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3 октября 2002 года. 
Svitov relies on basic instinct - St. Petersburg Times

Russian center uses his talent, and his Lightning teammates, to overcome the language barrier. 

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer

TAMPA -- Lightning center Alexander Svitov said he understands about 30 percent of what is said to him on the ice.

Imagine if the big Russian, who came to the United States in August with an English vocabulary not much beyond hello, thank you and Coca-Cola, understood it all.

Imagine if Svitov could do every drill, and figure out every nuance of the plays described by coach John Tortorella without going to teammates Ruslan Fedotenko, Nikita Alexeev or Nikolai Khabibulin for a translation.

On the other hand, Tortorella said, maybe it is better that way.

"Sometimes it is good that he doesn't understand everything at once because then the instincts take over," he said.

Those instincts are so good, Svitov, 19, may be playing himself onto the team.

The No. 3 overall pick in the 2001 draft has three goals and an assist in six games. He has shown a crisp wrist shot, a willingness to play in front of the net and a defensive sensibility.

He also can handle himself in the faceoff circle, winning 49.4 percent (39 of 79) of his draws. And at 6 feet 3, 217 pounds, he is not intimidated but intimidating.

"He's been impressive," Tortorella said. "He carries himself at a young age with a nice arrogance. Is it enough to play in the NHL? I don't know."

Asked about Svitov's chances of making the team, the coach said, "He has impressed us to where we say, "Let's sit back and watch him a little more and see what's best for him and the team.' "

And there is the rub.

Is it better for Svitov to average 20 to 25 minutes with AHL Springfield, where he will get a crash course in the North American game, or would a smaller role with the Lightning, maybe even a fourth-line gig that gives him 10 to 12 minutes, be better?

"You have to be really careful and assess each player," Tortorella said. "Is he going to progress at the NHL level, practicing with us, or does he need that 25 minutes (in the minors)? The best way to put it is: How far along is the player and can he handle the rigors of the NHL?"

Early returns indicate Svitov can handle them well.

He was considered the most NHL-ready prospect of the 2001 draft. And despite playing only five games in Russia last season because of a tug of war for his services between his hometown team in Omsk and the Central Red Army team, Svitov said he has not lost a step.

"I'm feeling good and hoping I develop," he said through Fedotenko, who acted as an interpreter. "Of course I want to play here and start with the team. I want to be part of the team."

Tortorella marvels at Svitov's ability to store information.

"If you correct something with him, it is corrected," he said.

He likes how Svitov puts himself in the "high-traffic areas" like the slot, where goals are scored. He likes how he keeps his positioning and how aware he is of his teammates. That allows him to execute little drop or touch passes that can help start a rush.

About the only thing Svitov hasn't shown is the mean streak that exploded at the World Junior Championships, where he reportedly spit on one opponent and, in retaliation, beat another while the opponent was being held by two teammates.

Svitov also is on a crash course to learn English. He is tutored regularly and watches lots of television.

He said he knows the best way to learn is to converse, and he recently initiated a conversation with an acquaintance about laptop computers (his is blue) and the Internet.

Svitov said he misses his family and girlfriend in Omsk, but added, "I like it here. I thought it would be different playing here, but when you play with good players, it makes it easier."

Deciding what to do with Svitov will be difficult.

Tortorella has a logjam at center that may ease if he moves Vinny Prospal to right wing on Vinny Lecavalier's line. If a waiver draft gamble backfires and Tim Taylor is claimed, the third- and fourth-line center spots could be up for grabs.

"Maybe he starts with us and we see how things go," general manager Jay Feaster said. "He has done nothing to play himself out of Tampa." 

Страничка Александра Свитова на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


30 августа. Александр Свитов: "Военный билет поставлю в рамочку" - Футбол-Хоккей

23 августа. Александр Свитов: "Хочу играть на глазах своих болельщиков" - Спорт-Экспресс

6 ноября. Центрфорвард «Сиракьюз Кранч» Александр Свитов: Как бы я хотел в «Авангард»! - "Советский Спорт"

13 марта, суббота - Тютин – первый гол в карьере, Свитов – первый гол в сезоне, Вячеслав Козлов – первый гол с 20 января. 

27 января. “Лайтнинг” обменяли Свитова в “Колумбус” на Сидора.

6 ноября. Svitov has answer: work hard - ST Times

15 июля. Александр Свитов: "В Америке меня не пускали на дискотеки"  - Газета

11 февраля. Svitov Making Progress - Tampa Tribune

18 декабря. Силовик Свитов начал с Набокова - Советский Спорт


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