Thursday, November 15, 2007

Alex Nikulin's Latest Blog

The Sens Russian prospect keeps on blogging about his life down in Bingo. Sounds like Oleg Saprykin is one bitter player from his experience in Bytown. Here's the latest translation from a poster named ThirtyFive over at the popular HF Boards :


" November 13: Without shots or pills.

A few games ago I was injured. I was about to pull off a wrist shot at the net, raised the stick, and was hit in the back. To be honest, I barely finished that game.

For the next game it seemed like the pain dulled, and I was on the ice again. But during the game I unfortunately collided with an opposing player and fell awkwardly on that very spot where I was hit.

Sharp pain; I couldn’t breathe. Turned out to be damaged ligaments. I couldn’t finish that second game, and went to the locker room.

I only missed two games and then was back on the ice. Through the pain, through the uncomfortable feelings, but I went for it. Interestingly, they don’t give you anesthetic shots here like they usually do in Russia. How do they treat you? With massage. No pills, nothing. When I decided to resume playing, they wrapped the damaged area and off I went onto the ice.

Nobody rushed me into coming back. But they asked, of course, if I could play. Once I declined, because I couldn’t even make one good stride. Let alone shooting or physical play. Inhuman pain. I was even taken for an x-ray. They thought it could be a broken rib. But, thankfully that didn’t prove true. Only the damaged ligaments. Still, I didn’t miss practice. I skated individually.
Now I’m fine. Obviously, some discomfort remains, but I want to play so badly and not sit in the stands. Especially since Ottawa’s general manager Bryan Murray came to watch us. Not like there was anything to see. We haven’t scored a goal in the last three games.

But I can’t say we’ve been playing worse. We just can’t score, that’s all. Plenty of good moments in each game. I hit a post in the last game against Philadelphia. Just bad luck.

During the time off with the injury I was watching the games from the stands with the other players who weren’t dressed. I have to say our team is looking good, which means that these bad breaks are temporary. Without me Binghamton won two games, once coming back to win after being down by two goals. It was interesting to watch, too. Very dynamic hockey in the AHL.

But it’s a wholly different thing to watch a game from the stands. You want to take part. Another reason I sped up my return to the ice was the realization that it would be tough for me to get back into the rhythm. Even after two games it felt difficult, but if I were to take it easy I’d spend more time later getting back into the lineup.

The injury didn’t change my place on the team. I’m on the first line. I’m playing the same minutes as before. But the partners sometimes change. On the one wing it’s always Denis Hamel, but on the other it was Greg Mauldin the last game. Now, if we could only score.

Though I haven’t noticed any nervousness due to the losing. The coach is calm, and the guys also realize we need to fix things. We had a players meeting where the veterans spoke out. We talked, analyzed mistakes. We weren’t spared the slogans, but I think even without them everyone realizes that it can’t go on like this. Mainly it was Amadio and Dimitrakos who spoke. And others over 25 years old.

Now that I’m completely used to the team, I’ll say that our group is fine. Oleg Saprykin was talking as if everyone’s by themselves in Ottawa, nobody to talk to. But I don’t have these problems. And when you have a good group of players, then the wins will come.


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