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Rambler's Top100

17 декабря 1997 года.
Mironov has found his 'A' game

By ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun   Off the ice he's a cross between a human laughtrack and a walking nightclub act. All smiles and chuckles. 
 And when he steps onto the frozen pond he's just as colorful: One minute he's turning heads with his physical, emotional, imaginative offensive style and the next he's driving coaches crazy by throwing live grenades around his own net. 
 That's Boris Mironov. Never a dull moment. 
 Third in team scoring. Tied for second in penalty minutes. One of the few Oilers on the plus side of the plus-minus ledger. And he wore the assistant captain's 'A' in the absence of injured Jason Arnott last game. 
" That's not bad," said Mironov, cracking a big smile at the thought of wearing an A. "I guess it was because of my experience. This is my fifth year of pro hockey; I've played 300 games. That means something.'' 
It might also be a pat on the back for pulling his game out of the sewer. Mironov, sluggish and out of shape when he reported to training camp this fall, got off to a dreadful start. He was in everybody's doghouse, from GM Glen Sather to coach Ron Low to a training staff charged with whipping him into form. 
 He led the league in pucks given away and scoldings received as the Oilers sank in the standings. 
 "It was slow, after four months away from skating, and a short training camp,'' he admitted. "The first few games were a little rough, for everybody.'' 
 Slowly but surely, however, the 25-year-old defenceman is emerging as the player the Oilers hoped he'd be when they signed him to a two-year, $2.3-million contract in September. 
 "He's in way better shape and he also has way more confidence,'' said Low, who couldn't believe his eyes when Mironov showed up for training camp medicals. 
 "There's no reason in this day and age to go up to 235 pounds in the summer. At the start of the year he was getting caught every time he tried to make one of those (creative) plays.'' 
 He's about 218 right now, and according to Low he "doesn't exactly look like he's starving at that weight,'' but he's been a bread-and-butter defenceman for Edmonton lately. 
 Mironov notices an improvement, too. He, like teammate Mats Lindgren, seemed to come alive after being named to his country's Olympic team, but he shrugs it off as coincidence. 
 "I've just been playing smarter, more defensive hockey,'' he said. "I'm just trying to concentrate, play good hockey, more mental hockey, a physical game. Get more shots on goal. This is my best year. My career is still going. Next year I'll be better.'' 
 Mental hockey is one of Mironov's trademarks. And we don't mean that in the good sense. 
 "I make bad plays sometimes,'' he chuckled. "Everybody makes mistakes. If I have a good chance to jump in (on an offensive chance) I'll jump in, but sometimes Lowtide says slow it down and play smart hockey.'' 
 Lately, aside from the odd hiccup here and there, that's what BoBo's been doing. 
 "He and Mush make a pretty good pair,'' said Low. "Mush generally backs up the glaring errors, and how many does Boris really make? It's just that he has the puck all the time and you likely notice it more.'' 
 He is a workhorse out there. He's also much more physical and emotional than most, if not all, of his Russian countrymen. 
 When it was jokingly suggested that Bill Huard teach Mironov how to rumble, Boris was all for it. 
 "That would be nice, sometimes you have to (fight),'' said Mironov, who should be filed under the willing but not very able category. 
 "I fought Brian Noonan once. I got punched three times and that was it. I couldn't eat for three days after that. I couldn't open my jaw. But sometimes it's good to show emotion in a game.''

Страничка Бориса Миронова на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


"ЗВЁЗДЫ С ВОСТОКА" @ c 1997 года