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09-20-2003, 05:27 AM
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stalbert1
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Fedorov, Ducks continue to adjust

By DAN WOOD
The Orange County Register


ANAHEIM Even with three Stanley Cup rings, two Selke Trophies and a Hart Trophy in his personal collection, Sergei Fedorov remains mortal.

While the newly obtained Mighty Ducks center's skill level clearly ranks him among those precious few truly elite players in the NHL, it still figures to take Fedorov some time to bring his game in line with that of his new employers.

A free-agent contract potentially worth more than $40 million over five years has created huge expectations for Fedorov, a former star with the Detroit Red Wings.

Still, the reality is that Fedorov, like any new player on any team, must make some adjustments.

"We all know there's a process here," Ducks coach Mike Babcock said.

Fedorov made his second exhibition appearance in Friday night's 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.

Fellow free-agent acquisition Vinny Prospal was the offensive star, with an assist and a third-period, shorthanded goal that stood up as the winner.

Petr Sykora and Rob Niedermayer also scored goals for the Ducks, and defenseman Keith Carney added an empty-netter. Jonathan Cheechoo and Wayne Primeau replied for San Jose. Ilya Bryzgalov went the distance in goal for the Ducks, recording 20 saves.

Fedorov played "much better obviously, more like my own self" in his second outing. That came on the heels of what he called "not really a pleasant experience" in his Ducks debut, Thursday's 4-2 loss to the Kings at Staples Center.

Kings minor-leaguer John Tripp stripped Fedorov of the puck behind the Ducks net and scored the game's first goal, and Fedorov struggled to find a rhythm the rest of the night.

"My mind was working hard but, I guess my body didn't really respond to my mind," Fedorov said. "It's easy to understand everything, what this team is all about, but it's harder to put it out there on the ice.

"You basically cannot think on the ice. You have to react out there. I just have to keep working at it."

A veteran of Fedorov's stature would usually appear only in a minimal number of exhibition games, but the more ice time he gets, the more ready Fedorov figures to be for the Oct. 8 regular-season opener at Dallas.

"It will come," Fedorov said. "I know it will come. I have a lot of work ahead of me.

"I'm looking forward to it. I really want to succeed on this team."

While Fedorov spent his first 13 NHL seasons with Detroit, defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh joined his fifth team with the January trade that brought him to the Ducks from the Florida Panthers. Like Fedorov, Ozolinsh is a multi-talented performer who seems to react naturally, at least after a while.

"It definitely takes some time to get used to the way a team plays," Ozolinsh said. "Everything happens so quickly. If you spend that extra time thinking, you lose your position. "


http://www2.ocregister.com/ocrweb/oc...le.do?id=58025

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09-20-2003, 05:31 AM
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Jerky Leclerc
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It takes time for players to adjust. Hopefully Fedorov is ready by opening night. I think getting Rucchin back would help tremendously, rounding out the top two center spots and allowing Sergei to play his game.

I'm expecting a big year for Niedermayer. He proved in the playoffs he can be a dominant player. With that confidence in mind, I wouldn't be surprise if we see 20+ goals from him this season.

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09-20-2003, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerky Leclerc
It takes time for players to adjust. Hopefully Fedorov is ready by opening night. I think getting Rucchin back would help tremendously, rounding out the top two center spots and allowing Sergei to play his game.

I'm expecting a big year for Niedermayer. He proved in the playoffs he can be a dominant player. With that confidence in mind, I wouldn't be surprise if we see 20+ goals from him this season.
I agree. Rob Niedermayer has found his home. 20 goals, 60 points this season IMO. Nieds was incredible in the playoffs, just dominates the boards and was another great addition by Brian Murray.

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09-20-2003, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerky Leclerc
It takes time for players to adjust. Hopefully Fedorov is ready by opening night. I think getting Rucchin back would help tremendously, rounding out the top two center spots and allowing Sergei to play his game.

I'm expecting a big year for Niedermayer. He proved in the playoffs he can be a dominant player. With that confidence in mind, I wouldn't be surprise if we see 20+ goals from him this season.
Rucchin, a more willing, more talented player, who has a larger role, didn't crack 60 points last season. I don't understand why you think Niedermayer would.

40 points would be a big year for him.

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09-20-2003, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chock Full Of Booger
Rucchin, a more willing, more talented player, who has a larger role, didn't crack 60 points last season. I don't understand why you think Niedermayer would.

40 points would be a big year for him.
He is able to do it. He had a 26-35-61 season with Florida. I don't say he will, but it's possible. If he has a consistant season and manages to stay on the top two lines 60 points are not out of question. But it's a long way for him...

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09-20-2003, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chock Full Of Booger
Rucchin, a more willing, more talented player, who has a larger role, didn't crack 60 points last season. I don't understand why you think Niedermayer would.

40 points would be a big year for him.
IMO Rob Niedermayer was our best forward in the playoffs. Mike Babcock loves him, will give him tons of ice time and he is expected to spend a lot of time playing with Sergei Fedorov.

I'd be disappointed if he didn't get 60, he's in an ideal situation to have a super year and if he uses his outstanding speed and size he will obtain those numbers.

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09-20-2003, 01:36 PM
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Feds should be alot better at the start of the season. Babcock's using every player, experimenting a bit. Fedorov won't be used as the go-to guy after Babcock's done looking at all the players. Once he is, used in alot of situations, he should have a pretty awesome year.

As for Niedermayer, I figure playing with Feds will jump-start his offensive talents again. If he gets it going fast, Leclerc will have a hard time cracking the top two lines once he gets back. I hope he gets in the 60 point range.

I also figure if Rooch has Sykora and Prospal on his line, he'll jumpstart his production. If that line clicks and gets it going, I figure they could get and easy 60+ points each. Sykora and Prospal will make each other better, and could result in Sykora getting 30-40 goals, while Prospal gets 30-50 assists. If Feds was added to that, Sykora could easily get 40 goals and Prospal's assists could go up quite a bit. Prospal's goals would even go to 20 or a bit more.

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09-20-2003, 02:29 PM
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Yeah definetly Nieds is going to tear it up this season, I really hope he is on a line with Feds and Cheese.

He and Prospal on a PK unit together would also be deadly.

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09-20-2003, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stalbert1
IMO Rob Niedermayer was our best forward in the playoffs. Mike Babcock loves him, will give him tons of ice time and he is expected to spend a lot of time playing with Sergei Fedorov.

I'd be disappointed if he didn't get 60, he's in an ideal situation to have a super year and if he uses his outstanding speed and size he will obtain those numbers.
Rucchin was better, but only arguably so. Regardless, he only scored at 0.5 ppg clip when he was "dominant", so...

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09-20-2003, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerky Leclerc
It takes time for players to adjust. Hopefully Fedorov is ready by opening night. I think getting Rucchin back would help tremendously, rounding out the top two center spots and allowing Sergei to play his game.

I'm expecting a big year for Niedermayer. He proved in the playoffs he can be a dominant player. With that confidence in mind, I wouldn't be surprise if we see 20+ goals from him this season.
Sergei has played with the Wings so long that he is having a longer transition to the Ducks. However he will fit in nicely and score like a machine because big, slick skaters like him fit into the Duck's system. Unlike every Rangers free agent he is coming in ready to work and is not totally focused on $$$. He came wanting to play well and work hard.

 
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09-21-2003, 12:41 PM
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I don't think he was quite prepared for how relentless this system is.

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