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ноября 2001 года.
Yashin Shines, Despite His Baggage // New York Times
A rink might as well be a department store sales rack for Aleksei Yashin. He draws crowds of defenders, not just one or even two, and they hold him and hook him and whack at him with their sticks.
That has drawn the ire of Peter Laviolette, the Islanders' first-year coach. Laviolette would like to see more penalties called against those who are covering Yashin, the center of his top line.
Yashin, however, shrugs and plays on. He is used to being hassled. He says he has been hooked and held and whacked for at least three seasons, since he helped Ottawa oust the Devils from the Stanley Cup playoffs in 1998.
"It's always been very, very tight," Yashin said.
Yashin, 28, has shown in the last two weeks that he is capable of breaking free of some of those constraints. He has clearly been the best player for the Islanders, who took on the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche tonight. He took a five-game scoring streak into the game at the Pepsi Center, with three goals and five assists. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Yashin is difficult to knock off the puck.
"That's what he's capable of bringing," Laviolette said. "He's such an incredible talent out on the ice."
Yashin made his most remarkable play as an Islander to get one of his two assists in a 3-3 tie on Wednesday against Pittsburgh. He stickhandled around two Pittsburgh defenders in the high slot, found the puck still at his skates, then slid a perfect pass to Brad Isbister, who scored.
"I got lucky," Yashin said, smiling.
That is not quite the way Laviolette or his teammates saw the play or the way they regard Yashin's ability. With a 10-year contract worth almost $90 million, Yashin is supposed to be good. But it is as if he has lifted his game recently. He looks more comfortable.
"I think he's kind of found his niche," said Michael Peca, the Islanders' captain. "There's been no better time for that to happen."
Yashin will not engage in self-analysis about his play. He has said it time and again this season: he is here to help the team be successful. Colorado, he pointed out, won the Cup with more than Joe Sakic or Peter Forsberg or Patrick Roy. The Avalanche needed everyone.
"You need some time to adjust," Yashin said today. "It's most important
that I'm here to make the team
The Islanders (11-3-2-1) have two more games after tonight's on this road trip: at Phoenix on Saturday and at Dallas on Monday. Laviolette said again today that if he can continue to get strong efforts from his team, like the one Wednesday in Pittsburgh, he will be satisfied.
After the road trip, the Islanders will play 11 of 15 games at home,
and three of the road games will be at
The Islanders even appeared to catch a break by playing the Avalanche tonight. Before tonight, Colorado had not scored more than one goal in five games. The Avalanche (8-10-1-0) was 0 for 22 on the power play in those games.
Colorado Coach Bob Hartley was asked this morning if his team was struggling because it spent a short summer celebrating the Cup. "I think that would be an easy excuse for us," Hartley said.
"You don't have to be a genius to analyze our place in the standings," he added. "We simply don't score goals at the right times."
The Islanders are not exactly on a scoring binge either. They have not scored more than three goals in their last 11 games. Yashin went four games this season without scoring. But he has begun to pump in goals again, and he has emerged on this team as one of its leaders.
"He's not the most vocal guy," Isbister said, "but when something needs to be said, he's got good hockey sense."
Besides the defenders who check him, Yashin is also wrapped in an aura
of mystery. He seems to like it better that way. "It's not like what only
I can do," he said.
Страничка Алексея Яшина на сайте
"Звёзды с Востока"
6 июля. Алексей Яшин: "Теперь будет цирк, а не овертаймы"
6 июля. Алексей Яшин: "Теперь будет цирк, а не овертаймы" - Спорт-Экспресс