Alexander Nikulin's Blog Part II
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03-12-2008, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
If we wonít make the playoffs, Iíll go to Ottawa.
March 12, 2008.
Things are not very smooth with my Binghamton in the AHL. We lose more than we win. We let in too many goals, play very unsuccessful defense. In the end weíre outside the playoffs for now, but still have a chance of making the final 16. Weíre doing everything to make sure our season doesnít end on April 13.
The mood is not the best after these losses. However, thereís no time at all to feel depressed, because weíre constantly on the road. The schedule is tough, lots of games. Today we finish one game, and have to think about the next opponent tomorrow. When we return home weíre given a day off, and then itís back to practice, to playing. Like a conveyor belt. They donít ride us too hard at practice, so that we have the strength for the games.
If in Russia they attempt to somehow modify the practice methods after bad games, not to mention bad series, then in the AHL itís not like that. The only thing that changes for us is the configuration of the lines. On the other hand, even when we were winning weíd rarely ice the same lineup more than two games in a row.
If I were playing in Russia, theyíd lock us up, of course, so that we would think really hard about our behavior. Thatís one of the strongest motivational tools in our country, I know it from personal experience. But not in America, especially with this kind of schedule.
The coach calls meetings, we watch video, analyze plays. Everything comes out sounding good, but it doesnít always play out on the ice the way it was conceived. There were games where we led 2-0, only to lose in the end. I just donít know how to explain that. Thereís no management coming into the locker room here. Nobody yells at us.
The quiet and monotonous life in our Binghamton gets a bit tiring, to be honest. Itís typical America: calm and satisfied. Rarely anything happens. In New York, where my girlfriend Natalya and I went, everythingís different. That city is full of life.
Hereís Natalya and I on Broadway, where we went to see the musical
The Phantom of the Opera
This is near Rockefeller Center:
And here weíre walking on Wall Street:
Recently Natalya flew back to Russia and now sheís returned. It would be very depressing without her. I really feel sorry for her when I have to go on the road. Natasha feels bored here. She might go to the movies or for a manicure.
But back to hockey. Surprising situations occur in some games. For instance, we outshot Albany almost two to one, but lost 6-2. Probably because our attacks werenít concentrated. How dangerous is it for a goaltender when you shoot from the boards? Itís not. But for statistical purposes thatís a shot on goal.
Thereís no word whatsoever from Ottawa. There was a coaching change there, but it didnít influence the farm club. Nick Foligno gets called up regularly, but is just as regularly sent down. Honestly, Iím surprised by the change with the big club. They played well. Sure they had a decline, but everyone does.
Iím still not scoring very much. Right now I have 10 goals and 29 assists. Thatís fourth best on the team. Of course, I must score more. But for some reason itís not clicking.
Our regular season finishes on April 13 here, but I wonít return home right away. Theyíre saying that about five guys will go to Ottawa and train with the main team during the playoffs. In case anyone gets injured, to be there for replacement. So I continue to hope my chance will come.
But Iím thinking I have to finish this season, and next season I will be really contending for a spot on the Senators. I believe that.
Last edited by ThirtyFive: 03-14-2008 at
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