Alexander Nikulin's Blog Part II
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08-25-2008, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Now Iím ready for Ottawa.
August 24, 2008.
After SKA St. Petersburg left for the tournament in Austria, itís just us three training on the ice: Sergei Gonchar, Evgeni Malin, and me. At the same time two other players train on the other side of the ice, recovering from injuries. One of them is the defenseman Raymond Giroux.
There are only positive impressions from working with the SKA. It was really similar to what they do in the NHL. For instance, the gym. When working with weights, Russian teams use the so-called ďstations.Ē Everyone understands that some exercise are absolutely needless, theyíre just done so the player doesnít relax, so that heís doing something. The SKA works at this very Western-like. They only do what will be useful.
The training tempo is the same as in America. The sessions donít last very long, but they are quite intense. We spend an hour on the ice, and then another hour at the gym. But thatís enough time for a pretty heavy load. Plus, the SKA trains once a day, which is also uncharacteristic for a Russian team during the off-season.
Perhaps thatís why guys from the NHL train with them. In addition to us, training there were Anton Khudobin, Nikolai Kulemin, and Mikhail Grabovski. So itís no coincidence. Everyone knows the best place to get ready for the season.
After the SKA players were gone, Sergei Gonchar made arrangement for the ice. He knows people everywhere. Obviously, weíre paying out of our own pockets for this, but itís still great. After the ice weíve got the gym and running. Just this Friday we did ten sets of 200 meters.
As I said before, part of this training I did in Moscow, when Gonchar had left on business, giving Evgeni Malkin and me a plan which we were supposed to follow. When Gonchar returned, he didnít check whether weíd followed his plan. Itís obvious no one was going to goof off. Weíve spent a lot of energy to get where we are, and werenít just going to waste all of that for a week of rest.
As you can see Iím paying on my own for the training in Russia. All of it has cost me about 70-80 thousand rubles. Some may be shocked by this amount, but I donít feel like Iím throwing money away. This means Iíll be ready for the NHL tests. A lot depends on the tests over there. If you get good marks, youíll be working with the big team and theyíll be counting on you.
Soon a skating trainer will arrive in St. Petersburg to work with us. I know my conditioning will improve even more. When I come to Ottawa, I will have to get right to work, not play catch up.
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