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01-19-2009, 02:43 PM
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Being in San Antonio is like being at a resort.
December 6, 2008.

I havenít blogged in a while, but I honestly havenít had any free time. My new team, which is located far away from other teams, flies to all the games on a plane, and constant flights are very tiring.

And there hasnít been anything to be proud of. Mostly our team was losing, but now weíve started to improve, and the last two games finished with us in the win column. First of all, we had four days off. Second of all, a couple of guys recovered from injuries. Plus, of course, our team isnít exactly filled with stars. We donít have any famous players, just solid guys with ambitions of breaking into the best league in the world.

But before it was really tough. I donít know why. Maybe because of excessive desire. Itís not like I was entirely unlucky. For example, for several games in a row I had a negative plus-minus. Iíd just get on the ice, and the opponent would complete a successful play and weíd be scored upon. Admittedly, I was adapting with some difficulty. It took a few games to get used to the new style and requirements.

Also some health problems. I played about six games with some pain. Broken ribs were suspected, but the x-ray showed nothing. Probably just a contusion. And then I was hit with a puck on the head. The ear had to be stitched up.

My girlfriend Natalya went back to Russia. Sheís extending her visa and will be back in two weeks. Meanwhile Iím vigorously studying the English language by immersion. Iím communicating mostly with Joachim Lindstrom and Garth Murray. We spend most of our free time together, and we live together at the hotel. As you might imagine, neither the Swede nor the Canadian can speak a word of Russian. There are no countrymen on my team. Enver Lisin was here before, but heís been called up. We were just sitting, getting ready for the next game, when suddenly they called him and he went to Wayne Gretzkyís team.

San Antonio is a great city, so unlike Binghamton. Itís big, lots of people. And the climate in Texas is ideal. When I just got here I thought I was at a resort. Itís so strange that they play hockey in a place thatís so warm. But now itís gotten a little colder. So I put a jacket on. But the locals donít know what snow is.

Obviously, I want to get a chance to play for the Phoenix Coyotes, which is why I came to San Antonio. So now Iím patiently awaiting my time, hopeful that Iíll be given this opportunity. I work hard in practice, trying to show in the AHL everything Iím capable of. All of it to be able to play in the NHL.

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