What a difference a year makes. Just ask Petr Nedved
A year after posting only 46 points in 78 games and becoming a popular target of fan criticism, Nedved came alive in 2002-03 and silenced the critics.
Thanks to an effective off-season conditioning program and a strong mental outlook, the Czech Republic native rebounded with probably the most consistent performance among any Blueshirt forward this past season.
Nedved led the club with 27 goals and ranked third with 31 assists, for a club-leading 58 points. His 20:20 average ice time per game also led all Blueshirt forwards, as did his three shorthanded goals.
“I spent a lot of time working out and preparing for the season last summer,” he said when asked about his bounce-back year.
“Last season was very disappointing for me. As a player, you wish that every year is going to be ‘your year,’ and last year it didn’t happen for me. I came into this season really prepared. I was working out and training hard pretty much all summer – twice a day – and it paid off. I wanted to prove myself to my teammates and the fans in New York.”
Despite proving himself, Nedved finds himself far from satisfied with how the 2002-03 season turned out.
“Regardless of what I accomplished, it’s still disappointing because we’re not in the playoffs,” he said. “That’s why you play the season.”
Just more fuel for Nedved’s fire as he prepares for another summer of hard work and preparation looking ahead at the 2003-04 season.