: News Article:
After tough exit interview hard summer has paid off for Zuccarello
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10-06-2011, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Originally Posted by
of course it makes sense that he excelled in europe. that's what i'm saying. he's a european player who dominated in the swedish league on the big ice, OF COURSE he's gonna look great on the european ice. i'm not denying that he was great there. the point is that just because he looked great there doesn't mean he's going to be able to log top 6 (or top 9) nhl minutes. he still hasn't proven to me and a lot of other people that he can be more than a borderline guy at the nhl level.
his defensive positioning has been REALLY bad in the preseason. his strength is slightly up from last year but still nowhere close to where it should be. the only way i can see him playing an effective game is if you put him on a line with a great sniper and make sure that you have your first line defense out because there's no way a line that he plays well on can be anything less than a defensive liability.
and i understand that camp and preseason are not the same thing, but just because a guy is looking great in scrimmages, practices, etc. doesn't mean he's going to look good when he gets on the ice against other teams fighting for their lives too. i still think he was outplayed by avery for the job and was probably at the same level as weise.
The majority of young players struggle with the defensive side of the ice, add that to the fact that he had to adjust to the small ice size last season and you have a plyer who is gonna make mistakes and have some growing pains...for years we begged the hockey gods to have this team develop youth...we are finally doing that and people want kids to be fully rounded the minute they hit the MSG ice.
TV angles don't lend themselves to judging defensive zone coverage in hockey, that's why Torts was up in the pressbox for the early pre-season games in the US, thats why teams rely on video so much because it's all about seeing how the play developed and the position of all the players...the staff has gone out of their way to talk about his improved play and that's enough for me.
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