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28 декабря 2003 года. 
Morozov's nightmarish slump continues - Post-Gazette

By Dejan Kovacevic

The day started poorly for Aleksey Morozov, right about the time he learned New Jersey's coaches would be giving iron man Martin Brodeur a rare respite from the Devils' crease last night.

It would not improve.

He finished the Penguins' 2-0 loss at Mellon Arena with two shots stopped by backup goaltender Corey Schwab, one pipe struck by another and no answers for the most perplexing slump of his seven-year NHL career: He has gone 19 games without a goal, almost a quarter of the NHL's regular season.

"I have gone through things like this before, but this is different," Morozov said afterward in a hushed tone. "When this would happen before, I was not playing as much as I am now. I played 19 minutes tonight. Back then, I would have five or seven minutes a game. It was tough to score then because I wasn't playing. Now, there's no excuses."

He has registered 32 shots on goal in this span, has misfired on countless others and completely whiffed on a handful. He has eight assists, including one to set up the winning goal Dec. 1 against Atlanta, and is tied for fourth on the team in scoring with five goals and 11 assists.

But he has not found the back of the net since that overtime slap shot he blew by Mika Noronen Nov. 14 in Buffalo, and he is not operating on the pretense that anything other than consistent goal-scoring is enough to satisfy management's demands. Not when finishing plays is his primary trait. Not when he is the highest-paid player on the roster at $1.5 million with Mario Lemieux out of the lineup.

"It's tough to say something when you're not scoring," Morozov said. "I don't even know what to say now. So many chances, and I don't score."

In his mind, this was to be the game it ended. He was facing the Devils, the one opponent he has torched consistently throughout his career. He had 12 goals in 27 meetings with New Jersey, the first of those against Chris Terreri, the rest against Brodeur. He does not have more than five goals against any other team.

The way he saw it, his goal drought entering the game last night was three, not 18.

"I haven't scored against the Devils in three games," he said in a rare moment of levity late Friday night in Ottawa. "That's a long time."

He thought he had one last night as the clock was winding down on the second period. He swooped into the New Jersey zone down the left side, took a pass in stride and snapped a hard, high shot that beat Schwab to the blocker side. Not hearing the clang of the post or seeing the puck sail harmlessly away, he began to raise his arms in celebration. Before they were halfway up, though, he lowered them as the horn sounded for intermission.

"Yeah, I thought it would go in," he said. "It could hit the post and go down and in, but ... you know, it goes out. It was a great opportunity, and I missed it."

Morozov, 26, will see his contract expire after this season, and he has acknowledged this is a critical year for him partly for that reason. Which might help to explain why he has taken his slump so hard. He has been seen on and off the ice hanging his head.

"It's tough when everybody asks you to score," he said. "I know the team wants me to score. I want more goals, too. It's tough mentally. You try to do everything, but it doesn't work."

Not even against the Devils.

"Yeah, that was in my head before the game," he said of facing New Jersey.

"But right now, I'm trying to concentrate on every game. I'm going into every game saying to myself, 'Tonight's the night,' try to do my best, try to score."

He shook his head as he paused.

"Then, this will be over."

Страничка Алексея Морозова на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


28 октября. Morozov moving to top line - Post-Gazette 

12 сентября. Интервью с Алексеем Морозовым - "Советский Спорт"

6 июля. Morozov eager to hear of Lemieux's return

15 марта. Алексей Морозов разрабатывает руку - Советский Спорт



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