Alexander Nikulin's Blog Part II
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11-23-2007, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Don’t even feel like talking about it.
November 23, 2007.
Honestly, I don’t really want to talk about such an NHL debut. That wasn’t how I’d imagined it. I can’t be proud of my actions against the Penguins. However, I’ll try to push away everything negative, come to some conclusions, and try my hardest next game to display everything I’m capable of.
But let’s start from the beginning. A day before the next AHL game, around 8 PM, Ilja Zubov, my Binghamton teammate and roommate, got a call. It was someone from the Senators. Asked to relay to me that I’m being called up to Ottawa.
They sent a limousine to Binghamton to pick me up. A real one, long and black. To tell the truth, I was completely shocked. What class! Drove to the arena, gathered the equipment, then got back to the apartment, and after that went on to Ottawa.
I got to the hotel only at 3 in the morning, and at 8 I was already up. The morning skate prior to the Pittsburgh game was starting. The guys received me well. We greeted each other, everybody was smiling. I exchanged a few phrases with the coach. He asked me simple questions in English, asking how the farm team was doing, how I was doing.
As far as I can tell, my call-up was due to an injury to Patrick Eaves. It’s something serious with his shoulder, and he’s out for a long time. I myself was almost taken out of the game during the pre-game warm-up. There was a moment when a puck deflected off a goalpost and hit me in the jaw. Thankfully, it didn’t result in a fracture. Just a swelling and the teeth hurt a bit.
But, of course, this accident didn’t cause my unimpressive performance. I don’t even know what happened. Maybe I just burned out. It’s hard to understand what came over me. But I’m not happy with my game. We didn’t have any opportunities to score, and the team was scored on twice with me on the ice.
The first one is definitely my fault. Evgeni Malkin beat me and put it in the net. But the second one was from the blue line, I couldn’t get in front of it. At any rate, I didn’t get on the ice in the third period at all, and played only 5 minutes 49 seconds in my first game. My linemates were Antoine Vermette and Chris Kelly. We took the opening faceoff, but we’re really the third line.
Anything memorable during the game? Not really. The crowd probably liked the course of the game. Ten goals were scored, plus the shootout, too. Of course, I didn’t participate in the shootout, the team has plenty of experts without me.
There was a fight, Georges Laraque himself was battling. But I wasn’t paying attention to that. At one time Sergei Gonchar pasted me hard to the boards. I didn’t get a chance to respond, there was no opportunity.
All in all, not the best of moods. But there is time before the next game to collect myself. On Friday we didn’t have a practice on the ice, just the gym for those that wanted it. And on Saturday a game against Philadelphia. I’m hoping it will be successful for me and the team.
Last edited by ThirtyFive: 01-02-2008 at
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