Nichushkin Getting His Game Back On Track

After a rocky start of the season, Dallas Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin finally scored his first goal of the season. It was the GWG of the November 8th game against the Detroit Red Wings. In this translated interview, originally appearing on the Russian website, Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin discussed his first goal of the season, is adaptation after his long injury and Halloween parties.

* For the original article by Dmitri Malinovsky, click here.

– Valeri, congratulations on your first goal of the season. What’s harder, to recover after such long time without hockey or playing as fourth line left winger? It looks like your life isn’t becoming any easier.

– No, no, it’s not that bad (laughs). I’m already playing on the right wing and everything is getting back on track step by step. But probably it’s my fault, it’s me who played the pre-season and the start of the regular season this way. Last year I didn’t play well either at the start, and then I got injured. Now I started the season not in the way I wanted.

– What’s the reason?

– I don’t know. I practice, work hard, maybe even too much. I always try hard. But then I look at other players, and they had such a great start! They run, score goals, and I want to get the same. Now I admit that I am quieter, the emotions of the start of the season cooled down a bit. I feel better, I feel fresher, it’s easier to play and everything is clearer, and this is why I managed to score. Therefore I hope that the worst things are on the past now.

– During an interview Jason Spezza said that you try too much. You try to do everything and you need to get calm and play your game. This is what will allow you to play well.

– Yes, this is clear.I tried hard, but at some point it starts getting on you. You practice the same way as others do, even more. You have such will to play. Then the game starts and someone gets to the net quite easily, while you just pass by the crease.

– Your goal was almost a garbage one. You put your own rebound in, and the goal was the GWG in the end.

– Yes, finally! I hope that now it will be always like that. (Laughs.)

– Your team got much better during the offseason, you signed two good veterans in [Patrick] Sharp and [Johnny] Oduya. Aren’t you worried about going down in the depth chart in favor of the veterans and getting less ice time?

– No, it’s exclusively up to me. If you don’t show your best hockey, of course the coaches are going to prefer players who can bring results. The coach is simply forced to shuffle the lines to find the best combination for the team. Regarding myself, I didn’t get the best out of the chance I had at the start of the season. They gave me good ice time, let me play. They they got me playing on the left. Now I play on the fourth line, but on the right, as I am more used to play, and I scored a goal. We can say that every cloud has a silver lining. I think that our unit is showing good hockey. We played better than the opposition line in the latest few games, against the Bruins, or Carolina. We fight for the puck and try to draw penalties to give our team a powerplay opportunity. Someone has to do this job. I think I am doing this job myself, but of course only the coach can judge my game.

– Halloween parties are very popular in the NHL. Did you had a good costume on Halloween night party?

– No, it was without me. I don’t have the right spirit for these things. And I as an Orthodox doesn’t celebrate Halloween. Even more so considering that I had my family with me at that time. This is why I asked not to attend the celebrations. No one forces you here. Maybe if it was a bit different… with costumes or masks, maybe it would have been interesting. There usually are good costumes out there. But all this was without me.