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сентября 2002 года.
Berezin: Fresh start in Chicago - Daily Herald
By Tim Sassone
Sergei Berezin doesn't need to look at the numbers to be reminded of what a dreadful 2001-02 season he had.
"I don't look at the numbers, but they are there," said Berezin, acquired by the Blackhawks from Montreal in June for a fourth-round draft pick. "I have a lot to prove this year, not only to myself but to the fans. Obviously, last year was a horrible year for me."
After averaging 25 goals a year in five seasons with Toronto, including a high of 37 in 1998-99, Berezin slumped to just 11 last season in 41 games with Phoenix and 29 with the Canadiens. The high level of skill and the quick release of the puck that marked those years with the Maple Leafs seemed to vanish.
Berezin blames personal problems, namely a divorce, with helping knock him off track. He feels now he is starting fresh on a Hawks team filled with familiar faces from his days in Toronto, such as Alexander Karpovtsev, Steve Thomas, Steve Sullivan and Igor Korolev.
"I know a lot of guys from Toronto, and that helps," Berezin said. "It's going to be nice to have fun again playing hockey. A lot of things went wrong last season, and I've thought about it all summer. Things didn't work out in many ways, and I learned a lesson."
The Hawks are expecting Berezin to bounce back big time and at least match the 27 goals Tony Amonte scored last season. Why such optimism?
"Playing with some high-skilled guys, (and) playing with a team conducive to his style of play and that has a lot of skill and creativity," coach Brian Sutter said. "Sergei is known for being a goal scorer, and when we looked around the league (for help), I didn't care if he scored 11 goals last year or not.
"It's like our team (two years ago) having 71 or 72 points. Are you expecting to have 72 again the next year? I didn't. I know he's a better player than that. He's one gifted athlete."
Thomas believes Berezin can be one of the most dangerous snipers in the NHL when he is on his game. Already in training-camp workouts, Berezin has been lighting it up with 3 goals in Sunday's scrimmage.
"Sergei is the kind of guy who can change the complexion of a game with one shift," Thomas said. "He's so talented with the puck, he skates well, and he can shoot the puck. If you can get positive with Sergei, be there and support him, he can do some pretty big-time things on the ice.
"When you see Sergei take the puck from his own blue line, go in and turn a defenseman inside out and put one on the top shelf, that really gives a team lift. He's the kind of guy more than capable of doing that."
Thomas can empathize with the kind of poor year Berezin had last season, having experienced several of them himself.
"Throughout a career, you go through stages like that," Thomas said. "I think everyone in this room has gone through subpar seasons when you're not happy with it and you want to make amends for it. He's in a new environment now with a lot of people he knows, and I think he feels real comfortable."
Berezin doesn't care where Sutter uses him, whether it's on the first line with Alex Zhamnov, the second line with Michael Nylander or the third line with Korolev.
"It doesn't matter where they play me," Berezin said. "I just want to
be a better player and a tougher player."
Страничка Сергея Березина на
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16 сентября. Berezin: Fresh start in Chicago - Daily Herald