Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/26/10 at 12:51 PM ET
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Zherdev has one goal in eight games with the Flyers. They are expecting more from him, obviously. GM Paul Holmgren, asked about how Zherdev was doing, basically said it’s early yet. Zherdev hasn’t had much ice time, he hasn’t been inserted on the power play and he doesn’t kill penalties. The rhythm isn’t there, but it’s early yet.
Filatov played well in Sweden but has had his ice time progressively cut. He was demoted to the fourth line three games ago because the 06-07-08 line, with Derek Brassard and Jake Voracek, wasn’t clicking - and Filatov wasn’t paying enough heed in his own end. Sound familiar?
The NHL is a Canada-centric league. In the past, European players, and Russians in particular, have been misused and unfairly singled out for criticism. There is still some of that going around, but the dual standard has softened as generations of Europeans, with an array of qualities, have infiltrated the league. What Philly coaches want from Zherdev is the same that Jackets coaches want from Filatov, or anyone else. They want them to earn their ice time.
As one scout put it last night: “In this league, if you have a 50-second shift, you have to be responsible for 50 seconds. There is something to do whether you have the puck or not. You can’t float.”
The Blue Jackets out-gutted the Flyers and won 2-1 last night. Zherdev had 11:35 of ice time, Filatov 5:46. Enough said.
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