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20 ноября 2001 года.
Even Russians are enemies to Kasparaitis // Post-Gazette

By Dave Molinari

Russia figures to enter the Salt Lake City Olympics as one of the favorites to win a gold medal.

Especially if Penguins defenseman Darius Kasparaitis allows its team to be reasonably intact when the Games begin, which is far from a certainty at this time.

It's not that Kasparaitis has it in for the Russians -- fact is, he'll be playing for them again -- but until that team convenes in Utah, its members will be wearing different sweaters. And anyone who isn't sporting a Penguins crest on his chest isn't Kasparaitis' teammate. Not now, anyway.

Kasparaitis made that emphatically clear in the second game of the season, when he crushed Anaheim defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky with a ferocious check.

"It was a clean hit," Kasparaitis said. "If somebody hits me like that, I don't think anybody's going to feel bad. I just have to do my job."

In case that message didn't get through to any of the guys he'll be sharing a locker room with in February, Kasparaitis delivered it again a week ago. He launched himself into the left shoulder of New Jersey center Sergei Brylin in the neutral zone, sending him flying into the boards.

Brylin missed the rest of that game because of a knee problem and, given the impact he absorbed -- from Kasparaitis and the boards -- probably was fortunate that he wasn't more severely injured.

Kasparaitis isn't targeting Russian Olympians, of course. He has been credited with a team-high 81 hits -- that's an average of just more than four per game --and is an equal-opportunity destroyer.

And, for that matter, has to be, because if the physical element would be removed from his game, Kasparaitis probably wouldn't be in the NHL, let alone the Olympics.

"I can't feel bad, because if I start feeling bad when I do things like that, I stop hitting," he said. "Then I feel sorry [for the target] and I become a soft player."

That's not likely to happen, and even -- or, maybe, especially -- guys such as Alexei Yashin and Pavel Bure will want to have their heads up and their radar on when they're sharing a slab of ice with Kasparaitis.

Their offensive gifts will be critical to Russia's chance of earning a medal in Salt Lake City, but those same talents make them a threat to embarrass Kasparaitis and his Penguins teammates every time they go over the boards.

Consequently, they can expect to turn up his in crosshairs anytime he detects their presence between now and the Games.

"That's my job," Kasparaitis said. "If they beat me one-on-one, they're going to score a goal. If I have a chance to hit them, finish my check, I will. And I'm 100 percent sure that I'm going to hit them hard."

Страничка Дариуса Каспарайтиса на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


29 июля. «Рэйнджерс» отказались от идеи выкупа контракта Дариуса Каспарайтиса. 

4 декабря. Дариус Каспарайтис: "Мой любимый прием - "мельница" // "Советский Спорт"

23 октября. Хабибулин и Каспарайтис - в "Ак Барсе" - "Спорт-Экспресс"

20 августа. Дариус Каспарайтис: "Кубок Мира выиграет самая дружная команда" - Спорт-Экспресс.

24 декабря. Kaspar Puts On Big Hit - Newsday

4 декабря. Kasparaitis a Jolly Ranger - Newsday

20 августа. Каспарайтису прооперировано правое колено.

11 августа. Каспарайтис - Король силовых приемов - Советский Спорт

20 февраля. Дарюс забыл обиду

19 февраля. Sather Down on Darius


"ЗВЁЗДЫ С ВОСТОКА" @ c 1997 года