Nikita Zadorov's Shutdown Ability

  1. Cousin Eddie
    Zadorov is a guy who isn't going to get talked about a lot since he is never going to be an offensive dynamo, but he has been stringing together a very solid season. He had a tough October, showed up to training camp late after rehabbing from a pretty tough injury that cut his 16/17 season short. But since a series of scratches he has appeared to take his game to a new level.

    Here's a look at his last 23 games (since being inserted back into the lineup)
    54.15CF% (Avs as a team are 50.38% in that time)
    38% offensive zone starts
    60 Hits (8th among NHL D in that time)
    40 Blocked Shots (39th among NHL D in that time)
    He's even managed to chip in 2 goals and 7 assists for 9 points (40th among NHL D in that time)

    The most impressive part of Zadorov's game has been his ability to shutdown other teams top lines and in particular top centres individually. over the last month he had a 75%CF while on the ice against Crosby, 83%CF against Malkin (though he only played 4.85 minutes against him), 76%CF against Tavares and a 60% against Kopitar and Matthews.

    The Pittsburgh game in particular had a pretty crazy stat line as evidenced by the tweet below.

    As I said, the guy is never going to get much love for his offensive game and I doubt the points continue as they have recently (6 points in his last 8 games played) but he's proving night in and night out that he can face the top talent on the other team and prevent them from doing much of anything.

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