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21 января 2004 года. 
Despite disappointing season, Fedorov happy in Anaheim - Booth Newspapers

By Ansar Khan

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Sergei Fedorov was prepared for a new experience when he signed a contract as a free agent with Anaheim last summer. But this isn't what he had in mind.

Fedorov never missed the playoffs during his 13 years as a Detroit Red Wing, but he won't make it this season unless the Mighty Ducks mount a remarkable turnaround.

One victory away from winning the Stanley Cup last season, Anaheim is last in the Pacific Division, hitting rock bottom in Monday's 5-1 loss to Calgary, which coach Mike Babcock called "a disgrace."

Individually, it's also been a struggle for Fedorov, who's on a 54-point pace, which would be the lowest output of his career for a full season. In Detroit he never posted a minus rating in any season, but he's minus-nine for the Ducks.

His playing time is basically the same as it was in Detroit. A Los Angeles Times columnist said he's better suited as a complementary player, not a leader.

It sounds like a script for a hockey horror story, but Fedorov maintains he's happy in Anaheim.

"I have not really been in a position like this but it's still exciting for me," Fedorov said after practice Tuesday at the Pond. "Every game presents different challenges. I'm adjusting every day, making sure I play my best hockey. All I can do right now is try to gear myself and hopefully influence the other players to play better."

As he prepared to face the Red Wings tonight, Fedorov knows he must play better as well. He leads the Ducks in goals (16) and points (31) but he and the club expected much more.

"Obviously, my points and goals should be much higher," he said. "I do have opportunities to score, but it didn't happen quite easy. I guess I'm still adjusting to that, to be sharp out there when you're presented with opportunities to score or make a play. Like I said many times in my career, there is room to improve."

He's not using Babcock's defensive system or Anaheim's lack of skilled players as an excuse.

"It doesn't mean I can't play the way I can," Fedorov said. "It's a little bit more work (to score) because this team is not as skilled as my former team, but we work hard. I don't mind hard work."

Fedorov said there is a misconception that he left the Wings because he demanded a larger role and more minutes and wanted his own team to lead.

"Everybody thought I expected something. I didn't, because I had respect for this (Ducks) organization, for my new teammates and my coach," Fedorov said. "Only thing I said was if the opportunity is presented to me, I would love to be that (go-to player).

"Maybe people misunderstood me, again, as usual."

Fedorov's father, Viktor, criticized Babcock in the Russian media earlier this season, saying he works the team too hard in practice. But Sergei said he enjoys playing for Babcock.

"Having a coach like Mike Babcock is an inspiration for all of us," Fedorov said. "He gives everybody so much energy. I found it's very easy to play for him because of the way he treats us and prepares us. I think he's doing a tremendous job in the mental department."

Unlike his first two games against the Wings, 7-2 and 3-1 Anaheim losses at Joe Louis Arena, Fedorov doesn't have to worry about being booed every time he touches the puck tonight.

"I'll be probably a little bit nervous again. It's still a new situation for me," Fedorov said. "Focus may be tough to keep, but that's the challenge presented to me and I have to do it.

"We need points. It's like oxygen for us right now."

Fedorov scored a nice goal his first game against the Wings but was largely ineffective in both contests.

"When we play against the Red Wings we don't have the puck as much as we should," he said. "I'm on the defending side more than the offensive side."

Wings forward Steve Thomas will return to action tonight, nearly six weeks after surgery to remove loose cartilage in his knee. "I think I can go in there and make things happen and contribute," Thomas said. Ironically, his first game back is a homecoming. Thomas was traded from Chicago to Anaheim late last season and excelled for the Ducks. . . . Kirk Maltby didn't practice Tuesday and is questionable for tonight. He hurt his right leg when San Jose's Kyle McLaren ran into him during the first period of Monday's game. . . . Pavel Datsyuk also didn't practice, but coach Dave Lewis said he was just resting.

© 2004 Booth Newspapers. Used with permission

Страничка Сергея Фёдорова на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


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