After his NHL debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday--where he was -2 in just over 5 minutes of ice time, with no points or shots--the 22 year-old Russian prospect updated his blog. Among other things, he said:
"Honestly, I don’t really want to talk about such an NHL debut. That wasn’t how I’d imagined it. I can’t be proud of my actions against the Penguins. However, I’ll try to push away everything negative, come to some conclusions, and try my hardest next game to display everything I’m capable of."
I think the fanbase Sputnik has gathered is a result of the vulnerability he shows in his blog, demonstrating his challenging times he's faced with, but always putting an optimistic spin on the situation. At least in my case, I find it so interesting to hear a true account of a player coming from another culture to offer his experiences. To further demonstrate his positive outlook, Nikulin ended the entry by explaining how the glass remains half-full:
"All in all, not the best of moods. But there is time before the next game to collect myself. On Friday we didn’t have a practice on the ice, just the gym for those that wanted it. And on Saturday a game against Philadelphia. I’m hoping it will be successful for me and the team."
Go Sputnik! I sure hope he gets a bit more than the 5:46 he got against Pittsburgh.
NB: I saw Daniel Briere and Martin Biron at Lone Star on Friday night. I didn't happen to see if they ordered fajitas or some food that will make them sluggish for their game against the Sens on Saturday, but here's hoping they did.