Just before Alexei Cherepanov went off on a road trip from which he would never return, he wrote an entry for his new blog. My friend Corrine is taking Russian at the U of T and has kindly provided a translation for us (this being her second contribution to CinO; the first being a tawdry piece of Leafs erotic literature, entitled "A Parting Averted").
It's somehow touching, especially as a final freeze frame of youthful preoccupations (chocolate bars, getting used to wearing suits) and the typical inanities that we expect from a hockey player's official blog. Nothing big or insightful, just a kid excited about the career ahead of him, which of course, he'll never have:
"Hello, Avangard fans! My name is Alexei Cherepanov. Today I'll begin keeping my blog. In it I'll answer your questions and talk with you. Right away I want to say thanks to everyone who supports us. The arena is always full, and that really helps us play! I hope we'll achieve a lot together this season!
Right now we've got three games on the road. This will be our first road trip under [new Avangard coach Wayne] Fleming's leadership. When he came to the team, he said: 'We're on a new course now. Let's all give it everything we've got and go forward together.' Fleming's practices are shorter but more intensive. We're giving special attention to our game on defence. Training for away games still goes as usual.
They told us recently to arrive at games in business suits. This was done on the initiative of the 'Council of Four,' as they called it in the press. It was made up of Sasha Svitov, Dima Ryabykin, Jagr and Anton Kuryanov. They had a talk with the coach and this decision was reached. This form of clothing provides discipline. I know that some of the guys had to buy suits. I didn't have this problem -- there are two suits hanging in my closet already, since the draft. So I only had to buy an overcoat.
An important thing has happened this season -- Jagr arrived. I generally think of him as my fourth coach. He always gives me advice if something's not working out. Often we'll stay after practice and work on our shots. With the other guys, too, he's always ready to come help out. Everyone can see that he really lives for the team's game and wants to be a champion.
The atmosphere on our team is amazing! The guys all encourage each other. By the way, I've made a little bet with Vitya Alexandrov. We've bet a chocolate bar that I'll be the best player at the upcoming junior championships. He doubts it. All right, then, we'll see which of us has the chocolate after the championships. So everything's fine with me. And I hope my point streak lasts. I'll devote all my efforts to this!
That's all for now. We'll catch up after the trip. Till next time!"Oilers win! Narrowly, once again. The team is very much like the Oilers from late last season, although this edition can't win faceoffs and more players aren't playing their natural position. I'm not one to begrudge two points, but aside from a couple of late game shifts cycling the puck down low, most of the Oilers even-strength offence came off of the transition after giving up big scoring chances to the Ducks. At least Garon looked good.
(Living out East has its pecularities, like trying to catch the Oilers on a West coast swing while working an early morning job. I ended up getting up early to catch the third period which I taped the night before, which is just weird. Yelling at the TV should strictly be a night time activity).