Niko has decided to play in Russia next season, it seems.
For all I know, he’s thrilled about it. But it’s kind of hard to tell from the article, because it’s in French.
I always had a soft spot for Niko. He was painfully quiet and tee-ninecy. Despite his atrocious plus-minus over the years, I always thought of him as a pretty good defender. I might have been swayed by his flashy puck-stealing skills.
My lovely sister and I met him on the concourse at a Mavericks game a couple of years ago. He was very sweet and kind of surprised to be recognized, and pretty much our height. He signed my Mavs ticket because that’s all I could come up with in a panic. We told him that our nephew’s name is Niko and he was duly impressed. (Or maybe dutifully impressed.)
I hope he’s getting overpaid and has a lot of fun playing for AK Bars Kazan.
Tangent: Every time I hear about AK Bars Kazan, it reminds me of the Daffy Duck cartoon where he’s a bell hop and his guest just wants some peace and quiet. He takes the guest to the room and, standing at the door, takes out his huge key ring and starts naming off all the keys. “Key to the Grand Ballroom, key to the Broom Mop and Slop Closet, key to the Solarium, the June Room, the Ssssnack Barrr.” (At about 1:40 in.) Oh man, I love that cartoon.
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Dallas 2, Phoenix 5
The Stars broke their winning streak with a 5-2 loss to the Coyotes. In 4 out of the 5 games against the Coyotes this season so far, one of the teams scored 5 goals. Just found that interesting.
Little Niko Kapanen scored a goal against us again. I haven’t been keeping a really close watch on him, but I’m starting to think we’re the only team he scores on. Not only did he score, but it was after he suffered a huge hit by Mark Fistric. He was falling as he was hit, and Fistric got him in the face with his elbow. Fistric got an elbowing penalty, but I don’t think anybody thought it was a dirty hit at all. When Niko scored his goal we could see that he had fresh stitches in his cheek. Just because he’s kind of little, and he never speaks, his toughness is underrated.
They were a little lackadaisical in this game (or “lax-a-daisical” as Razor says), but I am not going to get too upset about it. This is why winning streaks longer than seven games are so difficult. Teams start to think they can coast.
So, if the winning streak is going to be broken, it’s good that it was the Coyotes and not the Ducks. Plus, the burden of a long winning streak is now off their shoulders and they can just concentrate on the game ahead of them. They have also been reminded that a winning streak doesn’t mean that it’s easy to win games.
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