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The Athanasiou Experiment--Success!


SpikeDDS

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Last month, Jeff Blashill announced that AA would be playing center for the remainder of the season. This came after the trade deadline, when we didn't move a center, but rather a wing, Gus Nyquist. And yet, we were moving AA from wing to center.

 

This move was to test him and see if he could elevate his game to a more two-way game without sacrificing production. The answer appears to be yes. After a few games--a few of which he looked positively dreadful--he has come around to the point where right now, on a nightly basis, he is the Red Wings' biggest threat. Overall, certainly Larkin has been a better player this season. But there is NO question that Andreas Athanasiou has come through this transition as a better player than he was before the experiment. I actually have more confidence that AA will reach 30 goals this season than Larkin will. Easy to say at the moment, as AA can be streaky and he's on a good streak right now. But he has had something to prove, and he is doing it.

 

Larkin gets a lot of press, but AA's speed is starting to get him more notice--that and the goals that it is helping produce. I actually think he may be faster than Larkin, truth be told. I wonder how fast he is as compared to McDavid. I'd love to see him go to an ASG and compete in the fastest skater competition. I can see him winning it if he has a good lap. And he's starting to use his speed SMARTER! That was he gamble--could he learn that? The answer is yes.

 

And Larkin coming back to form as well as the addition of more young talent next season is just going to give him more opportunity.

 

This has been a very good, and very important season for Andreas Athanasiou.

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