Wednesday, September 27, 2006


The Toque

It's Andrei Taratukhin Day in the local papers, and the news is good.

Back around when he was signed on Russia Day, the Flames organization itself was touting The Toque as a guy with the capability of making the big team (apart from, you know, the little detail of the total lack of an available roster spot). But he struggled when camp opened, and the reviews from his first couple of appearances in the preseason were mighty tepid (see: Alexei Kegger-Road-Off).

Now, the shine is back on. Sun/Macfarlane:
Although he has a great feel for the game, he admits he was lost initially and had no idea how organized and specific the drills would be in an NHL camp.

"I didn't understand what to do on the ice in the drills. All the game drills," said Taratukhin.

"Now I understand more. I just watch the guys doing it and try to do the same thing. I'm getting better."

Taratukhin's performance Saturday at Edmonton -- his third appearance of the fall -- was by far his best. Still no points, but his rising confidence was evident.

"The potential is huge. Tremendous skills," said [Andrew] Ference. "Obviously, it's going to take a while to learn the North American game. But my first impression, from the last couple weeks, is that he's got the right kind of attitude."

Because you want to know: no word on any reporter or fan erections.


I don't get it. Admittedly I know little about the guy...his stats are completely underwhelming. What gives?

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