Thread: Player Discussion: Michael Del Zotto
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03-16-2013, 02:39 PM
NYR Sting
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Originally Posted by Beacon View Post
It's amazing to say this, but Del Zotto turning into a terrific defensive player. He reminds me of Leetch in that Leetch was horrible defensively in his first couple of seasons,but kept working on it and by the mid-90s, he was really good defensively.

Del Zotto started out being really bad defensively, then last year you could see that he's working really hard on it, but he has to think before every defensive play, it just didn't come naturally. Suddenly, it is becoming natural. He makes more good defensive plays than offensive ones one. The view of MDZ as a poor defensive player is outdated and no longer true.
Terrific. The problem is he's hardly a difference maker offensively at all. What he does best offensively is rush the puck up the ice, something that is mitigated in the Tortorella system. When it comes to o-zone sets, he's hardly noticeable.
We have a lot of strong defensive defensemen. What we continue to lack is a great playmaker from the blueline. Isn't that why the team used a first round pick on Del Zotto?

Is the blame for that on Del Zotto? Is it on Tortorella for forcing him to focus more on defense than maybe he needed to? I don't know about that. But it's a problem, no matter how it happened. We need a real offensive defenseman, and Del Zotto doesn't seem to be that.

Also, you won't find many bigger Leetch fans than me. Probably my 2nd favorite player of all-time after Graves. Leetch was never "really good" defensively. He certainly wasn't a bad defender, but he was never a consistent standout in his own end.

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