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09-23-2008, 09:06 AM
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a zherdev observation

ok this may sound dumb and ill get ripped im sure, but all this talk of dru being moved to wing made me think last night while watching zherdev....

why the he11 isnt zherdev a centerman?

i mean, the guy dangles, makes plays- albeit dangerous ones occasionally, skates like the wind, can puck handle in ways that makes you get up out of your seat, has good size, is a play maker more than a shooter, has sweet passing skills and plenty of speed to backcheck.

that sounds like a centerman more than scoring winger?

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09-23-2008, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offdacrossbar View Post
ok this may sound dumb and ill get ripped im sure, but all this talk of dru being moved to wing made me think last night while watching zherdev....

why the he11 isnt zherdev a centerman?

i mean, the guy dangles, makes plays- albeit dangerous ones occasionally, skates like the wind, can puck handle in ways that makes you get up out of your seat, has good size, is a play maker more than a shooter, has sweet passing skills and plenty of speed to backcheck.

that sounds like a centerman more than scoring winger?
Center must be defensively responsible, this Zherdev is not. A center helps out more than any other forward in the defensive zone, does the most skating and usually is the main controller of the offensive tempo for his line. The offense tends to flow through the center. Just watch even last night, most plays were going through Gomez.

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09-23-2008, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by offdacrossbar View Post
ok this may sound dumb and ill get ripped im sure, but all this talk of dru being moved to wing made me think last night while watching zherdev....

why the he11 isnt zherdev a centerman?

i mean, the guy dangles, makes plays- albeit dangerous ones occasionally, skates like the wind, can puck handle in ways that makes you get up out of your seat, has good size, is a play maker more than a shooter, has sweet passing skills and plenty of speed to backcheck.

that sounds like a centerman more than scoring winger?
Well, it's kind of like asking why Jagr wasn't a center

Then again, Lemieux was a center and he was lazy about backchecking as well.

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09-23-2008, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by PruBlue25 View Post
Center must be defensively responsible, this Zherdev is not. A center helps out more than any other forward in the defensive zone, does the most skating and usually is the main controller of the offensive tempo for his line. The offense tends to flow through the center. Just watch even last night, most plays were going through Gomez.
From what I could see, Zherdev was backchecking harder than his two linemates last night.

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09-23-2008, 09:27 AM
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I will say that I was impressed by NZ's willingness to go in the corners tonight. Yes he did have one of his classic cough ups, but overall I was pretty excited by that line last night. Hopefully they'll keep it up tonight.

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09-23-2008, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
Well, it's kind of like asking why Jagr wasn't a center

Then again, Lemieux was a center and he was lazy about backchecking as well.
i dont see Z as the same kinda player as jagr. jagr was in his heyday, a dominant goal scorer more than a setup guy.

that was my first game watching zherdev and it occurred to me that the kid could be one sweet centerman.

i understand the defensive responsabilities of that position but he seems to have a high hockey iq and endless talent. wingers should be scorers, shooters, snipers even. in zherdev is see a playmaker, set up guy and a puck mover.

unlike many last night, i though he looked good. i have built in expectations that hell turn the puck over in bad spots like early kovy, but i saw all his shots last night, wrister, snapper and slapper and he has all the tools. he made plays with the pill, nice deft passes, took the body a bit, certainly backchecked and controlled the puck in the corner at the end of the game.

i dunno. i still see a gifted centerman.

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09-23-2008, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyrJeff View Post
From what I could see, Zherdev was backchecking harder than his two linemates last night.
Prucha tends to backcheck well too, doesn't mean he's that good in his own zone nor does it mean he should be a center. I haven't seen enough of Zherdev to say whether he's just average or good in his own zone, but I doubt he's as good in his own zone as a Drury, or even Dubinsky and Gomez. Plus this team has way too many centers to begin with.

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09-23-2008, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by PruBlue25 View Post
Prucha tends to backcheck well too, doesn't mean he's that good in his own zone nor does it mean he should be a center.
um.... come on. thats just a silly analogy.

prucha has limited skills compared to nik zherdev. he lacks the size and strength to play down the middle in this league going against monsters every night. with nik z its does he want to play defense not if he can. pru cannot handle the physical part of that position.

i like prucha for what he is and what he brings. heart and creativity. but comparing those two isnt close.

