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12 декабря 2002 года.
In no time at all, Zhitnik makes his presence felt - Buffalo News


Alexei Zhitnik's return helps patch up a hobbled blue line.

Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was joking with assistant Brian McCutcheon before Wednesday's 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.

Alexei Zhitnik was about to play his first game since Nov. 22, missing time mostly because of a broken right foot. The defenseman also had a strained right groin and a sore right knee.

"I said to Brian before the game I'd like to see 30" minutes out of Zhitnik, Ruff said. "So I was disappointed."

Zhitnik played 26 minutes, 28 seconds against Boston. It was more than two minutes longer than his team-high average in ice time, which stands at 24:16 a game.

"He's a machine when it comes to that," Ruff said. "The more he plays it's usually the better he plays. He wants to play every second shift, and he's got the wheels to do it."

Zhitnik said, "One player can't change a hockey team," but his presence certainly gives the Sabres more options. He will be in the lineup again tonight when they host the Florida Panthers in HSBC Arena (7 p.m., Empire, Radio 107.7 FM).

"We're a lot different team," Sabres captain Stu Barnes said of Zhitnik's return. "A guy who can log that kind of ice time - he's a guy who can skate forever and never seems to get tired - and has that much experience and is a physical player adds a lot to this team. We're all glad to have him back."

Even with Zhitnik in the lineup, however, the Sabres are coping with a ramshackle blue line. Rory Fitzpatrick is out indefinitely with a concussion. James Patrick has missed the past three games with back spasms and is expected to be out at least two more. Rhett Warrener should play tonight, but he missed Thursday's practice with back problems.

Those injuries make Zhitnik's presence all the more valuable. Buffalo's lone All-Star from last season has scored only one goal in his past 104 games, but his ability to gobble up minutes while playing in every situation is why he is getting paid $3.55 million this year.

He led all Sabres defensemen in scoring last season with one goal and 33 assists. He has five assists through 18 games this season.

"He's our go-to guy on defense," said defenseman Jay McKee. "He can play in all positions, whether it's power play or penalty kill. If you need a goal at the end of the game or trying to stop them from scoring at the end of the game, he's out there.

"You'd think after missing a few games he'd come back and look rusty. But he looked real good (Wednesday) night."

Zhitnik was on the ice for three of the Sabres' four goals. He played 29 shifts and skated well at the end of the game.

He was limping noticeably Thursday and, as usual, was one of the last players to leave the dressing room after receiving his various injury treatments.

"You can't find one guy in the league playing without a small injury," he said.

Zhitnik generally skates through his injuries. He played all 82 games last season, and the four he missed in 2000-01 were suspension-related. But his broken foot required a cast, and it placed him on the injured reserve list.

"There is pain that you can play through and pain that can affect your play," Zhitnik said. "A couple days ago, I started feeling confident. I was skating, turning, stopping, starting.

"It was a little bit off, my timing on the ice, because the game is a totally different situation (than practice) because you know you have to make a decision right away and you could get hit. Nobody cares if you have a broken foot when they hit you."

The Sabres are 8-16-5-1, putting them one team from the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. But Zhitnik said there's time to turn the season around. They are 4-2-1 in their past seven, and with key players such as himself getting back on the ice, he insisted they're not out of the playoff picture.

"I've had great seasons. I've had average seasons. I've had bad seasons," Zhitnik said. "But this one is not over yet. There's 52 games left. If you look in the standings, we can win two or three games and get back in the race." 

Страничка Алексея Житника на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


21 декабря. Алексей Житник: "Выбрал Ак Барс, потому что не люблю команды, претендующие на вторые роли" // "Спорт-Экспресс"

9 декабря. “Барсы” добавляют в свои ряды Алексея Житника. 

22 сентября. Оригинальный Житник. Знаменитый ветеран во время локаута будет играть в необычной лиге с упрощенными правилами // "Советский Спорт"

1 июля. Житник будет искать счастья на рынке свободных агентов. 

16 марта. Житник пропустит все оставшиеся матчи сезона. 

9 марта. Алексей Житник: "Меня продают уже два года" - Спорт-Экспресс. 

2 марта. This time, Zhitnik hopes trade winds don't blow him away - Buffalonews.com

4 февраля. Zhitnik deserves high praise - buffalonews.com


"ЗВЁЗДЫ С ВОСТОКА" @ c 1997 года