The Athletic discusses Athanasiou front-or-center

The Athletic’s Evan Sporer takes a “deep dive” into stats and video to discuss whether Andreas Athanasiou is better-used as a winger or center, and in case you didn’t see Athanasiou on the fourth line last night (and I sure didn’t as he was all but invisible), Sporer spends a tremendous amount of energy to come to a sensible conclusion:

By no means does playing him at center mean Athanasiou can’t get out on the rush, or use his speed to his advantage. Playing lower in the defensive zone that foot speed can be a tool, like on that sequence against the Bruins where he was able to apply puck support and get a clear. He certainly can apply pressure and take away time and space in that area of the ice, another beneficial skill.

But up to this point, what seems to be Athanasiou’s biggest strength is at the other end of the ice, and more specifically, his combination of speed and finishing ability.

It seems like he gets more opportunities to flex those muscles on the wing.

Continued (paywall), and Sporer’s analysis is worth your time…

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

8 thoughts on “The Athletic discusses Athanasiou front-or-center”

  1. Does it really matter, it looks to me that none of them want to play for one reason or another. I’d be willing to bet mantha doesn’t even break a sweat during the game. The real question is is AA going to stay in Detroit.

    1. I actually believe that he’s going to stay in Detroit, though the contract negotiations may be rocky.

      1. I really hope so. I started off as a blash supporter saying give him time to get his wheels rolling but now it’s tougher to support him, wasn’t he the coach of the GR griffins shoudnlt working with younger players be right in his wheel house, how is he struggling so bad with all these young guys we have.

        1. Agreed, things have turned sour between the coach and the kids…though it’s understandable to some extent.

          1. I’d say move him to the wing with Frk and Larkin, those guys looked really good playing together.

        2. He did play his veterans a lot in GR. Granted he mixed the lines with old guys and young guys.

  2. AA needs to watch him some Conner McDavid highlights if he continues to play center. That guy can use his speed all the time.

    1. Crossovers, crossovers, crossovers. McDavid doesn’t skate in straight lines because he has the speed to cross over on the fly. I think AA could do that.

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