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09-23-2008, 09:45 AM
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Well let's boil this down to what really matters. Has the guy ever played center before? Not in any real capacity. Do the Rangers need anymore centers right now? No.

So why force a guy to play a position he's completely unfamiliar with. He's a winger through and through at this point, and forcing him to play an unfamiliar position is a recipe for stunting his production.

edit: Jagr was also always pretty much an assist machine as well. I'm not sure I can call him pure sniper or a pure playmaker. He was pretty much both.

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09-23-2008, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
Well let's boil this down to what really matters. Has the guy ever played center before? Not in any real capacity. Do the Rangers need anymore centers right now? No.

So why force a guy to play a position he's completely unfamiliar with. He's a winger through and through at this point, and forcing him to play an unfamiliar position is a recipe for stunting his production.

edit: Jagr was also always pretty much an assist machine as well. I'm not sure I can call him pure sniper or a pure playmaker. He was pretty much both.
agreed. my original thought and the reason for this post was he seemed to be a better center than wing. thats all.

i do think however that seperating zherdev and gomez will be important given they play a similar, redundant game.

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09-23-2008, 09:49 AM
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Hitchcock tried him at center and it was a disaster. Had Nash and Modin as his wingers.

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09-23-2008, 10:21 AM
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He\Zherdev\ said once in interview that he doesn't like to play center.He feels more comfortablе on the wing and especially on the right side.

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09-23-2008, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by offdacrossbar View Post
ok this may sound dumb and ill get ripped im sure, but all this talk of dru being moved to wing made me think last night while watching zherdev....

why the he11 isnt zherdev a centerman?
I wrote this in the fritsche thread so I just copy and pasted it here. It pretty much addresses your question:

Also, re: Zherdev: I caught a bit of the Rangers game tonight online and saw Gomez and Naslund buzzing around the net and Zherdev floating on the perimeter waiting for a pass or the puck to squirt out. I am not sure if he spent the whole game doing that, but that is just the bits that I saw.

Zherdev is a guy who loves to have the puck on his stick. So much so that Hitchcock thought he might try him at center (I told you the jackets were desperate for centers ) during camp last year. That lasted about one day because Zherdev didn't feel comfy in playing center. Hitch new it was a stretch but he was desperate.

Anyway, Zherdev is more of a playmaking winger than he is a shooter so if Gomez has the puck, Zherdev isn't a guy who is going to rush the net. You will likely see Naslund and Gomez doing a lot of the work while Z stands around. I don't know how Gomez and Naslund are going to feel about that over time. It was hard to find linemates for Zherdev to play with in Cbus too, not because most of them sucked, but because it is tough to match the style that he plays. He plays more of an east/west game than the north/south N. American style...in fact his style would be perfect for the K.H.L

The pp is a different story. No doubt they will be good together. All three of those players have a high skill level and are smart. Zherdev has exceptional hockey sense and with good linemates will be great on the pp.


Zherdev is much like a Huselius, a playmaking winger.

He skates back into the zone (backchecks) but he isn't overly physical so he didn't often knock too many people off the puck when he gets there. He will block shots too so don't be surprised when you see that from him. He is, like pretty much everyone has said, a little bit of everything.

It is funny because when he does things that a 'normal' top 6 winger will do, fans tend to celebrate and applaud him for it because you don't expect him to do it. It starts to feel like how you celebrate when your 4 year finally doesn't go in his big boy pants. This is the beginning of the double standard that gets established for Zherdev.

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09-23-2008, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by willien View Post
It is funny because when he does things that a 'normal' top 6 winger will do, fans tend to celebrate and applaud him for it because you don't expect him to do it. It starts to feel like how you celebrate when your 4 year finally doesn't go in his big boy pants. This is the beginning of the double standard that gets established for Zherdev.
To be honest, ever since the Rangers traded for Zherdev, we've been hearing about all his negatives. From Jackets fans, other Rangers fans who are going off of his reputation, etc etc. That's why the double standard you talk about exists. We've already been conditioned to expect very little out of him in certain areas of the game before we've even seen him play a single game. So is it really a surprise that we're happy when we see him defying the stereotype that's been built up for us?

