• email
  • Bookmark and Share

Viktor Tikhonov’s Blog: Season wrap and looking ahead

Viktor Tikhonov finished his rookie season with eight goals and 16 points in 61 games. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

Zoom Image

Viktor Tikhonov finished his rookie season with eight goals and 16 points in 61 games. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)


With the regular season finished, I thought it would be a good time to wrap up my first year in the NHL and let you know what I’ve been up to lately.

Growing up around the San Jose Sharks, I obviously followed their series against Anaheim pretty closely. Goaltending was a big factor thanks to Ducks rookie Jonas Hiller and, in the end, the Sharks didn’t get the scoring they needed from their stars.

The Washington-New York series was another fun one to follow, but I was pretty surprised at how easily Detroit dispatched Columbus. The Red Wings have so much experience, but I thought that series would be tougher.

As for my season with the Phoenix Coyotes, we were obviously upset our push for the post-season came up short. Despite that, we played well as the season wound down and the mood was good when we had our end-of-year meetings.

Along with player meetings, I also met with coach Wayne Gretzky, GM Don Maloney and our gym trainer Mike Bahn, who gave me instructions on how to keep up my fitness in the off-season. I want to physically get stronger and add some weight to my frame over the summer.

My NHL rookie experience was really good. I got lots of ice time and the opportunity to contribute on the penalty kill. But looking ahead to next season, I am aware I need to step up my game and avoid the ‘sophomore jinx.’

In order to do this, I have to learn from mistakes I made this season and keep in mind that the coaches won’t show as much patience next year. There is a lot more expected from an NHLer in his second season and it’s a whole new level of pressure, one that is as much mental as it is physical.

I tried to establish good habits this year and on off-days I would spin on a stationary bike or go for a run. This season, my broken hand kept me out for about a month and gave me a break (not that I wanted one), so paying attention to my conditioning during the season will also help me succeed next year.

Related Links

On a personal note, my season ended on a very high note. In our final game, we took Anaheim to a shootout. With the game still tied after three shooters, we went to sudden death. Teemu Selanne missed for the Ducks, so I had the chance to win it all.

I had been doing pretty well on the shootout in a few previous practices, so I was confident. My teammates told me to get out there and just do it, so I did, stuffing the puck past J-S Giguere’s left goal pad.

The goal felt great and afterward the guys were teasing me about how we lost a chance at the draft lottery because the extra point put us ahead of the Kings in a standings tiebreaker.

I’ve already started playing a lot of golf this summer and other than that, my plans are to take a couple trips based around NHL Players’ Association meetings - one is in Las Vegas, the other in Paris, mostly for players living in Europe in the summer. I’m going to take my girlfriend to that one.

Have a good summer, everyone!

Viktor Tikhonov was drafted 28th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes at the 2008 draft. In 2007-08, he played in the Russian Super League (now the Kontinental League) for Severstal and is the grandson of legendary Russian coach Viktor Tikhonov. He'll be blogging for THN.com throughout the 2008-09 season. Read his other blog entries HERE.

More Stories

VIDEO: THN Puck Panel – Which new coach will be most successful this season?

There are five NHL teams with new bench bosses this season. So we asked our experts, which of...

NHL Pre-season Predictions: Metropolitan Division - No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins

THN’s PRE-SEASON PREDICTION: First in Metropolitan. *Cup finalist pick. 2013:...

NHL Pre-season Predictions: Atlantic Division - No. 1 Boston Bruins

THN’s PRE-SEASON PREDICTION: First in Atlantic. 2013: 28-14-6. Fourth in...

NHL Pre-season Predictions: Pacific Division - No. 1 Los Angeles Kings

blog comments powered by Disqus

THN on Twitter

Are the Oilers right to not loan center Leon Draisaitl to Team Germany for the 2015 World Junior Championship?


Our Partners