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декабря 2003 года.
Ponikarovsky more confident - Toronto Sun
By MIKE ZEISBERGER
With 12 letters in his last name, Alexei Ponikarovsky has the potential to be a hockey statistician's nightmare.
Of course, that has not been much of an issue throughout most of his NHL career. Not when his name has appeared so rarely on the scoresheet.
But if his play over the weekend is any indication, statisticians around the league had better start memorizing the spelling of Ponikarovsky in a hurry.
In each of the past two games, Ponikarovsky, playing on a line with Joe Nieuwendyk and Nik Antropov, has played a key role in the outcome.
After opening the scoring in Toronto's 2-2 tie against the Washington Capitals on Friday, his grunt work in the Montreal zone led directly to Wade Belak's tying goal during the third period of the Leafs' 4-2 victory over the Habs Saturday.
On a brittle team that has been forced to rely on the likes of Ponikarovsky, Ric Jackman and Wade Belak to plug holes caused by injuries, the lanky native of Ukraine is showing signs that he is in the big leagues to stay.
In his three previous pro seasons in North America, Ponikarovsky, 23, has failed to stick with the Leafs and ended up toiling on the Rock for the Baby Leafs. That's a trend he is bucking to change.
"That's the way life goes sometimes," he said. "To be up here is what you work towards. That's why every time I was in St. John's I kept working to get back here.
"Our line is having fun now. And I'm getting some confidence."
Nieuwendyk's influence has been a key for Ponikarovsky, who constantly receives reassurances from the veteran centre.
"I think I'm starting to develop some chemistry now with those two big bookends," Nieuwendyk said. "We're trying to communicate a little more and push each other a little bit.
"I think that's what Pony needs -- someone to give him a little push every once in a while. You don't have to do that as much with Nikky but Pony is a guy who likes to be told 'Go to the corner, get in front of the net,' things like that."
Страничка Алексея Поникаровсого
на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"
27 ноября. Алексей Поникаровский: "В России много "свободного"
льда" // www.khimik.ru
22 декабря. Ponikarovsky more confident - Toronto
27 ноября. Алексей Поникаровский: "В России много "свободного" льда" // www.khimik.ru
22 декабря. Ponikarovsky more confident - Toronto Sun