Unfortunately, it seems the only time Nikolai Zherdev will be wearing the Flyers’ crest will be at the practice rink. Barring injuries and illnesses, he won’t be cracking the line-up too often anymore. And it’s a shame, because he can be a real weapon on offense, when he wants to be.
And that’s the problem with Zherdev. It’s the same problem any procrastinator. You know there’s work to do, you know you have to do it, and you know exactly what it takes to get it done. But you push it back, figuring you can flip a switch any time. Except in his case, there’s a spotlight on him, and he’s letting his time to shine fade away. I mean, why wouldn’t we want to have this in the lineup?:
He’s obviously got a ton of talent. A few might argue that he’s got the most skill on our team. The fact that something like that is even mentioned, given that we’ve got Giroux, Briere and Carter on this squad is saying something. So if Z is a healthy scratch, then obviously it’s because he’s not busting his ass enough. Earlier in the season, when he sat a few times, he came back and played extremely well. He threw a few hits, he battled in the corners, he cycled the puck well. He did exactly what Laviolette expects out of him.
And then, he disappeared. He regressed. He went back to the player he was in Columbus and New York. The reasons behind his enigmatic reputation became obvious. Why would a guy with this amount of pure talent not want to work hard enough to play every day? He chose a profession that most people dream about. This isn’t some job that most people just fall into, get stuck with, and hate. This is his favorite sport, and it became his life. And now he’s blowing his last chance to do something.
Dude, the fans want you on the ice. Powe andNodl are fine role players; but you’re an exciting goal scorer. You can make us all get off our lazy asses and cheer. You can replace either of those guys if you wanted to. There’s always room for another offensive threat on this team. Why don’t you want to earn a spot. You did it once this season. Go freaking do it again. Make yourself seen. Do something in practice to get noticed, to get one more chance. The Flyers took a chance on you, now you have to repay them.
If we don’t dump you off somewhere by the trade deadline, your name will be engraved on the Stanley Cup because you’ve played enough games for us (I think). 50 Years from now, your grand kids will be asking you about that experience. Do you want to tell them about the view from the pressbox? Or do you want to tell about the time you netted 3 goals in the Final round? Or about how you nearly dropped the Cup when Coburn passed it to you? Think about it. You could be part of something special, or you can be a footnote on a Wikipedia page for the Flyers 2010-2011 regular season.
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