Реклама в Интернет * Все Кулички
|30 сентября 2005
Which Fedotenko Will Bolts Get? - Tampa Tribune
By SCOTT CARTER
TAMPA - Before his preseason debut Sunday against Buffalo, the last time we saw Ruslan Fedotenko in action for the Lightning, he was the man of the hour after a game of a lifetime. Fedotenko, a player more accustomed to the shadows than the spotlight, scored both goals in Tampa Bay's 2-1 win against Calgary in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.
For Fedotenko, it was a perfect ending to what had been a prosperous postseason. In 22 playoff games in the spring of 2004, Fedotenko scored 12 goals, only five shy of his regular-season total.
"It was just finding the groove," Fedotenko recalled Thursday. "You get that going, you have confidence, the team is playing well, you're playing well, and you just get into that groove. You have one good game, then you say to yourself, 'Hey, why can't you do that every game?' It was unbelievable."
Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella loved every minute of Fedotenko's postseason heroics, especially considering he benched the personable Fedotenko a few months earlier for not producing. Now, 16 months after Fedotenko's shining moment, Tortorella wonders which Fedotenko will return to the Lightning this season.
There's no doubt which one Tortorella prefers.
"I think this is a huge year for Rusty to really come onto the scene," Tortorella said. "We expect big things out of him this year. He had just a super playoff, but now I'm anxious to see if that carries over to the inconsistent regular-season part. That would be huge for us."
Fedotenko's inconsistent past is not the only question mark entering his third season in Tampa Bay. The 26-year-old right wing underwent surgery on his left hip in the spring, forcing him to start slow in training camp. The hip, which needed surgery to repair a torn labrum, required regular cortisone shots the past two seasons.
In his first game back, Fedotenko played nearly 18 minutes Sunday, a long way from the four weeks he spent in bed after surgery. For now, he says he feels good and expects to be ready for the season opener Wednesday at home against Carolina. If healthy, Fedotenko said his goal is to build on his playoff success rather than allow it to be his defining moment.
"I want to get even better," said Fedotenko, who signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract in June after the lockout ended. "Maybe be the way I was in the playoffs ... try to do that every regular-season game. I can be more beneficial to the team."
Fedotenko will start the season playing on a line with talented play-makers Vinny Lecavalier and Vinny Prospal, which should provide him with ample scoring chances. But for Fedotenko to cash in consistently, he'll need to play with the energy and determination he showed in the 2004 postseason.
"Consistency is the key thing, and he hasn't crossed that completely yet," Tortorella said.
Fedotenko was one of the few Lightning players who did not play during the lockout. He took time off to rest his hip, and when that didn't completely solve the problem, he opted for surgery. Now, he wants to prove his playoff push was no fluke.
"When I got traded here in 2002 from Philadelphia, I had been in the NHL for two years. You feel kind of young," Fedotenko said. "You kind of learn and grow into a different situation. The playoffs, it was a great experience, but now it's a whole new season, a new life. Now it's time for the next step, the next chapter."