марта 1998 года.
By DAN BARNES -- Edmonton Sun
GREENSBORO, North Carolina -- Overnight train rides from Moscow
to Minsk give you time to sleep and time to dream.
Boris Mironov dreamed about the NHL. Not just playing in it,
but excelling in the best league in the world.
In 1994, the Winnipeg Jets brought him over from Red Army to
give it a try. In his rookie season he was as far away from excellence
as Moscow is from Minsk.
"I was awful," he said before yesterday's game against Carolina.
"It was a new style of game, you know, more physical. It's tough to change
games. I have to play almost three years. Last year was not too bad, but
I got injured. This year, very good."
This year the single-season bests keep on coming: 14 goals, 39
points, nine power-play goals. With a strong finish, he'll reach the 50-point
plateau in a season that may see just two forwards - Jaromir Jagr and Peter
Forsberg - break the 100-point barrier.
There is no denying Mironov a place among the league's best blueliners
any more. Before yesterday's games he was the 10th-highest scoring defenceman
in the NHL. Not bad for someone who won't be 26 for five more days.
"Most times you use the word potential, it's because they've
never reached it. He's reaching it. He's been awesome," said assistant
coach Bob McCammon.
"He's got a chance to be a great defenceman in the NHL because
he's not old. And he can do everything. He doesn't have a weak link in
his game. What he's learned is to let the game come to him. He used to
try to make too many things happen himself."
Not long ago, even during his best games he'd have a shift so
awful that the coaching staff could only watch and shudder and realize
that it was Boris being Boris. But bonehead plays are fewer and farther
between now. And he is playing more than ever, at least 25 minutes a game.
"In another month he may be able to play 40. If we get him in
shape," kidded McCammon.
There is no question he accepted the responsibility of more playing
time. In fact, he relished it.
"He was the only guy with experience early in the year," said
Curtis Joseph. "Mush was out. No Luke Richardson. No Kevin Lowe. He really
stepped up. He was the guy. He played all the minutes. Sometimes that's
what it takes, somebody to say you're the guy."
They couldn't say that to him when he arrived as a mistake-prone
kid deemed expendable by the Jets in the Dave Manson deal of March 15,
1994. He wouldn't have understood.
"Four years ago he didn't speak a lick of English and he was
still funny," said Doug Weight. "In fact, the more English he learns, the
more we regret it."
But seriously ...
"The good thing about Boris is he wants to be the best defenceman
in the league," continued Weight. "He wants to win the Norris Trophy. He
wants to score 25 goals. He wants to win.
"He's taken the job seriously. He's really grown up and matured
as a player and a person. He sacrifices to win and he's obviously a great
It wasn't obvious to Bill Guerin when he played in the Eastern
Conference for the Devils.
"I didn't realize he was that talented. He's been playing as
a big leader on our team. He's got a huge future ahead of him. He's one
of the best defencemen in the league right now. I just don't think anybody
knows about him. They're going to start soon if he keeps scoring goals
like (a top-shelfer in Miami). That's a big-time goal."
That's one you dream about. All the way from Moscow to Minsk.
Страничка Бориса Миронова на
сайте "Звёзды с Востока"