisimov and more.
When Anisimov is on his game, he is capable of producing goals just like this, and sometimes even better. Anisimov uses his hockey smarts to get to the open area of the ice, and open himself up for a pass. He finishes it off with a nifty forehand, to backhand deke, and slips it into the net. That's a perfect example of how Anisimov plays the right way.
Along with the positives, there are always negatives that follow in it's path. One of Anisimov's weakness is the fact that he is not aware of his surroundings. He often gets rocked on a game-to-game basis, because he doesn't keep his head to be aware. The coaching staff has been working on this with Anisimov so he can flourish in other areas of the ice. He also has the ability to shy away after he is knocked around a bit in games, which often hurts his offense abilities in games as well.
Currently, Anisimov is on a line with Derek Stepan, and Ryan Callahan. Callahan's ability to go into the dirty areas of the ice, helps compliment his game as well. Both Callahan and Stepan have great puck handling abilities, and can get the puck to Anisimov, and this has been one of the better lines he's played on.
As for nicknames, you can often see Anisimov being referred to as "Artie", or his new found name as the "Russian Sniper".
If Anisimov is focused and on his game, I can see him having an impact for the Rangers in the 2012 Playoffs. If he gets the puck, he has the ability to put it in the back of net, it's just a matter if he gets the room to do so.