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|18 ноября 2006
Frolov is Americanizing his game // Los Angeles Times
By Chris Foster,
Alexander Frolov, the Kings' 24-year old forward, caused a lot of head scratching his first three NHL seasons, as Kings coaches and management nudged him into playing a more North American game.
And shoved … and pushed. Add begged, pleaded and cajoled as well.
Shoot the puck. Get to the net. Grind it out around the crease. The chatter in Frolov's ear reached talk-radio proportions. Now it appears Frolov has tuned in rather than tuned out.
Frolov has seven goals and 12 points in the last eight games, including two goals in each of the last two games. But it's not only that he's scoring goals — Frolov has averaged 20 a season in his short career — it's where he's scoring them.
On Monday against the San Jose Sharks, he worked his way to the net and was in perfect position to chip in a rebound. On Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers, he again crashed the net, had his shot blocked, then dug out the rebound and flipped the puck into the net.
"People have always talked to me about going to the net," Frolov said. "It's been hard because you learn the game differently in Russia. I'm trying to change because it can only help me. Good things happen around the net."
Frolov was pegged a floater and playmaker, who had a pass-first mentality that was instilled in him as a youth. But Frolov has adapted and is becoming more of a predator around the net, at least for now.
"If you want to score, you have to be in the best area to do that," Frolov said. "Obviously, you can't score from behind the net."
The Kings, who lack a proven 30-goal scorer, could use a breakthrough season from Frolov. He leads the team with 10 goals in 21 games and is on pace to score 39. But to get there, Frolov knows he must get to the net.
"We push our guys to make proper use of their traffic in front of the net," Crawford said. "The pretty goals are nice, but if you watch the highlights, most of the goals are the result of traffic in front of the net."
The upside on Frolov is he can score the pretty ones as well. He and Craig Conroy worked a two-on-one against the Flyers, with Frolov rocketing a shot into the net from the high slot.
"He and Anze Kopitar are probably our most dynamic players," Crawford said.