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10 мая 2002 года. 
Kasparaitis on ice more, Skoula less

Hartley prefers to rely on more experienced players when pressure of playoffs is building

By Rick Sadowski and Aaron J. Lopez,News Staff Writers

Call it a tale of two defensemen.

While Colorado Avalanche coach Bob Hartley has been giving more and more ice time to Darius Kasparaitis, Martin Skoula has been spending more time watching from the bench.

Rob Blake, Adam Foote and Greg de Vries all logged 27-plus minutes Wednesday in the Avalanche's 4-1 victory against the San Jose Sharks, and Kasparaitis played nearly 23 minutes.

Skoula, who averaged 22 minutes while playing in all 82 regular-season games, logged only 8 minutes, 28 seconds Wednesday. Bryan Muir played 2:55.

"It's just like players on the ice, you get gut feelings and you have to trust your instincts," Hartley said Thursday, an off-day for the players. "You read how players are performing and you have to make decisions that you are going with the players that will get you the win."

Kasparaitis has been more of an impact player for the Avalanche against the Sharks than at any time since his March 19 acquisition from the Pittsburgh Penguins. He's averaging 23 minutes of ice time in the first four games, has registered 35 official hits and owns a plus-3 rating.

Skoula is averaging 13 1/2 minutes in the series but played fewer than 10 minutes in each of the past two games. He has an even plus/minus rating.

"He's still a young defenseman," Hartley said of Skoula, 22. "Consistency is something that is very important in the playoffs. We want to make sure everyone is accountable out there. We're an organization that loves to work with young kids. Maybe it's because of my background with junior kids and American Hockey League kids. I love to see young kids come up.

"But in the playoffs, it's not about development or anything like that; it's about winning some hockey games. We want to keep everyone accountable in the lineup."

Hartley has been pairing Kasparaitis with Blake, and Foote with de Vries. It's taken Kasparaitis a while to adjust his game to the Avalanche's style, which isn't as wide open as the Penguins' approach.

"We asked him to kind of mix his style within our system," Hartley said. "He's a good person, a good leader, and he's a fun guy to have around the locker room. He keeps everybody loose. He's enjoying life. He can't spell pressure. When you see him in the locker room, you are wondering if he thinks we're in preseason or in the playoffs.

"He shows up to play. He's a warrior out there. You look at the crosscheck he took (Wednesday) from (Sharks forward Owen) Nolan. He shook it off and he was back in people's face the next shift. That's his game. He's playing a very disciplined game for us."

Nolan broke his stick in an open-ice collision with Kasparaitis late in the first period. Kasparaitis was in obvious pain as he vigorously shook his right hand after the hit and played the rest of the game but expressed some irritation towards Nolan afterward.

Great again -- Hartley said he didn't know what to expect from forward Peter Forsberg, who missed the entire regular season with foot and ankle problems. Forsberg hasn't been a disappointment. He's the leading scorer in the playoffs with 15 points despite sitting one game with what the Avalanche said was a leg injury.

"Basically, he's on a mission," Hartley said. "He missed hockey. We saw him around the locker room (during his rehabilitation) and I'd see him in the gym for three or four hours a day. Now the investment he made in the gym, combined with his unbelievable talent, are making him once again a premium player.

"We had to wait to see what he would look like on the ice. The more he plays, the stronger he gets."

Beaned and burned -- Even-numbered games are not agreeing with Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan.

After being hit in the head by a slap shot in Game 2, Hannan was the primary scapegoat when Colorado scored the first two goals of Game 4.

Hannan misread a lob pass by Forsberg, allowing Blake to slip past him for a breakaway goal less than 6 minutes into the game.

Later in the first period, Joe Sakic beat Hannan to a loose puck in front of the net and scored to give the Avs a 2-0 cushion that proved to be enough in a 4-1 win.

I think everyone has to learn," Sharks forward Teemu Selanne said. "It wasn't just Hannan's mistake. It was a bad start and a bad first period."

Quiet time -- Colorado's two quick goals in Game 4 effectively drained the Shark Tank.

Though San Jose fans willingly wear teal, they are a rowdy bunch who have the ability to reach speed-metal decibels.

"We scored the first one, right away we come back and score the second one and that place was like a funeral home," Hartley said. "I really believe in the sixth man and (Wednesday) night we were able to take the sixth man away from the Sharks."

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