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Polushin Back in the Superleague (And Russia Update)

Just a quick note on talented former 2001 second round pick Alexander Polushin: It appears the Cold War between he and Coach Bykov may finally be thawing. After spending much of the season relegated to the First/Farm League, Polushin has suited up for the last three games for CSKA. The move might've been a last desperate effort my Bykov to make the playoffs as CSKA was all but eliminated from contention Saturday at the hands of Nikolai Khabibulin and Vincent Lecavalier's Ak Bars Kazan 5-2. CSKA sits in 10th place behind 8th place Nizhnekamsk with just three games left to go in the regular season. The Russian Superleague tabulates their standings by awarding 3 points for a win. Polushin now has 3 goals and 7 points in 15 games at the Superleague level. At last check, he also had 13 goals and 23 points in 21 games in the First League as well.

Polushin Update

I just got a response back from [url=http://www.russianprospects.com/public/aboutus_staff.php]Evgeny Belashenko[/url] of [url=http://russianprospects.com]Russianprospects.com.[/url] If you can pull yourself away from that picture of the lovely Ms. Melikova, Evgeny speculates that Alex Polushin's lack of games at the Superleague level may be due to him not fitting with CSKA's new system under Slava Bykov who took over from the venerable Viktor Tikhonov. Whatever the reason, Polushin's mere 11 games at the Superleague level (3-3-6 with 4PIMs in those games) has led to some consternation amongst some Lightning fans. Others who are more vocal and less knowledgable on the web (AOL bottomfeeders I'm looking in your direction) have even gone so far to claim that Polushin doesn't deserve to be a highly rated prospect because he, to paraphrase their argument, hasn't played any hockey in two seasons. And while it is true he missed most of last season with a knee injury, Polushin has NOT been merely serving popcorn in CSKA's pressbox this season. To the contrary, he has been playing for CSKA2 in the Farm/First League where he is at over a point a game pace at 10-13-23 in 21 games. To put that in some measure of perspective, a couple of seasons ago when Dimitry Kazionov was playing in the First League he had 14-13-27 in 34 games.

'Snaggle' snags AHL honor

Tampa Bay Lightning center Eric Perrin was named to the AHL Canadian All-Star team today. Perrin, playing for Hershey during the lockout, leads the Bears with 37 points on 13 goals and 24 assists through 43 games. Perrin, who was a late-season call-up for the Bolts in 2003-'04, also appeared in last year's AHL All-Star game, registering two assists. He had one assist in 16 appearances for the Lightning, including 12 post-season games. Congratulations to :E

That's gotta hurt

Tampa Bay Lightning center Brad Richards returned to his parents' home in Murray Harbor, PEI, on Thursday after being released from a Philadelphia hospital where he underwent surgery to repair a severe tear in his lower abdominal wall. Richards, who won the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP during the Lightning's Stanley Cup run in June, had been playing during the lockout for Ak Bars Kazan in Russia. He returned to North America in December after only 7 games (2+5) with the team, citing pain in his hip and abdomen. It was originally diagnosed as a sports hernia. Richards expects to be able to begin working out again by late-March, which would be just in time for the home-stretch if the NHL's lockout gets resolved (yeah, right).
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