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|29 декабря 2003
Streaking Skrastins looks like steal for Avs - Denver Post
By Adrian Dater
Karlis Skrastins is the NHL's reigning ironman, but don't go cueing up the Black Sabbath tune quite yet.
"Maybe if it lasts a few more years, it will be something,' said the Avalanche defenseman, whose 303 consecutive games played lead all active players. "But I've been lucky so far. I've had a couple of little injuries during (the streak) but been able to play through them.'
Skrastins is the Avalanche's best defenseman from Riga, Latvia, since Sandis Ozolinsh. Skrastins and Ozolinsh are the only two defensemen in the NHL from Riga, but Skrastins believes that number will grow in the coming years.
"Growing up in Riga, there was only one good rink. Now, we have about 10,' Skrastins said. "There are a lot of young kids who are going to be good coming out of my country. Hockey is huge there.'
Skrastins' statistics are not huge on paper. In 34 games, he has a goal and three assists and is a plus-3. But ask anybody on the Avalanche about the 6-foot-1, 210- pound defender, and he will practically shake his head in amazement that the Nashville Predators let him go.
Adam Foote, Skrastins' usual defensive partner, describes him as a "totally solid player.'
"He's real solid in his own zone and does the little things,' Foote said. "He's a good skater, and he's tough. He's real easy to play with, a great addition for us.'
Skrastins came to Colorado for the team's third-round draft choice in next year's NHL draft - a deal that might have been the league's biggest steal of the summer. Skrastins was offered a new contract by the Predators, but not to his satisfaction, and they agreed to separate. The Avs jumped in and signed him after completing the trade.
Skrastins (pronounced "Skrass-TEECH') had a typical game Saturday against Philadelphia, logging more than 20 quality minutes that included yeoman work during a 5-on-3 Flyers power-play advantage late in the third period. His decisions with the puck in his zone have been reliable, and he muscles skaters off the puck well.
"Very dependable, very consistent,' Avalanche coach Tony Granato said of Skrastins' play. "He's fit in real well with the team, and I think he's enjoying himself.'
Skrastins, whose nickname is "Scratch,' confirms that.
"Playing with these guys, you learn something new every day,' Skrastins said. "With (Foote), he's a great guy and he's helping me a lot. He's a good, steady defenseman.'
Derek Morris, who has partnered with Skrastins, said the new Av has replaced Eric Messier as probably the best shot blocker on the team.
"He really is great at blocking shots, and you don't have to communicate that much with him because you know he's going to be in position,' Morris said.
Skrastins says he can offer a little more at the offensive end than he has given, but knows scoring isn't what is needed from him with this team.
"It's nice to have Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic and everybody else on my side now, instead of against me. I can tell you,' he said.
Страничка Карлиса Скрастинша
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11 марта. Карлис Скрастиньш: История железного человека
- Советский Спорт
29 декабря. Streaking Skrastins looks like steal for
Avs - Denver Post
11 марта. Карлис Скрастиньш: История железного человека - Советский Спорт
29 декабря. Streaking Skrastins looks like steal for Avs - Denver Post