Alexander Nikulin's Blog Part II
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09-26-2007, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Will be breaking through the farm.
September 26, 2007.
After the Washington game eight more guys were sent down to the farm club. It’s strict. Now there are six units of five with the team. Still a lot, certainly. My new buddy Kaspars Daugavins left Ottawa. They sent him back to the juniors. Obviously, he was upset. He was counting on playing at least for the farm team. Well, it’s okay, he’ll try it again next season.
I heard the General Manager, Bryan Murray, said in the media that the contract they agreed upon with me allows me to return to the CSKA if I don’t get a roster spot on the main lineup. That is correct. But I have decided to remain in Canada even in case I’m sent down to the farm club. I’ll try breaking through from there.
But for now I don’t want to think about that. I’m enjoying working with a new team, learning, analyzing. By the way, my language problem is gradually, if very slowly, being solved. I’ve memorized a few phrases. Say some things myself. Greet my partners, ask them how they’re doing.
You can tell right away what hockey means to Canadians. It is astonishing! Montreal has a crazy area. I’ve never seen anything like that. They started making noise right from the pre-game warmup, and I even got so anxious the puck was sliding off my stick blade. Same thing in Ottawa. I was told people there read my blog and wish me luck. Thank you. Support of the fans means a lot to me.
Speaking of which, there are no fan sections here like there are in Russia. The whole arena yells, makes noise, chants. They wear the team’s jersey and support the team with such passion as if it’s the Finals. And it’s just pre-season games. But in our country, even if the arena is filled, they don’t root for their team like this.
After the game they wait for the players at the exit, ask for autographs. I’m rarely approached. But have already signed something. I have no idea where the person got my card from the world junior championship. Where did he find it?!
I’m not ready to speak with reporters yet. As soon as they hear I can’t speak English, they go away. But that’s all right, that will pass. I’ll be speaking no worse than others.
Although we played against teams with other Russian players, I didn’t communicate with them at all. Didn’t have a chance to talk, for instance, with Alexander Ovechkin. Also didn’t see Alexei Kovalev and Mikhail Grabovsky. I don’t know them personally, anyway.
I’d like to say a few words about our coach. John Paddock, it seems, has never raised his voice in his life. He’s always calm and kind.
After Kaspar’s departure, Anton Volchenkov helps me with translating. Or Ilja Zubov sometimes.
Ilja’s also coming along quite well. Plays with the team, looks good, tries hard. All the time between practices and games we spend together, obviously. A couple of days ago I bought a game console to pass the time. And we’re playing hockey. At least we can work on our shots there, if it’s not always possible to do that during games. By the way, Zubov plays hockey on the console better than me.
Games and the training process are organized on the highest level here. It’s enough to just say that we were given out schedules for every day until the regular season at the beginning of training camp. And everything is followed.
Last edited by ThirtyFive: 01-02-2008 at
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