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09-12-2007, 01:08 PM
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Already playing, already scoring.
September 12, 2007.

Had just one practice with the Ottawa prospects and then started playing right away. We’re having a prospects tournament. We’ve played three games. The first game was against Florida and we lost 2-1. Then our opponent was Toronto. We won 4-2 and I scored a goal. The first in the NHL. Speaking of which, Ilja Zubov scored two. The third game was against Pittsburgh. We won 3-0 and I had a goal and an assist.

I have the same linemates. Daugavins the Latvian and Donati the Canadian. The defensemen constantly change, there are no set pairings.

In the first game we played on the third line. But then for the next two were considered the first line. They let me play on the power play, but different players are out on the ice for the penalty kill.

I certainly was warned that these prospects games are very different from Russian league games. But so much? I have to say I was in a state of shock at first. But then got used to it. It became easier, and I’m used to the speed.

But the hockey’s really primitive here. Guys enter the neutral zone and dump it in right away. Why not make a pass? I don’t understand that at all. Instead of playing with whoever’s closest, they just dump it. That’s not my style, and I try playing smarter and more technical. The coach doesn’t say anything to me, so I assume he doesn’t mind. By the way, the head coach of the farm team is behind the bench. And he’s giving me some advice, Kaspars Daugavins translated. He suggested how to better take the body and skate.

I can’t gauge yet if my chances of making the big team have improved. It’s just that it’s really impossible to judge anything based on these games. When the main training camp begins with the big club, then we’ll see.

But overall everyone that took to the ice was in good shape. Everyone’s trying, running around. Guys are 20-22 years old. It really sticks out that they’re all real big.

Taking into account separate moments, one-on-one I think I’m as good as anyone else. And, if needed, I take the body. It’s clear that you have to be composed all the time. In Russia, at times, you can collect yourself, calm down.

Fights occur during games all the time. But only the tough guys fight and only among themselves. So one such guy from Pittsburgh fought twice with two of ours and lost both times.

Lastly, I’ll tell about the first goal of my North American career. We played it out with Donati the Canadian, my linemate. By the way, a very serious guy. He was born in 1986 and had 120 points last year in the junior league. So, anyway, I entered the zone and from a bad angle made a pass to him, going to the far corner, got the pass back and put it in. It was nice. Donati also set up the second goal. He sent Kasper and I out on a two-on-one and we fooled the goalie.

Last edited by ThirtyFive: 01-02-2008 at 01:50 PM.
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