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30 января 1998 года.
Korolev anxious to get back

Canadian Press
 TORONTO (CP) -- Igor Korolev is not going to help the Toronto Maple Leafs sitting in the press box.
 "It's a long way to score a goal," he says.
 Korolev, Steve Sullivan and Martin Prochazka were told to leave their suits and ties on Thursday night in St. Louis. The Blues won 2-0.
 "I was pretty mad," Korolev said after practice Friday. "But that's the coach's decision and he's doing what he thinks is best for the team.
 "It has been like 10 games where I can't get a goal. I can't figure it out. Everything is the same but I can't get the puck in the net. I'm unlucky. It happens. I can't complain. The coach is the boss. All we can do is come in the next day and work hard."
 Murphy's move was a bold one considering Toronto is 25th in team scoring. Do the Leafs need goals? Do farmers need rain? Korolev has 14 -- second-best among Leafs. So, shouldn't he be on the ice?
 It's not that simple, Murphy explained.
 "Over the last little while, there have been too many inconsistencies in his game," he said. "I mentioned it to him verbally, I restricted some of his ice time during games, and the third message is you sit a player out.
 "I think Igor got hit between the eyes with it. The message is: you've got to play hard every night if we're going to have any chance to make the playoffs, and we can't have guys having every other game off. That was the message and I think Igor got it."
 Sergei Berezin was reinserted, and Mike Kennedy and Kevyn Adams arrived from the St. John's AHL farm club in the latest attempt to light a fire under the Leafs.
 "If guys don't play hard, they're not going to play on this team," Murphy said. "I'm going to have to move them out of the lineup and, eventually, they won't be on our team."
 Korolev plays tonight against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. Murphy was to decide on the others today. He was content with the efforts of Kennedy and Adams.
 "They played hard," he said. "When you come into a situation that is as urgent as ours is and you're thrown into the lineup . . . they weren't given a great deal of ice time but they were sufficient in their role. I thought they did a decent job."
 Kennedy spent parts of three years with Dallas before signing with the Leafs last summer. He was happy to get in his first game with the big club.
 "Once you get a taste of life in the NHL, you do anything you can to stay," said the Vancouver native. "You don't won't to go back down."
 Wendel Clark (groin) and Alyn McCauley (ankle) remain on the injured list.
 The forwards are not the only ones reverting to bad habits.
 "Our goal is to continue to see if we can find a defenceman, whether it be a call-up or in the league somewhere, because I haven't been happy with our defence," Murphy said. "We're getting a lot of very marginal play from our six defencemen."
 Toronto, 17-26-7, is five points out of the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth occupied by Edmonton. The Leafs have played two fewer games than the Oilers.
 "We have to stay in the battle and keep every team ahead of us in sight," Murphy said. "If you win those two games in hand, you're right there.
 "We play Edmonton twice more in the schedule -- not that Edmonton is the only goal. We still have our sights set on (seventh-place) Chicago. I know LA's schedule is much more difficult later on, too.
 "It's important for us to stay in it. You never know what can happen. We can put a streak together. We haven't done it this year. So, maybe we're due. Maybe we're going to put seven or eight together without a loss. Do that, and you're going to find yourself hovering around eighth spot."
 Fourteen players showed up for the optional skate as the pursuit of full-time work intensifies

Страничка Игоря Королева на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


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