Markov making his mark in Toronto
Saturday, 11 August 2007
Originally published on EuroReport.com in 2000
By Lucas Aykroyd
With no goals and 10 assists last year, Danny Markov didn’t exactly tear up the NHL offensively. But entering his fourth season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Moscow-born defenseman is looking to improve on those numbers and his overall game. Chosen as Toronto’s seventh pick in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft (223rd overall), Markov has been known for hurling himself into high-risk areas, and he has yet to play more than 59 games in a season due to injuries. But now the 6-1, 190-pound Spartak graduate looks like he’s using his hockey smarts and mobility to confirm his place among Toronto’s top four defensemen. EuroReport caught up with Markov, 24, after he got two assists and 20:38 of icetime in a 5-2 exhibition victory over the Vancouver Canucks at GM Place on 24 September.
EuroReport: How do you feel about your play in preseason so far?
Danny Markov: I feel all right. Some games we’ve played very well. Everybody’s in shape. Lots of new guys. The team looks pretty good.
EuroReport: Which young Russian players impressed you at training camp?
Markov: I don’t know. Maybe [Dynamo Moscow RW Alexei] Ponikarovsky. And [St. John’s Maple Leafs D] Dmitri Yakushin has played very well.
EuroReport: Andrei Markov is making a splash on defense with the Montreal Canadiens in preseason. Are you related to him?
Markov: No. I don’t know him. Just the same name.
EuroReport: You’ve had some success playing with Dmitri Yushkevich. What’s the key to your partnership?
Markov: We started playing together three years ago, and we understand each other very well. I like playing with him. We talk a lot on the ice, and it’s a lot of help. If we play together this season, it would be good.
EuroReport: What do you think about Alexander Karpovtsev’s decision to hold out?
Markov: You know, it’s not my business, so I don’t want to talk about it. It’s Potsie’s business. I hope he can come back, because he’s a good player.
EuroReport: With Karpovtsev and Bryan Berard out of the lineup, that opens up some opportunities for you on special teams.
Markov: Maybe. I’ll try. It depends on the game situation. Every game I try to play better and better.
EuroReport: How do you feel the league’s crackdown on obstruction and interference will affect your ability to play your game?
Markov: It’s tough. It’s tough rules. Lots of penalties each game. Too many. I don’t know if it’ll be good for my game. It makes the games longer.
EuroReport: Looking back at last year’s playoffs, what was the main thing that went wrong against New Jersey?
Markov: It was just a tough series. New Jersey played well. They have a very good team.
EuroReport: On a more personal note, the media guide mentions your favorite rock band is Bon Jovi. You have a favorite song or album?
Markov: I like Bon Jovi’s old CDs, like Slippery When Wet. I didn’t see them when they came to Moscow because I was too young.
EuroReport: What are your goals for this season?
Markov: Win the Stanley Cup, probably.