At this point, the double standard is because of the low expectations that have been drilled into our heads.

As for your other points, this is ultimately why he might be a better fit with Drury. Zherdev can carry the puck (something Drury isn't great at) and control the puck in the zone (again, not Drury's forte) and look for Drury and Dawes to set up somewhere and then get them the puck.

The downside to this is determining who will play on the right side with Gomez. Not sure how Prucha would do there.

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09-23-2008, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by offdacrossbar View Post

i do think however that seperating zherdev and gomez will be important given they play a similar, redundant game.
So did Jagr & Nylander, correct?

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09-23-2008, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
To be honest, ever since the Rangers traded for Zherdev, we've been hearing about all his negatives. From Jackets fans, other Rangers fans who are going off of his reputation, etc etc. That's why the double standard you talk about exists. We've already been conditioned to expect very little out of him in certain areas of the game before we've even seen him play a single game. So is it really a surprise that we're happy when we see him defying the stereotype that's been built up for us?

At this point, the double standard is because of the low expectations that have been drilled into our heads.

As for your other points, this is ultimately why he might be a better fit with Drury. Zherdev can carry the puck (something Drury isn't great at) and control the puck in the zone (again, not Drury's forte) and look for Drury and Dawes to set up somewhere and then get them the puck.

The downside to this is determining who will play on the right side with Gomez. Not sure how Prucha would do there.
Even with all the negatives, I still expect Zherdev to go for 25 goals and 65 points. The issue is that the common perception from everyone is that Zherdev could be so much more if he had his head on straight. The widely documented problems he had in Columbus probably make most fans skeptical that he has what it takes to get his game to the next level.

Im hoping he can bloom into a superstar, but not expecting it. And in order for the Rangers to compete for the cup this year, he'll have to be a superstar.

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09-23-2008, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Levitate View Post
To be honest, ever since the Rangers traded for Zherdev, we've been hearing about all his negatives. From Jackets fans, other Rangers fans who are going off of his reputation, etc etc. That's why the double standard you talk about exists. We've already been conditioned to expect very little out of him in certain areas of the game before we've even seen him play a single game. So is it really a surprise that we're happy when we see him defying the stereotype that's been built up for us?
I guess I was more referencing the double standard that existed in Columbus for him amongst the fan base. I will not be surprised to see Rangers fans have a much more enthusiastic opinion about him for the very reasons you stated. Rangers fans are expecting the worst, therefore any good he brings, will be greatly appreciated possibly even moreso than jackets fans. The double standard gets established before you even know it is happening.

Quote:
As for your other points, this is ultimately why he might be a better fit with Drury. Zherdev can carry the puck (something Drury isn't great at) and control the puck in the zone (again, not Drury's forte) and look for Drury and Dawes to set up somewhere and then get them the puck.
Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.

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09-23-2008, 10:59 AM
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So did Jagr & Nylander, correct?
No, I can probably count on one hand the amount of times Jagr led a rush through the neutral zone during his time here.

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09-23-2008, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by nyrJeff View Post
So did Jagr & Nylander, correct?
Pretty much, but they somehow made it work a little better. both loved to carry the puck, and hold onto it, and stick handle and do circles on the ice with it, but they ultimately seemed to know when to dish it off to each other better than Gomez and Jagr did.

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09-23-2008, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by willien View Post
I wrote this in the fritsche thread so I just copy and pasted it here. It pretty much addresses your question:

Also, re: Zherdev: I caught a bit of the Rangers game tonight online and saw Gomez and Naslund buzzing around the net and Zherdev floating on the perimeter waiting for a pass or the puck to squirt out. I am not sure if he spent the whole game doing that, but that is just the bits that I saw.

Zherdev is a guy who loves to have the puck on his stick. So much so that Hitchcock thought he might try him at center (I told you the jackets were desperate for centers ) during camp last year. That lasted about one day because Zherdev didn't feel comfy in playing center. Hitch new it was a stretch but he was desperate.

