Antipin settling in with the Sabres

August 24, 2017
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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - New Buffalo Sabres defenseman Victor Antipin left Russia about two weeks ago to come to Buffalo and start to get used to his new team and new city. Antipin said he likes it around Western New York because it reminds him of home, “I like Buffalo, it’s a small city, a comfortable city for me.”

“I think Buffalo is similar to back home.”

Phil Housley will have different types of defensemen to work with this season. Antipin feels he will be able to play the way Housley will want the team to play, “I like to play attack during the rush, skate the puck.”

Antipin has already done his homework on his new coach, “I see how he played on video, he was a good defenseman and I like how he played, so I want to play like he played.”

Antipin has shown improvement in his last few seasons. “I’ve been older, I might be a little more smart,” he said with a laugh.

Antipin is only 24, but he’s played five seasons in the KHL. He said it was time to try the NHL, “The NHL is the best league in the world and I want to try to play here. It’s interesting for me to play here.”

Despite being limited in his English, I thought Antipin did a good job of communicating with the two of us interviewing him and I think it was great that he wanted to do it.

What I learned from talking with him is he should be able to understand his teammates and what Housley and his coaching staff want from him.

This is all brand new to him. I can’t imagine what it’s like to go to a foreign country where you don’t know the language and start fresh. He appears to be getting comfortable in his new home and his new setting.

Hockey tends to be a universal culture and players in the NHL are generally very welcoming to new players. Antipin appears to be off to a good start.