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Nik Apologies and Appreciation Thread

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Old
11-25-2007, 10:13 AM
  #1
JACKETfan
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Nik Apologies and Appreciation Thread

Fess up, you wanted Nik gone. I know I did (though I never 'hated' the guy like some).

23 games into the season and Nik has proven his detractors wrong. Last night's game v Datroit cinched it for me.

I was wrong, and invite other confessions. We pilloried this guy enough last year that we owe it to him and all the Zherdev internet searches to set the record straight.

If you were not one of the "unclean," then by all means, go ahead and gloat. (Gloaters, however, be warned. Old Nik threads can still be consulted )

Wangling a bit...
The Zherdev we're seeing is not just a happier version of the player we saw in 2005-06. He has made changes to himself and to his game.

--He's faster and stronger with the puck.
--He's showing much better moves going across the blueline.
--He's finishing his checks.
--He's not taking stupid penalties.
--There's an unselfishness to his game now.

Now maybe Bender will come back.

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11-25-2007, 10:28 AM
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OnYourIgnoreList
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I was never on the "lazy, arrogant, good-for-nothing Russian" bandwagon, but I did think it might have been best for everybody involved if the team and Nik parted ways.

How glad I am at how wrong I was.

As a side note, I was at the *horrifying* FLA game on Weds when the entire team was playing like they had been kicked in the collective 'nards, and the guy two seats down from me saw fit to ***** about Zherdev everytime he touched the puck, but nobody else. Some people.

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11-25-2007, 10:36 AM
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After last year, I was convinced that Z. was trying to play his way out of town.

Thank god for Ken Hitchcock. Thank god for Scott Howson. And thank god for the pod person who apparently replaced Nikolai during their meeting in Ottawa, because he's matured years in the space of weeks, and I think it's fair to say he's now truly one of the hearts of this team, instead of being the somewhat inflamed appendix.

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11-25-2007, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BZArcher View Post
After last year, I was convinced that Z. was trying to play his way out of town.

Thank god for Ken Hitchcock. Thank god for Scott Howson. And thank god for the pod person who apparently replaced Nikolai during their meeting in Ottawa, because he's matured years in the space of weeks, and I think it's fair to say he's now truly one of the hearts of this team, instead of being the somewhat inflamed appendix.
Great metaphor, although I might have used "hemorrhoid."

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11-25-2007, 12:04 PM
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A little insight on how Nik has become part of the team more.

Last year Svitov and he use to sit together and tallk Russian the whole time
On friday night before the bus broke down Nik sat with Chims and some others playing poker speaking english and being part of the team
Also Nik insisted doing the keys of the game in english, he was offered to do it in russian, but really practiced for a couple days to be able to accomplish it.

Little more on the bus braking down at the airport gate friday and they had to walk to the plane. Guess it was really humorous with the vets saying boys this is old school hockey here.

Anyway with Doug being gone, Nik feels par

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11-25-2007, 12:08 PM
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I never wanted him gone

I think his big problem before was that he needed to mature. Now he has, apparently And he actually looks like he's having fun, which obviously helps. Look how much he's smiling all the time now!

But yeah, his game has obviously come leaps and bounds. He now has the confidence to use more than one or two moves, and they work! And he HITS! And not just like "Vyborny hits" but like he friggen levels people! I don't know if it's just because they don't expect it, but either way it's great to see

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11-25-2007, 12:28 PM
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orthosrgn2
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As we all want to have a proven winner yesterday, it is hard to sit and watch these guys make beaucoup bucks and "underperform". I was very frustrated with Zherdev and was using him to be the cause of our problems. After watching Hitch coach him and Howson manage him I see how time and patience must become my motto. Z has been a terror on offense and defense. It looks like he is truly enjoying his job and working hard at it. I applaud you Nik. I only hope I (we) can show the same needed patience for Brule and Russell.

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11-25-2007, 12:44 PM
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213 Sentinel
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First and foremost: I was in the "tired of *****y, underperforming Russians" crowd. Between Z and Svitov and other players on other teams (Samsonov), I was tired of hearing about it.

In Z's case...mea culpa, Tovarisch.

I can't really add to what people have already observed about him. Needless to say, he's a different player. We can all speculate as to why he wasn't better before, but it surely isn't a coincidence that he's better after the regime change.

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Old
11-25-2007, 01:30 PM
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PubOFH
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I was never in the "trade/get rid of Z" group...but I was disappointed in how he was playing. I was always wondering how he would do with a real coach and a non psycho GM. We have both now...and we are reaping the rewards. So nice to have Dumb and Dumber gone from this city.

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Old
11-25-2007, 01:48 PM
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I was never in the dispose of Z group, but I was in the trade for an equal player group.

He has made me eat that. Many nights he has been our best player. After his turnover right to the Datsyuk goal, he lumbered around a while, but then turned it right back on. Once we find Nash and Z a reliable friend or two we will be in serious business.

