Give him skates and he will play. Give him a stick and he will create. Give him a puck and he will score. Mikhail Anisin is proving to be quite the mid-season acquisition for Dynamo Moscow leading them into the second round of the KHL playoffs, a place Moscow has not been in two years. In their first round sweep of fellow namesake Dynamo Minsk, Anisin had four goals and one assist. The 24 year-old Moscow native returned to his home town team in February after bouncing around the KHL the last two seasons.
It took just four games for Dynamo Moscow to eliminate fellow namesake Dynamo Minsk from the playoffs. In this four games, Anisin celebrated his 24th birthday by scoring two goals, lifting Moscow to a 2-0 Game Two victory. Anisin kept celebrating two days later in Game Three with another pair of goals and an assist, giving him five points for the series.
Since the beginning of the 2010-11 season Anisin has played for four different teams, including his latest stop with Dynamo Moscow. Prior to playing in Moscow, Anisin was a member of the rough and tumble Vityaz Chekhov. His comparatively small frame, just a few inches north of five feet, was seen zipping around the ice for one of the league’s perennial bottom-feeders. During his time with Vityaz, Anisin avoided confrontation, unlike most of his teammates and coach for that matter, logging nearly 18 minutes of ice time and just under one point per game. The trade to Dynamo allowed the forward his first chance at postseason hockey, an opportunity he has taken full advantage of.
The Dynamo forward has played for five teams in the last four seasons. His ability to show up and stay consistent should be a testament to his resolve and perseverance. So in a few weeks time, if we are asking ourselves how Dynamo Moscow made it to the Western Conference finals or even fight for the Gagarin Cup, might we look a little deeper and retrace the steps of Mikhail Anisin back home to Moscow.