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|23 января 2003
Shvidki gets opportunity to prove self // South Florida Sun - Sentinel.
After missing most of last season with injuries, this was supposed to be Denis Shvidki's breakout season.
But instead, the 22-year-old right wing was barely able to score in the minors.
With only 11 points in 32 games with San Antonio, imagine Shvidki's surprise when he was recalled by the Panthers to play Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators.
"Sometimes I'd play good games and I had lots of chances to score, but sometimes I couldn't understand why I couldn't get points," Shvidki said. "To me, though, it's worth more that I've finally found my game and feel very comfortable even though I didn't get points."
Shvidki, who had two points in 10 games with the Panthers before being demoted Nov. 2, played against the Senators on a line with Kristian Huselius and Olli Jokinen. Jaroslav Bednar, who had impressive chemistry with Huselius and Jokinen recently, was dropped to the fourth line with Peter Worrell and Ryan Johnson until late in the second.
Lance Ward, who committed the high-sticking penalty that sparked Montreal's come-from-behind win Monday, was replaced by Shvidki.
"I thought my linemates [Worrell and Johnson] and I were starting to get a little chemistry together, and obviously this is not what I want," Ward said. "It's disappointing, obviously. I'm upset. I'll get a chance again. I just have to stay ready."
But coach Mike Keenan said he wasn't punishing Ward for the mistake.
"I thought he played pretty darn hard and if you look back at the mistake, it was an accidental high-stick," Keenan said. "His teammates should have killed the penalty off [that led to Doug Gilmour's tying goal]."
Keenan said that because the Senators are so skilled, he wanted to insert a skilled player, Shvidki, instead of Ward. Keenan said Shvidki "has competed really hard the last dozen games [in San Antonio]. He just hasn't been putting the numbers up."
Apparently, Shvidki turned things around after Rampage coach John Torchetti removed him from the lineup.
Shvidki said his problem when he first got to San Antonio was sulking.
"When I was sent down, I wasn't upset, but I was a little bit disappointed," Shvidki said. "Maybe that's why I didn't play very good. Now I'm back in shape and feeling great about my game."
Here's the lineup for the musical stars who will be performing at the All-Star Game on Feb. 2 at Office Depot Center.
The Goo Goo Dolls will perform during the first intermission, while Sheryl Crow will sing during the second intermission. Jorge Moreno, who won the Latin Grammy for Best New Artist, will sing the national anthem, while country singer Paul Brandt will sing the Canadian national anthem.
Moreno will perform for free Jan. 30 at the NHL Block Party at Office Depot Center, while Crow is putting on a paid concert after the game Sunday.
Several celebrities will be attending All-Star Weekend, including Cuba Gooding Jr., Joshua Jackson and Jerry Bruckheimer.
Mezei's return delayed
Keenan said Branislav Mezei, who broke his foot Jan. 1, will be out six weeks instead of the original two to three.