Zuccarello Appreciation Thread Part 2
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01-02-2014, 11:29 AM
Bleed Ranger Blue
Join Date: Jul 2006
Originally Posted by
Except for that last bit, lots of people have been saying that
Not so much lately though, but its been an ongoing "issue" ever since he started playing professional hockey. He is a small guy, thats simply a fact. As a small guy, getting hit by buffaloes like Chara etc.. one would naturally wonder if it takes more of a toll on a small player than a larger player.
When he played for Frisk Asker, it was said that he was a bit on the small side. When he moved to Swedish Modo, it was said that he was TOO small, that he'd be crushed. When he moved from Modo to the Rangers, it was said that we'd be lucky if he came home alive (ok, thats overdoing it, but the "too small" crowd went into an absolute frenzy when the NHL got on the table).
He has "been too small" for every league he's played in. He is simply quite a bit smaller than what people "expect" out of your average hockey player.
And its a reasonable question to ask. I feel that he's shown that he is not out of place though.
As for why he is playing well, thats probably down to a number of factors. With Torts, he always knew exactly where he stood (which was one very small step away from taking the bus to the pack). If you made a mistake in Torts system, or if you took a penalty, etc, if you were a "fringe player", your life expectancy was...well, nonexistent really.
With AV, its a bit more "open", they've switched from the dump & chase style to trying to carry the puck up the ice, which in general terms i think fits Zuke better. He also gets more ice time, and is used in more situations, which i am sure gives him a lot of confidence, which is also a factor.
Why the team as a whole struggles would require a lengthy response, and this is the wrong thread for that (not that i have the answer anyway).
And finally, if Zucc's point production is sustainable. I dont know, i honestly dont. I'd say probably not as he is almost a 1 PPG.
For me personally, his 0.5 PPG production, which is what he has had as a career Ranger prior to this season, is what i "expect of him" (35 - 45 points over the course of a season). Anything more than that is just gravy.
But he is still "developing", getting faster, positionally smarter, etc, so a 0.75 PPG (IE, 50 - 60 points on the season) is at least potentially within reach.
But his 1 PPG run over the last 30 or so games is probably aiming too high, i dont expect him to manage to be that consistent.
God, this reply turned into a book...lol
Great post. I agree with nearly everything you said.
But getting back to why Zuccarello is playing so well, you can expand it to a critical question about the team going forward. Can they win with the more open style of play?
The entire point I am trying to touch upon is when you pack a roster with one-dimensional players, the scope of who is playing well vs. who is not is always going to be contingent on Sather's newest flavor of the week when it comes to the team philosophy.
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