Anyway, Zherdev is more of a playmaking winger than he is a shooter so if Gomez has the puck, Zherdev isn't a guy who is going to rush the net. You will likely see Naslund and Gomez doing a lot of the work while Z stands around. I don't know how Gomez and Naslund are going to feel about that over time. It was hard to find linemates for Zherdev to play with in Cbus too, not because most of them sucked, but because it is tough to match the style that he plays. He plays more of an east/west game than the north/south N. American style...in fact his style would be perfect for the K.H.L

The pp is a different story. No doubt they will be good together. All three of those players have a high skill level and are smart. Zherdev has exceptional hockey sense and with good linemates will be great on the pp.

Zherdev is much like a Huselius, a playmaking winger.

He skates back into the zone (backchecks) but he isn't overly physical so he didn't often knock too many people off the puck when he gets there. He will block shots too so don't be surprised when you see that from him. He is, like pretty much everyone has said, a little bit of everything.

It is funny because when he does things that a 'normal' top 6 winger will do, fans tend to celebrate and applaud him for it because you don't expect him to do it. It starts to feel like how you celebrate when your 4 year finally doesn't go in his big boy pants. This is the beginning of the double standard that gets established for Zherdev.
We get it, you don't like Zherdev, there's no need for you to continue your quest to turn Rangers fans against him.

We'll form our own opinions of him based on his play from this point forward, not from what he did in Columbus. And what we saw last night looked nothing like the guy you've described over and over. Zherdev wasn't "standing around" the perimeter last night, he was going into corners, he threw a few hits, and he had half a dozen shots, as did Naslund. They have the makings of a great line.

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09-23-2008, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
No, I can probably count on one hand the amount of times Jagr led a rush through the neutral zone during his time here.
They both like to have the puck on their sticks, no? And isn't that the real issue here, that people think Gomez & Zherdev won't be compatible because they both like to have the puck?

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09-23-2008, 11:07 AM
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You could just as well say double standards shows up when Z starts doing something that is said he will never do, like back checking, hitting or give up the puck to a teammate for an open net goal instead of getting himself a hatrick. So if your happy for something Z does well it becomes double standard for some reason?

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09-23-2008, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
No, I can probably count on one hand the amount of times Jagr led a rush through the neutral zone during his time here.
Jagr did that a lot...he didn't go coast to coast, but he'd always hang out, waiting for a breakout pass, and then try to stick handle his way into the zone. His big problem is that he never did it with any speed

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09-23-2008, 11:17 AM
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Here's a bit on Zherdev from Gross of the Record, including a comment from Renney:

Quote:
But I really liked what I saw out of Nikolai Zherdev, the mercurial right wing acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets. He showed you the mercurial side in the span of about 1.5 seconds in the first period, moving the puck beautifully through traffic, then losing it over the blueline because he didn't give up the puck in a timely fashion.

Zherdev took six shots, all in the first two periods, to tie for the team lead with Wade Redden and Markus Naslund. But he went hard into the boards and showed he was also thinking defensively. Coach Tom Renney had him on the ice for the end of the game with the Senators having pulled their goalie - Zherdev tied up the puck in the corner leading to a scrum with 0.6 seconds left - and later said Zherdev would not only play in those situations during the regular season but on penalty kills as well.

"You have to expect it from anybody, this is the NHL," Renney said of Zherdev's offensive production. "He delivered on that tonight. Sometimes those are the subtle things that aren't clear because you're lookign for the sizzle from Nik. He had a couple of great backchecking plays and he was third-man high in the offensive zone. He was being responsible in there, making sure it was an even-up rush in the neutral zone. It was a good first game for him."
http://njmg.typepad.com/rangersblog/...-good-zhe.html

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09-23-2008, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by nyrJeff View Post
We get it, you don't like Zherdev, there's no need for you to continue your quest to turn Rangers fans against him.
I don't think you get it at all. I don't mind Zherdev at all. It is strange that you have formulated that evaluation based on my postings. That is twice that you have misconstrued what I have posted.

Quote:
We'll form our own opinions of him based on his play from this point forward, not from what he did in Columbus. And what we saw last night looked nothing like the guy you've described over and over. Zherdev wasn't "standing around" the perimeter last night, he was going into corners, he threw a few hits, and he had half a dozen shots, as did Naslund. They have the makings of a great line.
Like I already said, I only saw bits of the game. I did see the pp a few times and it looked pretty good.
If you read 20 opinions on what a person saw last night, you are likely to get 15 different ones. Yours is just another one in the list, just as mine is.

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