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Berezin 'glad it's over'. // Toronto Sun
By LANCE HORNBY
OTTAWA -- No one was happier to see this week and this regular season end than Sergei Berezin.
His confidence already in tatters after his worst offensive numbers in three years, the Maple Leafs winger spent the week in Russia attending his father-in-law's funeral near Moscow. He and Pavel Podkolzin were very close, but Berezin agonized over whether to leave the team at such a crucial time.
Berezin received permission, flew home with wife Natalia and son John, then jetted back all day Friday to meet the Leafs for last night's game in Ottawa.
Though tired, he played one of his best games of the year, scoring twice and getting an assist in a 5-3 loss to the Senators.
"He played a really good game for a guy who went four or five days without skating," linemate Nik Antropov said.
Berezin got an early morning phone call on Monday and his life has been upside down since.
"It's been a tough few days," he said. "All those flights, plus the funeral and all the arrangements. I didn't feel too good (last night) because all I've had were a few hours sleep last week.
"But my job is to play hockey and I'm back here. Unfortunately we didn't play well enough to win (last night)."
Berezin's 22 goals underlined the Leafs' lack of punch through the regular season.
"I'm glad it's over," Berezin said. "It was tough personally and for the team. But it's a new season and I'm looking forward to it.
"Our line had a good game, the power play worked well (two goals) and
it was good for our personal confidence. But I can't wait to get home and
get to bed."
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