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Nikita Zadorov on playing in Edmonton: ‘Pretty much nothing else to do in that city except watch hockey’

Vancouver Canucks Edmonton Oilers
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
1 month ago
Nikita Zadorov is playing the heel perfectly, and his comments to the media Saturday about what it is like to play in Edmonton reflect that.
“It’s fun, they are good fans, diehard fans,” said Zadorov. “I mean, there’s pretty much nothing else to do in that city except watch hockey,” he said when asked about the fans and atmosphere in Rogers Place. “It’s been fun, I’ve only had good experiences over there for sure.”
Regardless of whether you agree with his assessment of what the city of Edmonton is like outside of hockey, there is no denying that he will garner the attention of the Oilers players and fans because of these comments. This will surely put a target on Zadorov’s back on the ice, which I am sure he is fine with because he seems to thrive when playing the villain role.
This is the latest development in his quest to become public enemy number one in Edmonton. After scoring to make it 3-2 in the second period of Game 2, Zadorov was spotted jawing at the Oilers bench and has gotten into numerous scrums throughout the series to this point, especially against Evander Kane.
Oilers fans know full well just how much of an on-ice nuisance Zadorov can be because he has long been a combatant on the opposite side of the Battle of Alberta. Heck, this isn’t even his first series facing off against Edmonton as he was part of the Flames during the most recent playoff matchup between the two Alberta teams.
Before the first two games of this series, Zadorov did not produce many points against the Oilers, but he sure did lay the body quite a lot. In 23 career games against Edmonton (both regular season and playoffs), he had registered four points (one goal and three assists) while dishing out 73 hits for an average of roughly 3.2 hits per game. He has taken his offensive production to new heights against the Blue and Orange with four points (two goals and two assists in the first two games of this series already.
Zadorov has been a difference-maker for Vancouver in these playoffs so far as he leads Canucks defenders in scoring, is second on the team in goals behind only Brock Boeser, and is third on the team overall in points with just two back of JT Miller for the team lead. He also became the first defenceman in Canucks history to score four goals through the first eight games to begin the playoffs.
He has been a major factor in their success so far and one the Oilers will have to focus their efforts on, not just because he is playing the villain role to perfection. His comments about the city of Edmonton solidify his place as the most hated man in the city since Peter Chiarelli.
You can see how much boos he gets every time he touches the puck on Sunday when the series shifts to northern Alberta on Sunday. You can catch the action on Sportsnet with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m. MDT.

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