February 06, 2009
Next Tuesday is the one-year anniversary of Richard Zednik getting his carotid artery accidentally severed by Olli Jokinen's skate. We were going to send a card, but found Hallmark's musical selection completely lacking for our deranged intentions.
Zednik has seven goals and 17 points in 39 games this season but, as has frequently been the case for the enigmatic winger during his NHL career, it's not how many he scores but how he scores them.
Basically, Zednik's like a skater who decided to repeat a trick with an extra flourish -- the goal against the Islanders had some similarities to his goal against the Montreal Canadiens recently, save for the awesome leap that makes last night's more spectacular. From George Richards in the Miami Herald:
Thursday's goal was nearly more video game than reality as Zednik came in hard again and New York defenseman Brendan Witt went down on the ice in an attempt to stop him. Zednik jumped over Witt, pushing the puck forward in the process. Zednik somehow was able to regain the puck, regain his balance and beat Joey MacDonald for Florida's third goal of the night. This is a goal Florida fans will see again.
"That was a great play, definitely highlight-of-the-night material," coach Pete DeBoer said. "He's scored a few like that this year. He's a guy I haven't given enough credit to lately. He's starting to get rewarded at the net. . . . He's a game-breaker. Your best players have to be your best players down the stretch, and he's in that group of guys. Right now, he's delivering."
That Pete DeBoer's one heck of a coach, isn't he Ottawa? The Panthers are in the eighth seed right now, as the back of the Eastern Conference pack is starting to challenge even the fifth-seeded New York Rangers for postseason berths. Who knew? It's been a really stunning season so far for Zednik and the Panthers, any way you sli ... uh, look at it.