Monday, 25 May 2009

С днем рождения!

I have no clue if that says what I want it to say, but Babel Fish is my best hope for Russian translation until I get to know some cute Russian boy willing to teach me, so hopefully it says...

It's Nikita Filatov's 19th birthday today!
This means he can now drink legally in Ontario, Saskatchewan, BC and the Maritimes (I think).

This is not going to be an epic birthday post. I wish it could be, but I haven't the time. I felt it necessary to post something though, since Filatov is my second favourite Russian player under the age of 25.

I could say that it's because he's a Jackets prospect, but it's mostly because of the WJC (shocking, eh?) and the fact that he looked so dejected after Eberle and JT nailed the coffin shut on Russia's gold medal hopes. The following face broke my heart, even as it was leaping because Eberle had just one-upped Max Talbot's 35-seconds-from-Stanley-Cup-elimination goal, by tying the Russia-Canada game back up with 5.4 seconds left in the 3rd. I wanted to rush down to the ice and scoop Nik up in my arms and cuddle him and give him cookies and cocoa until he felt better.

Check the OED under 'crushed'

Plus how can you NOT love this kid? He's probably the best-looking Russian in pro hockey. The most adorable in any case. And his English is better than most of the francophone Penguins' is. Thing is, even though he's too cute for words, there is no way I can find him remotely swoony, simply because that's just too creepy to consider. He is 19. That's seven years my junior. That's just a little too Mrs. Robinson, even for me (because le swooon was definitely a minor niner when I was in twelfth grade).

Put him on a line with Vermette and Brassard: most adorable line in the NHL.

Can Nikita Filatov be my little brother? He's probably the sweetest kid in the universe. I've never had someone I'd just met laugh at me for being a spaz and make me feel good about the fact that I looked like a giant dork. Also, there was a tidbit from the Syracuse Crunch blog, back in March that just endeared him to me forever:

Would it be possible for Nikita Filatov's mom, Yelena, to hang around [in Syracuse] for the rest of the season?

Let's see. She visits from Moscow to help her son recover from a bad sinus infection. Then she's in the stands for his first two games back, and Nikita scores in each of them.

"She helps me all the time,'' Nikita said. "When she's here, it's like more energy for me. I'm just 18. It's difficult for me to be alone.''

This reminds me so much of Mama and Papa Malkin's effect on Geno's game... I think we forget sometimes that hockey players are just boys who miss their moms and dads and who play better when those people who love them unconditionally are around to make them soup and cheer them on. The fact that Nik is so blunt about the fact that he misses him mom is probably the most honest thing an 18 year-old boy can utter. I mean, how much do you want to bet the fact that Sidney Crosby's living with Mario and Nathalie Lemieux since he was 18 has made it easier for him to focus on hockey? And he was just coming from Nova Scotia.

If you happen to be in Syracuse (God knows WHY you would be, but if, by some freak chance, you are) make sure you hit up a Crunch game. Or if you're in Columbus, see if he's been called up. I didn't get to see him play back in March because he was sick while I was there, but I did get his autograph. No clue where you get Nikita or Filatov out of this. I hope it's just lost in tranlation.
Hopefully my birthday wishes won't get lost in translation. Happy Birthday Kiddo! And go work your ass off in prospect camp and rookie camp and training camp so you can get the heck out of Syracuse and stay in Ohio, okay? Then, at least Lauren will have someone cute to cheer for (other than Vermette) when she is stuck watching Jackets games on FSN-Ohio. Plus, we all want to see you playing in the NHL full time. Good luck!


Val said...

Oh, I don't know, Mrs. Robinson wasn't that bad, was she?


ali said...

I'll never forget what he said in the post-game conference that went along with that sad picture, "We know who's side God is on. God wanted Canada to win."


Kylie said...

I full out squealed when his picture came up. I just want to squeeze him!!

If you don't want me to be creepy and swoon over a 19 year old, don't post pictures of his eyes looking so stunningly beautiful.

You know I can't resist pretty eyes.

Clare said...

Syracuse is only a little over 2 hours from my house I think I will have to go to a Crunch game next season. He is just adorable.

Jessclub7 said...

In that last pic, he has the most Eastern European haircut ever.

Everyone in Russia has that hair. I am way more amused by it than I should be.

And I was nearly deported from Moscow for openly laughing.

Kylie said...

Uhh, roadtrip?! We can see Legein and Filatov in one stop! Tell Cari and Kim...

mer said...

@ Kylie - wrongwrongwrong, you cradle robber! Pretty much everyone but you and I can think he's hot. (I mean, Lauren is only 23, so that would be completely hypocritical of me to say that she can't say a boy 4 years her junior is hot, because I do it every time Letang comes up...)

In fact, I vote that if Jonny's too stupid to fall in love with Clare, we lock her and Nikita Filatov in a room together for a few hours...

lauren said...

Sadly "happy birthday" is not one of my limited Russian phrases... and I can't spell anything anyway, because the Cyrillic alphabet completely denies my understanding. Jess is right, though, his hair is very Eastern European in the last picture.

Anonymous said...

Aww im happy someone wished him a hapyp birthday!
i am from syracuse and i have crunch season tickets so i got to see him play. he is soo nice if u ever get the chance to meet up ( i luckily did ) so if u ever meet him just talk to him! hes not like the other egotistical hockey players, hes really kind and nice to talk too. Yeah i dont get his signature much either, must be a russian thing, but to me it looks like a triangle lol

mer said...

@ anon - Nik really *is* such a sweetheart. He's probably my second favourite Crunch player and that's only because Stefan Legein has a ridiculous hold on my hockey heart and I can't help rooting for him above ANYONE else in pro hockey.

And yes, to preempt your next question, that includes rooting for him over Dany Heatley and Kris Letang. On principle ALONE, I would have to root for Legein because he's the underdog of underdogs.