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Rambler's Top100

5 октября 2001 года.
Wild's Zholtok hoping to boost his scoring // "Minnepolis Star Tribune"

Chip Scoggins   

Sergei Zholtok isn't interested in dissecting his statistics, but one entry is simply too intriguing to ignore. 

Zholtok scored 26 goals in 68 games for Montreal two seasons ago. He had five goals in 69 games last season. Why the discrepancy? Even he's not sure. 

"I wish I knew all the answers," he said Thursday. "Some of it was injuries. There were some other issues. But that's the past. It's behind me. I'm just happy to be here." 

So is the Wild, which traded future considerations to Edmonton for Zholtok this summer, hoping the eight-year NHL veteran will bring more pop to an offense that scored the fewest goals (168) in the NHL last season. 

Zholtok scored three goals in three preseason games, aided in part by a position change. Wild coach Jacques Lemaire moved Zholtok from center to left wing because he felt it would free him up to generate more scoring chances. 

The move has been successful so far, and Wild coaches believe it will continue to pay dividends when the season begins Saturday at San Jose. 

"I really like him there," Lemaire said. "He feels comfortable. He told me at center, he gets more involved in the game. It keeps him more on his toes. But if he's not on the wing, I will keep him on his toes." 

Zholtok, who played about 30 games at wing last season, said the differences in positions are minor. 

"You're not hunting the puck in your own zone," he said. "The biggest difference is you're more in the corners. When you're in the center, you're responsible for both [ends]. You're a two-way player. You play defense and you play offense. But in modern hockey, you have to play everywhere." 

Wild coaches said they also believe Zholtok will help upgrade the team's power play, which converted a league-worst 9 percent last season. Of Zholtok's career-high 26 assists last season, 10 came on the power play. 

"I think the group of guys we have now, we will do quite well on the power play," Zholtok said. "Some nights we're going to be more successful than others. We just have to be consistent and work together." 

Zholtok is still trying to find consistency with his new linemates -- Sergei Krivokrasov and center Sebastien Bordeleau, who the Wild picked up from St. Louis in last week's waiver draft. Their chemistry is still a work in progress, but Lemaire was succinct in his expectations for that line. 

"Offense," he said, almost shouting. 

Bordeleau agreed. 

"It's going to take a few shifts to get adjusted to each other," he said. "We just need to play together. It's going to be interesting to see if we can glue together and work together as a group. But I definitely feel like we have a lot of talent and skill." 

Especially Zholtok, who is hoping to recapture the confidence he played with two seasons ago. 

"Every season is a fresh start," he said. "It doesn't matter who you were before. Everybody is starting from zero, from scratch. I have experience. I believe in myself. And I believe in this team." 

Страничка Сергея Жолтка на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


18 ноября. Honoring Zholtok's memory, one year after his death - St. Paul Pioneer Press

11 ноября. Ex-Wild teammate returns home, recalls Zholtok's death in Belarus // St. Paul Pioneer Press

11 ноября. Former Wild teammates Darby Hendrickson and Sergei Zholtok had a tragic reunion in Latvia // Minneapolis Star Tribune

5 ноября. Zholtok's death has really hit home // Providence Journal/Evening Bulletin

5 ноября. Сергей Жолток умер во время матча. Врачи более часа боролись за его жизнь в раздевалке, но сердце хоккеиста не выдержало // "Советский Спорт"

5 ноября. Вожак Латвии // "Спорт-Экспресс"

5 ноября. Сергей Жолток - смерть за 5 минут до конца матча // "Спорт-Экспресс"


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