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Old
11-25-2007, 02:28 PM
  #11
Cyborg Yzerman
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Well to be perfectly honest, I always liked Nikki, he's been one of my favorite players, and has a spot on my fantasy team. :p

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Old
11-25-2007, 03:27 PM
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CBJ Bob
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I was part of the group that wanted Z gone and cheaply too. I am very happy I was wrong. Please forgive me Nicki, I beg you please...

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Old
11-25-2007, 04:06 PM
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Ludicrous Speed
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never wanted him gone...unless it was for the betterment of the team (i.e. a top d man)

i was also getting on everyone's case about tollefsen, who was loved by all last season...he didnt start like we wanted him to and people were going zherdev on him...i just dont want people to do that again

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11-25-2007, 04:20 PM
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CBJSlash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitbasketer743 View Post
never wanted him gone...unless it was for the betterment of the team (i.e. a top d man)

i was also getting on everyone's case about tollefsen, who was loved by all last season...he didnt start like we wanted him to and people were going zherdev on him...i just dont want people to do that again
Zherdev got it a lot worse for a these reasons in no particular order

-He's Russian/Ukrainian
-The media beat him and singled him out
-DM beat him and singled him out
-He held out for a contract
-Showed very lazy turnover prone play
-Used the toe drag repeatedly falling
-Got the label "bad teammate"
-Got the "I don't want to learn english" label

While I don't think the criticism of OKT is too harsh or unjustified, it will not nearly get as bad as the criticism Z has repeatedly endured.



I think most of us can feel the difference between criticising all other players.....and Zherdev. It is just a special feeling when Z does something bad, I like Z and I still get this feeling. I think is the "I hope this doesn't put him into a bad/depressed/run back to Russia" moodswing. He was and for many still is the single cancer, but that is because that is what they have been feed for years and are ignorant to his performance this year.

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11-25-2007, 04:48 PM
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I thought Z was the only bright spot in the Florida game and i posted so. Keep it up Z your amazing and so fun to watch.
The whole team is fun to watch when they give it all. Im also extremely happy the team has come around at a time i can finally watch them and not just have to settle for radio feed. Thanx NHL for CIO

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Old
11-25-2007, 05:02 PM
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I have always been a Zherdev defender, much to my annoyance when I attend the games. Two classic examples of the double standard that exists among fans of this team from last night's game:

I had an "expert" on hockey sitting behind me, so I, and those around me, had the benefit of his wealth of knowledge. The first example: on Nash's two misses of the empty net, our expert's view was along the lines of, "Did you see that, he almost buried them; what a great play!" When Zherdev's shot at an open net was deflected on a great play by the defenseman (Lilja, I think), our expert's view was, "G-----n it, Nikki, you gotta bury that!"

Example two: in the second period, Zherdev had a difficult backhand clear. He chipped it off the boards, but Lidstrom stopped the puck with his stick about a foot off the ground at the blue line to keep it in. My thought: what a great play by Lidstrom; our expert: "C'mon Nikki, clear the puck." Later in the same shift, Nash had an easy forehand clear and got his stick partially lifted. Our expert was silent on that play, which was considerably easier than the one Z had.

That happens time and again: everyone notices every mistake that Z makes, but ignores the mistakes of other players.

This is not to criticize Nash at all, it is to point out that Z has become such a whipping boy that it will take a couple of years for him to overcome the wrath of the many "experts" who, last time they looked, saw Z getting lambasted in the Dispatch pretty regularly. I'm glad to see that many on this board are willing to give Z credit for his great play of late; unfortuntately, this board is a leading indicator, and the general fan population will take longer.

P.S. My inkling is that there will be a thread similar to this one about Federov in about four months.

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Old
11-25-2007, 05:13 PM
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cbj43054
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindy4444 View Post
P.S. My inkling is that there will be a thread similar to this one about Federov in about four months.
IMHO there should already be one up for feds 5g 9a 14pts, compared to vybes 2g 7a 9pts. Vybes was our leading guy for points last season. Feds has really stepped it up thus far. Not slammin Vybes, just saying he's due to start crackin the points open this year.

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Old
11-25-2007, 05:20 PM
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CBJSlash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindy4444 View Post

That happens time and again: everyone notices every mistake that Z makes, but ignores the mistakes of other players.
This is so true. I'm not sure how long it will take to fix.

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Old
11-25-2007, 05:27 PM
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I'll gloat. I've loved Zherdev since day 1. Went to see his very first game as a jacket loved him since. He's a close second as my favorite player just behind Nash. Knew last year was just a hump that was created by bad ownership that didn't know how to treat him.

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11-25-2007, 05:54 PM
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I was firmly in the dump Z camp last year. I would have given him up for a junior bacon cheeseburger after how he played last year. I've been waiting for his play to decline this year too. Not to gloat or anything but just because I expected it to. I said in the Detroit GDT that I'm done waiting for the other shoe to drop as far as he's concerned. He's proven to me that he's willing to put forth the effort to win.

