января 2001 года.
Mental edge puts Fedorov back among elite
players. // Detroit Free Press
DETROIT -- Maybe all it took was pushing aside everyone's expectations
and concentrating on what he could do.
Sergei Fedorov has been hearing about what he was expected to do since
he won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player for the 1993-94
The expectations became larger than life on Feb. 26, 1998, after the
Wings matched a six-year, $38-million offer sheet Fedorov signed with the
Fedorov knew what was expected of him and invited the pressure by saying
he was ready to duplicate his MVP season. The production never caught up
to the hype until this season. Fedorov not only has been the Wings' best
player, but he's again a candidate for league MVP.
"I pushed away all those thoughts and talk of being the top player,
or having to do this or doing that," said Fedorov, who will play for the
World team in the All-Star Game on Sunday in Denver. "What I did was just
go out and practice and concentrate on hockey, and all the hockey aspects
of the game."
Fedorov had watched older players do the same thing. Fedorov, in his
11th season, realized it was time to stop listening to what others were
expecting from him.
"Being an experienced player, I realized if you do that part (concentrating
on hockey), the rest will take care of itself," Fedorov said. "I realized
everything else will take care of itself. It gave me a good edge mentally
to work harder every day. I've felt good about it. I feel like I did when
I was rookie in 1990, and just coming to the rink and playing hockey every
day and not worrying about anything else. It's been fun."
The resurgence of Fedorov couldn't have come at a better time for the
Wings. He leads the team with 23 goals and 51 points and is third with
28 assists. He is averaging 21 minutes, 49 seconds of ice time, third behind
Nicklas Lidstrom (28:34) and Steve Yzerman (22:38). He helped carry the
Wings when Yzerman missed 23 games because of surgery on his right knee.
"He's been very strong," said Red Wings Coach Scotty Bowman, who has
given Fedorov the increased ice time Fedorov craves. "He's skating hard,
Fedorov's teammates have marveled at his exploits this season.
"It's tough to defend him when he's skating the way he's been skating,"
said Lidstrom, who also will play for the World team Sunday. "Teams just
back up and give him the space when he's coming up the ice the way he is.
He's going around people and creating opportunities.
"You find yourself watching him play."
Said Igor Larionov: "Sergei is really in control out there right now.
He's controlling the play. He's playing with a lot of confidence and it
Fedorov said he's going to enjoy the All-Star weekend. It is his fourth
All-Star appearance, but first since 1996 -- the season he won his second
Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward.
It will be extra special because there had been talk around the league
that his play was slipping. But no more. Fedorov is back among the league's
best players, free of expectations.
"I'm looking forward to it," Fedorov said. "It's been a few years since
I've been there. You're talking about the best players in the game.
"It's an honor."