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Burmistrov Anxious to Face Boyhood Hero

Thrashers rookie can't wait to face Pavel Datsyuk on Wednesday night

Tuesday, 23.11.2010 / 11:25 AM / Feature
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Burmistrov Anxious to Face Boyhood Hero
Burmistrov will be keeping a close eye on Pavel Datsyuk, even when he's on the bench.

So far in his very young NHL career Alexander Burmistrov has been totally unflappable, showing an incredible maturity for his 19 years as he hangs onto pucks and takes slashes and jabs from bigger, more experienced NHL players. He has drawn twice as many penalties as he has taken, leading the NHL in that category due to his composure.

His coaches might want to keep a close eye on him against Detroit on Wednesday night though, because he might because he might have a special greeting planned for his favorite active NHL player, Pavel Datsyuk (his all-time favorite is Igor Larionov, for who he wears #8), who he has never faced on the ice.

Will he try to talk to the perennial all-star sometime on game day?

"No, just try to slash him in the faceoff maybe," joked the likable 19-year-old who seems to have a permanent grin stuck on his face.

"Now I don't want to meet him because we play against each other and I don't care."

Maybe the precocious rookie just doesn't want to feel star-struck in front of his fellow Russian, or maybe he's just showing deference to the NHL veteran. After all, this is the same rookie who apologized to one of his Thrasher linemates earlier this season because he wasn't able to set him up for any goals while they were playing a key shutdown role against one of the NHL's top lines.

Regardless of what he says he certainly does care about facing Datsyuk, the three-time Selke Trophy winner who Burmistrov models his game after. The two have met, but odds are Datsyuk doesn't remember those encounters in Kazan when Datsyuk was breaking out with Burmistrov's hometown team a season before making his NHL debut with Detroit. Burmistrov was just eight years old at the time, and Datsyuk routinely gave him sticks.

"I'm very excited," admitted Burmistrov after Sunday night's game against the Islanders, three days before the Thrashers were scheduled to face the red Wings. "Datsyuk is my favorite player. He's amazing and I watch him all the time. When we play against him and I'm not on the ice I will just watch how this guy plays. Enjoy it, and learn."

Like Datsyuk, Burmistrov thrives at both ends of the ice, shutting down opponents while also displaying mind-boggling puck skills in the offensive zone, and he's been looking forward to the matchup since the day he was drafted be the Thrashers. As soon as he got his hands on an Atlanta schedule at the draft  in Los Angeles he scanned it to find out if and when his new team faced the Red Wings.

"The first game I looked for. I looked to see when we play against Detroit. Now it happens next game."

In a game that will feature two of the most explosive offenses in the NHL, two of the league's three highest scoring defenseman (Dustin Byfuglien and Nicklas Lidstrom) and a team on the rise versus one of the most storied franchise sin hockey history, the most interesting storyline just might be how high Burmistrov can raise his game to impress his favorite NHL player. Can he possibly top this downright Datsyukian goal from Friday night's game versus Washington?

 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 66 42 17 7 196 179 91
2 NSH 66 41 18 7 196 162 89
3 STL 64 40 19 5 198 162 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 MIN 64 35 22 7 181 164 77
6 VAN 64 36 24 4 184 176 76
7 WPG 65 32 21 12 180 175 76
8 CGY 64 35 25 4 182 165 74
9 LAK 64 31 21 12 175 167 74
10 SJS 65 32 25 8 185 183 72
11 DAL 65 29 26 10 203 215 68
12 COL 64 28 25 11 170 183 67
13 ARI 65 21 37 7 142 220 49
14 EDM 64 18 36 10 145 213 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Ladd 65 22 30 13 52
B. Little 65 24 27 10 51
B. Wheeler 63 17 29 13 46
D. Byfuglien 65 15 27 6 42
M. Perreault 56 18 18 3 36
M. Scheifele 65 10 26 2 36
M. Frolik 65 14 20 5 34
D. Stafford 59 11 17 -20 28
J. Tlusty 55 13 11 -19 24
E. Kane 37 10 12 -1 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 19 8 5 .918 2.34
O. Pavelec 13 13 7 .909 2.57
 
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