One of the benefits of the Rangers playing a team stacked with Russians in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is that it pretty much guarantees that there will be at least one representative of the Russian media on hand for each game. And it’s a safe bet that those reporters will occasionally make their way down the hall to the Rangers dressing room and give us a glimpse inside the mind of Rangers forward Nikolai Zherdev, who’s lack of confidence with English makes him reticent to open up to the North American media. The first such insight came this morning as part of a larger report on game one in SovSport, and serves as a reminder that, despite the individual success he’s enjoyed in his five years in the league, he’s still just a 23-year old kid who had never experienced playoff hockey prior to Wednesday night’s series opener.
Nikolai Zherdev: “In the Playoffs, Everything is Faster”
- This was your first game in the Stanley Cup playoffs. What are your impressions? — we asked Zherdev after the game.
- I wasn’t able to do much. Probably because of nerves. But we won. And I could sense that these are playoff games. Its like heaven and earth if you compare it to the regular season. There everything goes fast. But here its twice as fast on the whole. I understood that already on my first shift. I hope very much that in the next contest I’ll no longer be flustered. I need to adjust.
- And are you happy with your ice time? You received less than 12 minutes.
- Right now I don’t pay attention to it.
- It seems that with the arrival of Tortorella as the Rangers coach they began to trust you less…
- If that’s how he sees the game, what can I do? I’ll say it again, I am not discontent.
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