Vyacheslav Anisin

Vyacheslav Anisin was by most accounts a "typical Soviet center." He was very solid offensive player who specialized in orchestrating beautiful plays rather than finishing them off. He had incredible balance and was very hard to knock off of the puck, despite his tiny size at just 5'9" and 168 pounds. However his defensive play was never at an elite enough level to allow him to become a dominant Soviet player.

Anisin was the key player on the Soviets "Kid Line" that shocked Team Canada in game three of the 1972 Summit Series. As with most Soviet lines, the center is the key to every lines' success, even though it isn't often the "glamour position."

Anisin, who actually debuted in game 2 and unlike his linemates played in 7 out of 8 games (compared to just 3 for Bodunov and Lebedev), directly set up both Lebedev's and Bodunov's second period goals. Anisin's centering pass from the corner that set up Bodunov's tying goal was particularly brilliant.

Anisin also had a big impact in game five, which was the opening game in Moscow.. His goal, assisted by Yakushev and Yuri Liapkin, came in the third period with the Soviets down 4 to 1. His goal ignited an unthinkable comeback featuring four unanswered goals to give the Soviets an impressive 5-4 win. Anisin also set up Vladimir Shadrin's goal just 8 seconds after his own tally.

An interesting story occurred after the teams left the ice at the completion of the series. Anisin entered the Canadian dressing room made his way through a maze of celebrating players to deliver a package of gratitude to Phil Esposito, who in the mind of the Soviets was the best player. The gift was a beautifully decorated samovar. It was a great show of respect by the Soviets. Esposito was caught off guard, but wanted to return the favor. After Anisin had departed from the room, the naked Esposito grabbed his hockey stick and ran out of the room. He presented Anisin with his stick.

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