December 15, 2007
OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators today recalled centre Cody Bass from the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators.
A native of Guelph, Ontario, the 20-year-old had three goals, five assists, 44 penalty minutes and a +…
December 7, 2007
ThirtyFive has Nikulin’s latest blog entry.
My second game in the National Hockey League was against Philadelphia, though I can’t brag about it. I played just over four minutes and simply didn’t have time to do anything. Although I already was feeling a lot more confident. But I wasn’t given a chance, even though I thought I was doing okay. Prior to the game I was a little anxious, of course, especially after such an unlucky first game, but I wasn’t panicked.
The next day I worked at practice, and then met up with Ottawa’s GM Bryan Murray. He explained that I was going back to Binghamton. But I stayed in Ottawa two more days. Problems with the US visa arose, and a team representative was helping me extend it. Didn’t feel like going out, so whenever I had free time I stayed in the hotel. They didn’t send me to Binghamton in a limousine, but still a nice car. To be honest, for the kind of hockey I displayed they could’ve sent me back on a public bus.
I’ve thought a lot about my recall to Ottawa. In the first game I certainly gave into emotions. As I talked about before, I just “burned out” and wasn’t able to show everything I was capable of. And in the second game I played too little. I believe I just need time and trust for adaptation. I experienced the same in the AHL and now feel confident in the new league. But in Ottawa I had no room for error, which is difficult for any rookie.
I can’t say there were certain things I couldn’t do. Speed in the NHL is not faster than in the AHL. The main difference is the puck-handling technique, higher performance skill. They make very few mistakes.
I’m hoping they’ll give me one more chance this season. I know what to work on, what to do to raise the bar. And in the future everything will depend on my game. But nevertheless I received a good lesson. The callup to the NHL and the return to Binghamton is a great psychological endurance test. Obviously, I didn’t want to go back. And at first I felt ill at ease. Wasn’t upset with anyone, but I won’t lie, I was disappointed. Everything is fine now.
They love the game in Ottawa. Everyone says hockey is a religion in Canada, and having been there during the regular season I will agree. Sold-out arenas, lots of people after the game. Although I have a feeling that the same people are asking for autographs. But we don’t deny anybody.
The defenseman Anton Volchenkov got injured. But I’m not surprised. He blocks all the shots! Not afraid of anything! He acts selflessly. By the way, we had dinner together when I was up with the team, we talked. I’m wishing Anton a speedy recovery.
I’m back in the apartment I was renting with Ilja Zubov. Thankfully he hadn’t rented my room out, left everything as it was. Thank you, Ilja. I got right back to work. The very first game upon returning I played very well against Bridgeport, where our team won 4-0, and I scored a goal and had three assists. Two days later I received another point.
I was put right back into the first line, and overall I’m spending a lot of time on the ice. I’m playing not just the first but also the third line. I don’t go out in penalty-killing situations, but I’m constantly out for power-plays. Intensive game experience won’t hurt.