Â So what was more impressive by Nikolai Zherdev tonight—the ridiculous, water-bottle-lifting goal, the game-winning assist, or the hustle to catch Todd White from behind on the breakaway?
Call me a purist, but I actually vote for the backcheck.
You heard it here first, Zherdev for the Selke.
“It shows his commitment to what (Tom Renney) wants,â€ captain Chris Drury said. â€œHe had some years win-loss wise in Columbus, and weâ€™re off to a pretty good start. He sees he wants to be a part of it not just offensively, but defensively.â€
What’s remarkable is that lost in all the talk about Brandon Dubinsky’s benching Monday night is that Zherdev was also sat down by Tom Renney in that game. I asked the coach how many shifts Zherdev missed against the Islanders, and was surprised to hear Renney say six. Apparently the player got the message,
â€œAt the end of the day the chips you play with are ice time as a coach,” Renney said. “Youâ€™ve got to use that. Thatâ€™s what every player wants. They want to play , and when you take that away, it speaks louder than anything else.â€