Nikki, I'm sorry I doubted you. Thank you for coming around, too. We really need you this year and you're delivering. Keep it up!

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11-25-2007, 06:57 PM
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I love it.


I don't know if you guys saw Portzline say in the Dipstach blog after last weeks game against Detroit, but he mentioned Nik politely declined to comment - it was 100% true. He tried to understand the question a couple times, couldn't, smiled and shook his head that he didn't understand.

The Nik I met last year just wouldn't say or do anything.

PS: I still have the Disptach article, front sports page, "Zherdev remains an Enigma" next to my bed.

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Old
11-25-2007, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindy4444 View Post
I have always been a Zherdev defender, much to my annoyance when I attend the games. Two classic examples of the double standard that exists among fans of this team from last night's game:

I had an "expert" on hockey sitting behind me, so I, and those around me, had the benefit of his wealth of knowledge. The first example: on Nash's two misses of the empty net, our expert's view was along the lines of, "Did you see that, he almost buried them; what a great play!" When Zherdev's shot at an open net was deflected on a great play by the defenseman (Lilja, I think), our expert's view was, "G-----n it, Nikki, you gotta bury that!"

Example two: in the second period, Zherdev had a difficult backhand clear. He chipped it off the boards, but Lidstrom stopped the puck with his stick about a foot off the ground at the blue line to keep it in. My thought: what a great play by Lidstrom; our expert: "C'mon Nikki, clear the puck." Later in the same shift, Nash had an easy forehand clear and got his stick partially lifted. Our expert was silent on that play, which was considerably easier than the one Z had.

That happens time and again: everyone notices every mistake that Z makes, but ignores the mistakes of other players.

This is not to criticize Nash at all, it is to point out that Z has become such a whipping boy that it will take a couple of years for him to overcome the wrath of the many "experts" who, last time they looked, saw Z getting lambasted in the Dispatch pretty regularly. I'm glad to see that many on this board are willing to give Z credit for his great play of late; unfortuntately, this board is a leading indicator, and the general fan population will take longer.

P.S. My inkling is that there will be a thread similar to this one about Federov in about four months.
Bravo to your observations. I've posted in the past about that particular double standard, and it hasn't gone away yet.

As for the topic of this thread: I'm a well-known Nikki lover (so to speak), I expect. But I'm a realist. I expect more bumps to come. I don't believe in change overnight. But, as always, I'm going to be supporting him, even if/when those bumps occur. I won't have to be "right" or "wrong" when that day comes, because, "right" or "wrong," I'm a fan of his.

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Old
11-25-2007, 08:06 PM
  #23
JACKETfan
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Here are links to the Zherdev titled threads going back to the beginning of this year.

What's surprising is that more than half of them were started by NON CBJ FANS, ie, people coming from other boards with proposals.

Many of the posts are funny. From a quick glance, Renion is about the only one who consistently stood by Zher. Which leads me to suspect a family connection

------------------------------------------------------------

Zher on trade block http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=336895

Zherdev http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=354985

"Zherdev remains and enigma" http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=366475

Zherdev? http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=381169

What is Zherdev worth? http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=387375&page=3

All Zherdev Proposals Here http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=388924

Zherdev's trade value/proposals http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=400873


Last edited by JACKETfan: 11-25-2007 at 08:13 PM.
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Old
11-25-2007, 08:40 PM
  #24
Nordique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBJSlash View Post
I was never in the dispose of Z group, but I was in the trade for an equal player group.

He has made me eat that. Many nights he has been our best player. After his turnover right to the Datsyuk goal, he lumbered around a while, but then turned it right back on. Once we find Nash and Z a reliable friend or two we will be in serious business.
Ditto, I never said **** can the guy. I always felt, and posted as much, that the guy was the most entertaining player I've ever watched live. You could see his game turning around last season. He was buying into the company line and playing strong hockey at both ends of the ice even if the points weren't there.

Alot of the harsh critics of Z are the same guys coming down hard on Vyborny right now. Read what you will into that, but one thing I'm certain of from watching years of hockey is that even good players have up trends and down trends. The knee jerk reaction as a fan is to either laude them with praise or nail em to the cross, thats why we aren't coaches.


Last edited by Nordique: 11-25-2007 at 09:12 PM.
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11-25-2007, 08:50 PM
  #25
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The way Zherdev played/behaved last year he deserved to be traded. The team couldn't afford to maintain such a malcontent and non-contributing player considering the biggest element that the jackets needed was the building and bolstering of the team itself. I feel no remorse or regret for saying as much.

Now that he is playing better, I have no hang up in saying so. When they play well they get praise and their attributes get noted, when he and others play poorly they get that pointed out as well.

It is the blind praise regardless of what was happening on the ice that is meaningless discussion. Simply to like a player and defend him despite of how he is playing is silly.

I like the players but I love the team more. The team's success is far and away more important that a love affair and defense of any particular player.

I now enjoy watching Zherdev handle the puck because most of the time he does something smart with it. Last year it was sickening to watch him turn it over constantly.

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