Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Berry Shuffle: Karamnov out and Korolev In

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Berry Shuffle: Karamnov out and Korolev In

Article excerpt

Two of the Blues' Russians changed places in exile on Thursday night. Vitali Karamnov was out. Igor Korolev was in.

Coach Bob Berry scratched Karamnov for the Blues' National Hockey League game against the San Jose Sharks in Sacramento's Arco Arena, where the Blues led the Sharks 2-1 early in the second period. Kevin Miller had both goals for the Blues, and brother Kip Miller scored for the Sharks.

Korolev replaced Karamnov, returning to the lineup after a one-game absence. Korolev had sat out the Blues' 4-1 victory over the Sharks on Tuesday at San Jose Arena.

The Russians continue to be a source of frustration for Berry. They are regarded as having the talent to play in the NHL, but they don't always apply it, and that drives Berry nuts.

"Igor's minus 4, and the other guy, Big V, has the puck all the time but never in the scoring area," Berry said. "I don't want to be unfair, but something's got to happen."

Such as?

"I want to see some production," Berry said. "I want to see some responsibility defensively, and I want to see some pucks go into the net at the other end. So far, I haven't seen it."

Karamnov has no goals and two assists in five games. His plus-minus rating is minus 1. Going into the game Thursday, Korolev had no goals and one assist.

"They've come a long way, but they've still got a long way to go," Berry said.

The game Thursday was something of a homecoming for Blues goalie Curtis Joseph.

Joseph wore the bluenote for the first time in a preseason game against Edmonton at Arco Arena in September 1989.

"It brings back memories," Joseph said. "I was No. 33 back then. I was just happy to wear the jersey. . . . If I was to look back, I'd say I've come a long way."

Back then, Joseph was a nervous rookie trying to prove himself, but now, he's one of the NHL's best goaltenders. Berry will be hard-pressed to find some playing time for backup Jim Hrivnak.

"Curtis wants to play every night, but that's not the logical way to go," Berry said. …

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