We continue the Q&A series that started on Friday Morning with some discussion of old teammates, new cities, and the systems and responsibilities between the two teams. Be sure to check out the rest of the series (1, 2, 3) to catch anything you missed - the latest install at BSB features my thoughts about Rick Nash on the Power Play, and how the former Captain is going to deal with the bright lights and big city...
MW: How do you see Dubinsky and Anisimov playing under Todd Richards? He seems to be favoring a pretty strong defensive system based on the end of the season in Columbus. Does this help after playing for Tortorella?
JF: I think both will be pretty accustomed to that type of system. Anisimov works well in a defensive system, and shouldn't have a problem fitting into that type of mindset. Dubinsky is more of a puck possession type of player, but he's responsible in his own end, and played tough minutes for the Rangers last year. Tortorella's system comes off as being defense-first, but it kind of wasn't. It was more of a "when you're on defense you better be on defense" system, which was why blocked shots was such a big role.
MW: Do you see Dubi picking things back up with Vinny Prospal?
JF: I see Dubinsky picking things up simply because he had a horrible season last year. Brandon Dubinsky is a lot like Ryan Callahan. He's not an elite player, doesn't have any elite skills, but he works his ass off, and creates scoring chances with his hustle. I think Prospal will help, but if Dubinsky bounces back it's because he had a horribly unlucky year last season, not because of Prospal.
MW: Some Russian players like New York because of the strong Russian community there. Columbus doesn't have that, even though there's a growing community in the locker room. Do you think AA will thrive in the "smaller" environment, or will it be difficult for him to adjust?
JF: This I really can't attest to. All I know is that Artem Anisimov is a heady kid, knows his place and seems to be really, really friendly. I'm sure he'll do fine with a little bit of guidance. If he can handle New York as a rookie who speaks no English I think he'll be OK pretty much anywhere else. Anisimov also seems pretty low-key, so he might actually thrive more in a smaller environment.