Реклама в Интернет * Все Кулички

Rambler's Top100

13 октября 2002 года
Botched hit caps awful night for Kasparaitis - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

 By Karen Price

The big question Saturday night when Darius Kasparaitis came to town with the New York Rangers was whether or not Mario Lemieux would become a victim of one of the former Penguins defenseman's bone-jarring hits.

The answer came midway through the third period with the Penguins on a power play and leading 5-0. Lemieux was along the left-wing boards in the Rangers' end when Kasparaitis went in for the kill. Lemieux turned ever so slightly, presenting his former teammate with a shoulder, and Kasparaitis bounced off him like a super ball hitting a brick wall.

Then, adding insult to injury, Lemieux made it 6-0 moments later, combining with linemates Aleksey Morozov and Alexei Kovalev for their fourth goal of the night, No. 2 for Lemieux.

"We just ran into each other," Lemieux said, shrugging off the suggestion that he put quite a hit on Kasparaitis.

Lemieux's teammates saw it differently.

"The guy's so strong," Marc Bergevin said of his captain. "It's funny because all those years Kaspar was the guy to give the big hits."

Kasparaitis' former defensive partner, Ian Moran, said, "Personally, I just started laughing. Not in a bad way, it's just that Kas is trying to do his thing, and it just shows how strong (Lemieux) is."

Kasparaitis ended up with a team-worst minus-4 rating on the night, and the botched hit capped a disastrous return to Mellon Arena for one of the most popular players ever to wear a Penguins jersey.

"Especially with a minus-4, you know, that's kind of embarrassing," Kasparaitis said. "But it's a long season. Sometimes you end up being like that, and sometimes you end up being on the other side, being plus-4 or plus-5 and winning the game."

Perhaps the man who could best commiserate with Kasparaitis was another former Penguins player, Bryan Trottier.

The pummeling at the hands of several of his old teammates was the third game of Trottier's head coaching career. It was also Kasparaitis' first start in Pittsburgh after being traded to Colorado at the deadline last March then signing in New York as a free agent July 2.

Things started out bad for the Rangers and quickly snowballed downhill.

The Penguins scored four goals in the first period alone, prompting Trottier to call a timeout just three minutes into the game with his team suddenly down by two goals. Kasparaitis was on the ice for the final three goals of that period, including the first from Lemieux, who was his man on the play.

"It was an extremely disappointing start to say the least," Trottier said. "More disappointing was the reaction shortly after the start. That's where your leadership kicks in, and you have to get ugly."

That leadership was one of the reasons Trottier lobbied for Kasparaitis to join the Rangers this summer in the first place. This is the third team for which Kasparaitis has played under Trottier, after short pairings while Trottier was an assistant first with the Penguins and then with the Avalanche.

Fans cheered Kasparaitis' name when he was announced as a starter, and one fan's sign hanging from the upper bowl read, "Pgh's greatest loss Kasparaitis." But Kasparaitis disappeared when the puck dropped, his presence on the ice limited to being in the wrong place at the wrong time as the Penguins ratcheted up the score to cruise to their first win at home since March 24. What's more, there were none of the thunderous hits that players and fans alike expect from Kasparaitis.

"We were two seconds late every step we tried to do," Kasparaitis said, trying to explain the Rangers' lack of physical reaction. "There's no point of hitting if you're going to hit somebody and there's going to be a 2-on-1. That's playing dumb hockey. You have to wait for your turn, and as a team, you have to hit together. It didn't work today."

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