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The Resurgence of Mats Zuccarello

Chris Vallely

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Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

“ZUCC” chants can be heard in every arena during the NHL season. Nicknamed “The Hobbit” by Blueshirts fans, Mats Zuccarello has always been a fan favorite. Standing at just 5’7, he’s one of the shortest players in the NHL. Even though size may be a weakness, Mats plays with a ton of heart and grit.

He plays with a certain edge that fans have fell in love with. His journey to the National Hockey League is a success story on its own. Since he played most of his career overseas and was never drafted, he wasn’t on the radar amongst NHL teams. After putting on quite a performance in the Olympics, Zuccarello was ready to make the jump.

On December 8, 2010, the New York Rangers signed him to a NHL contract. The Rangers wanted to see if he could adjust to North American play, so he started his career in the AHL. Despite dominating in the American Hockey League, Tortorella was unconvinced of Zuccarello’s play. The Norwegian winger only played in 67 games in 3 seasons with the New York Rangers, the rest were played with the Hartford Wolfpack. Read the rest of this entry

Fourth line clicking when Rangers need them most

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Tanner Glass, and the rest of the fourth line, have stepped their game up in the playoffs when the Rangers need their production most. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

In the playoffs, there may be nothing more important a team looking to make a long run than depth. Depth in the forward lines, defenseman and multiple quality goaltenders gives a team the best chance for success.

Last season, the Rangers embodied this mentality, rolling four lines that were a threat to score at any time. Everyone knows about the third line of Benoit Pouliot, Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello, which was arguable the team’s best and most consistent line throughout the playoffs.

But the fourth line Dominic Moore, Brian Boyle, and the rotating wing of Dan Carcillo and Derick Dorsett did a lot of things right too. It was a great defensive line, but could just as easily spend some pinning their opponents back in their own end. Don’t forget, it was Dominic Moore that scored the game winning goal in Game 6 against the Canadiens to send the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals. Read the rest of this entry

Zuccarello’s Garden appearance is good news for Rangers, fans

Bobby Bevilacqua

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Mats Zuccarello made an appearance at Madison Square Garden for Game 5, which is good news in many ways for the Rangers and their fans. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

During Game 5 at Madison Square Garden last night, the jumbotron, known as “Gardenvision,” showed the injured Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello watching the game from the press box. Immediately, the Rangers fans showered him with chants of “Zucc!” He played it cool with a quick wave to the crowd, but later had a huge smile on his face.

When Derick Brassard handed the Broadway hat over to Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello was seen in applauding his teammates in the background. You can see that video here.

For the fans, it was very reassuring to see Zuccarello looking happy and healthy at the Garden. Some wild rumors have been going around, with people saying anything from him being in a coma and not walking to having his career over. Yesterday laid all of that to rest, but the extent of the Norwegian winger’s injuries were already known. Read the rest of this entry