Alexander Nikulin's Blog Part II
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06-05-2008, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Let’s summarize the season.
June 5, 2008.
Most memorable roadtrip
Undoubtedly the one when we went to play Philadelphia’s farm team. Not the roadtrip itself, but the game. I scored two goals then. And I especially liked the quality of the chances. Two good shots, one of which went right into the upper corner. And there have been many successful games. In a few I’ve gotten four points. But that one game really stands out from the rest.
Most boring roadtrip
I can’t even recall the towns we went to, but one time we went on a three-game roadtrip. We’d get there in the morning, play in the evening, move on at night. Just hell. And this happened quite often. On the other hand, I liked the hotels.
Most unsuccessful game
There were many of these. In some I finished with a -3 rating. The opponents would score on every shot they’d put on the net. It happens.
In Toronto, that’s without a doubt. Beautiful rooms, with a king-size bed, a plasma TV on the wall, a large room with a kitchen. There are simply no problems with the hotels in North America. And the level of organization within AHL clubs really amazes with its high quality.
I wrote in the blog before that one game during the season was rescheduled for later and moved to a neutral site. And that was a good decision. That arena had low boards made of wood, surrounded by a net. Just a junk yard, not a place to play hockey. What we have at Odintsovo is better.
Most unpleasant moment
Firstly, all the injuries. Secondly, one hit I was a victim of at the very beginning of the season. For some reason I relaxed out on the ice, lowered my head, and was hit right away. That was in the game against the farm team of the Islanders. Interestingly, that was the guy I dropped to the ice in the game at home. People from the stands even applauded such a great hit. I remember the guy getting up and saying, “There will be something next game.” And I didn’t listen. That was Drew Fata. Now I remember him.
Two players stick the most in my mind. The first is Kris Letang from Pittsburgh, who was later called up to the big team. The second is Toronto’s goaltender Justin Pogge. A young guy, but a very big frame. They’re saying he’ll play for the big team next season. A goaltender of a very good level. It feels good that I’ve scored on him. Can’t single out anyone else. You know, if an AHL team is good, then all the guys are good. And if it’s bad, then nobody stands out. I’ll mention Ray Bourque’s son, Chris. Also a good guy. He’ll be better as he gets older.
Most unusual coach’s practice
All of them. Sometimes I didn’t even understand our coach. Especially regarding forechecking, which he himself recommended doing. For whatever reason he didn’t like how we gained the zone by passing. Ordered we dump the puck at all times. Regardless of what the situation on the ice is like. And if you enter the zone dribbling, you have a good chance of being benched. At any rate, coach’s decisions are not debatable.
Most eccentric player
Here I can only think of tough guys. I can talk about Jeremy Yablonski from our team. I wrote about him in the blog, how he crashed into the coach at practice, but was commended for it. A fearless guy. And you should see him fight! The most memorable was the battle against Syracuse’s tough guy. It was a long fight. What’s amazing is that they really land punches to the face, but still remain standing. Beautiful. By the way, when the linesmen separated them, they skated to each other and hugged.
Worst or best referee
Regarding officiating I had no qualms, if you can imagine. I can’t recall a game where referees were favoring one team or the other. Referees in North America are the most unnoticeable. Of course, once in a while you think you’re being hooked, and you’re thinking why isn’t this being called, but that’s really nothing. I have only good things to say about the officials in the AHL.
Favorite place in Binghamton
The bar near the arena. We’d often spend time there with the team, drinking beer, talking about things. If you ever come here, order the burger. I usually order one there. They make great burgers everywhere in the US.
Most expensive purchase
I bought a laptop to write the blog and read the comments, and also follow Russian news. But haven’t bought a car. The income doesn’t allow it. Perhaps, next season, when I’ll be playing in the NHL.
Last edited by ThirtyFive: 06-05-2008 at
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