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ноября 2002 года.
Yashin falling out of fashion - Ottawa Sun
Ex-Sen feels heat on Long Island
By BRUCE GARRIOCH
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders haven't started as well as expected this season, which means the finger is already being pointed at Alexei Yashin.
Yes, the Isles had peeled off two straight victories going into last night's game against the Senators.
But that hasn't stopped the whispers surrounding the all-star centre's inconsistency.
Though goalie Chris Osgood was awful for the first month of the season, the 28-year-old Yashin was the one who was supposed to the shoulder the load in his second year of a 10-year, $90-million (all terms US) contract.
"It has been a tough start," Yashin admitted yesterday. "But the one thing you have to do is learn through the tough times. That will make you a better player because you have to fight through when things aren't going well."
Since being dealt to the Isles by Ottawa on June 23, 2001, Yashin had been given a free ride by the New York media because he and centre Michael Peca went a long way in getting the club to the playoffs last season.
It would seem the relationship has started to sour a little. The local papers have accused Yashin of not doing enough, and have also criticized coach Peter Laviolette for not using him properly.
Laviolette is trying to find a line combination that works with Yashin, who had five goals and five assists in 15 games prior to last night. The coach has played musical wingers with Yashin, though for the most part, Mark Parrish and Shawn Bates have been used.
"We're always looking at different options," said Laviolette. "It seems like everybody has been given the chance up there, but it always seems to come back to Bates and Parrish.
"If that doesn't work, then we'll look at something else."
Though Yashin would never say it publicly, it's believed he doesn't enjoy the game of musical wingers because his role has also been limited by the changes.
During a recent game, Yashin's ice time slipped to just over 15 minutes. He is a player who likes to be involved and would play more than 25 minutes a night if Laviolette wanted to use him that much.
"The one thing we've gotten from Alexei Yashin is consistency," said Laviolette, whose club has stumbled to a 5-9-1 start. "He hasn't been up or down. He's been consistent most nights."
But the Isles need more than consistency from Yashin to ensure a playoff spot, especially with Peca not due back from a knee injury until Dec. 3. They need Yashin to take his play to another level.
That's why GM Mike Milbury, who is in Europe on a scouting mission, is trying to make changes, including finding the right linemates for Yashin to get the best out of the Russian.
The name of former Senators linemate Shawn McEachern, who is now toiling in Atlanta, has popped up. Milbury made a pitch to Ottawa GM John Muckler for McEachern last summer, but offered little in return.
There's also talk the Isles may try to acquire Russian centre Viktor Kozlov and defenceman Dmitry Yushkevich from the Florida Panthers. It's believed New York has also held talks with the Thrashers about winger Vyacheslav Kozlov.
It's a certainty the Isles are going to have to find somebody who can play effectively with Yashin. If the situation gets worse, the media will turn up the heat even more.
"We've got a couple of wins in a row here," said Yashin. "Hopefully that gives us confidence and we can get something going. We didn't play as well as we're capable of playing in the first month of the season."
The Senators know firsthand that making Yashin happy can go a
long way in achieving success. The Isles are going to sink if he's not
playing up to his capabilities and they paid the price through the first
month of the season.
Страничка Алексея Яшина на сайте
"Звёзды с Востока"
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