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15 апреля 2004 года.
Antropov needs to improve his game - Canadian Press

TORONTO (CP) - There is the off-chance Nik Antropov could line up as the No. 1 centre for the Toronto Maple Leafs in Friday night's pivotal Game 5 against the visiting Ottawa Senators should Mats Sundin and Joe Nieuwendyk miss out through injury.

It's not a comforting thought for the legion of Leafs fans who have voiced their displeasure with the inconsistent Antropov, whose penchant for needless penalties has made him an unpopular figure on radio call-in shows.

The lanky native of Kazakhstan leads the Leafs with 12 penalty minutes in the four playoff games. He was sitting in the box for a high-sticking call Wednesday night when Chris Phillips scored on a power play to seal Ottawa's 4-1 victory, tying the best-of-seven series 2-2.

When asked about the penalties, Antropov sounded as perplexed as anyone.

``What do I need to do? Probably not touch the guys anymore,'' he said after practice Thursday at Air Canada Centre. ``But I can't play that way, I have to play physical.

``But the high-sticking, I know those are stupid penalties.''

He points to his six-foot-six frame as the reason he takes so many high-sticking penalties.

``I'm a tall guy,'' he said. ``If guys hook me it's in the waist, but if I hook them the stick goes from the elbow to the shoulder to the face,'' he said. ``I don't know what to do.''

Should Sundin and Nieuwendyk be unable to play Friday, Antropov will need to produce. He has one assist in four games, despite being second on the club with seven shots on goal.

``I've had some pretty good chances but I'm struggling scoring goals,'' he said. ``But it's the team results that comes in the first place, it doesn't matter how many points you score.''

In 19 career playoff games, he has two goals and 28 penalty minutes.

Antropov has looked good at times playing on Toronto's Sky Line the last three months with Nieuwendyk and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Nieuwendyk's absence Wednesday left his young teammates in a lurch.

``It's like the world turned around for us, really,'' Antropov said of losing Nieuwendyk for Game 4. ``We've been playing the last couple of months together and we know each other really well.

``But there's nothing we can do about it. We have to adjust to different guys.''

Antropov played centre in Game 4 with Ponikarovsky and Mikael Renberg at his wings. It was not an impressive effort. He was minus-1 in 13:35 of ice time and took that needless high-sticking penalty in the third period.

``I was a little lost out there but I thought I played not bad for the first time (at centre) in two or three months,'' Antropov said.

Head coach Pat Quinn says Antropov and Ponikarovsky can't use the loss of Nieuwendyk as an excuse.

``Now it's up to them,'' Quinn said. ``They have to show their own backbone.''

Antropov knows a better effort is expected Friday night, whether or not Nieuwendyk returns.

``You have to adjust because anything can happen,'' he said. ``You can't count on just one guy to carry your line.''

Страничка Николая Антропова на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


6 февраля. Николай Антропов: Собираюсь стать канадцем - Совесткий Спорт

14 января. Antropov shines again - Toronto Star

29 октября. У Антропова новая травма – вывих плеча. 

13 сентября. Is this Nik's season? - Toronto Sun



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