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|21 февраля 2003
Russian rookie (Volchenkov) proves big hit - The Ottawa Citizen
Volchenkov responds to added ice time with physical play
By KEN WARREN
Although only 20, Anton Volchenkov has impressed the Senators with his consistency.
It hasn't taken long for Ottawa Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov to make a name for himself in the NHL.
Take your pick: The Russian Tank, The Big Bear, The A-Train and the A-Bomb. All of them have been used to describe the 20-year-old defenceman and his ability to lift fans out of their seats with crunching open-ice body checks.
"There are things that he and (New York Rangers defenceman Darius) Kasparaitis do, traits that set them up well to hit like that," Senators assistant coach Don Jackson said yesterday. "You have to be able to make the proper reads, and a lot of it is about deception. Sometimes, you have to look like you're going to play the puck and you're able to suck a guy in. Then, all of a sudden, there's a 225-pound guy in your face."
While the Senators have tried to bring Volchenkov along slowly in his rookie season, he has been pressed into extra duty recently because of injuries to other defencemen.
Last night, when the Senators faced off against the Nashville Predators, all-star Zdeno Chara missed his fourth consecutive game because of a bruised chest, and Chris Phillips didn't play for "personal reasons," leading to the recall of Brian Pothier from Binghamton of the American Hockey League.
On Wednesday, when the Senators defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-3, Volchenkov put Christian Berglund on his back with a perfectly-timed check at the blue-line. The Devils spent much of the night seeking retaliation, screaming and yelling at Volchenkov and taking shots after the whistle.
Of course, Volchenkov didn't understand any of the talk. A Russian, he's still learning English and only in the past month has felt comfortable enough to order his own food in restaurants.
Still, he says he accepts the physical aspect of hockey as a natural part of the game.
"If I get a chance to hit a guy, I'll take it," he said with a smile yesterday, using injured Senators left-winger Petr Schastlivy as his translator. "But you have to be careful because, if you miss a guy, you could be in deep trouble. It's hockey. If you hit somebody, everybody wants to hit you."
Jackson says the language barrier was an issue earlier in the season, but, now that Volchenkov has played 50 NHL games, he has shown that he can adapt quickly.
Big hits aside, Volchenkov routinely makes smart, simple plays in his own end, and he isn't shy about joining the offensive rush. He has three goals and 14 assists, fourth in scoring among the team's defencemen.
All of that helps explain why Volchenkov hasn't played a shift for Binghamton, which was originally considered part of the Senators' plan.
"What's surprising is that, as a 20-year-old, he has been real consistent," Jackson said. "The first thing you look at is how well he handles the puck under pressure, in tight situations. He's a quick player, he has got a quick shot and he has got the ability to hit big. All of it comes from attitude and the ability to understand what it takes to play here."
22 марта. Антон Антонович не давал скучать Антону Волченкову
- Советский Спорт.
22 марта. Антон Антонович не давал скучать Антону Волченкову - Советский Спорт.