Friday, February 09, 2007


Karlis Skrastins: Iron Man

by Gőlbez

Heavy boots of lead
Fills his victims full of dread
Running as fast as they can
Iron man lives again!

The NHL has a new, true Iron Man in Latvian Karlis Skrastins. Karlis, an evil Colorado Avalancher (boooooo!), is about to break the record for most consecutive games played by a defenseman with 487, formerly held by Timmay! Horton, the man who brought us many tasty donuts.

Given the rough-and-tough, shot-blocking style Karlis plays, you'd never figure a guy like him would be the one to break this record. Wouldn't you expect a Tomas Kaberle type to break the mark?

Anyway, I'm happy for Karlis achieving this mark, as he has never received nearly enough appreciation for his great defensive work as a Predator or as an Avalancher.

Article Link:
Karlis Skrastins, on the verge of breaking Tim Horton's NHL record for durability by a defenseman, has never shied away from pucks or pain.

"Pain is part of our job," he said.

Skrastins is set to break Horton's nearly 40-year-old record Thursday night against Atlanta when he plays in his 487th consecutive regular season game.

"It's one of those things that I can be proud about," Skrastins said. "I'm not a big goal scorer or I'm not getting a lot of points, but, you know, the record ... it's going to be in my memories for all of my life. It means really a lot to me."

There's no secret to the streak, he said.

"Maybe just hard work and a lot of effort. I'm just getting ready and try to keep my focus on every game, every shift and I'm not counting the games, just getting ready for one game at a time and just keep going and keep going," Skrastins said.
The fact that Skrastins has this streak is amazing enough, but the fact that he was, at one time, an NHL long shot makes this streak all the more impressive.

Karlis was pretty much an afterthought after being drafted in the 9th round, 230th overall by the Predators in 1998. He was 23 at the time, and has a couple of decent seasons in the Finnish league. Karlis came over, played in the AHL for a season, and then won a full-time job with the Preds in 1999. Since then, obviously, he's never looked back.

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I read somewhere that when told of the record he was close to breaking, his response was something like "Tim Horton? I like their donuts when we play in Canada."
Karlis certainly does look like someone who would scarf down some coffee and donuts often enough.
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