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Underestimating MZA

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Old
05-04-2011, 02:28 AM
  #26
Glennsoe
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As a Norwegian, I also feel he's being overlooked cause some "hot rookie" MIGHT be a Ranger next season..

If Mza can work on his short comings, he'll get a great chance at making the main roster next year..

I liked his play overal last year, like every other player he got his high's and low's...

Stepan was just as bad the last games of the regular season and absolutly stunked in the play of's yet people here let it go "cause he's a rookie"...

Mza lead the team in Power play points and more than earned his spot due to smartness and great passes that his team mates didn't read...

But...I'm a Norwegian...so what do I know..

Btw; My favorite players last season were Staal and Stepan...Mza were in my top 10..

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05-04-2011, 02:34 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by vetleh View Post
When i see people project next years line combos, many not even mention MZA. He had a very good first season and if he had played all the games he would had around the same amount as Stepan in points. Sure he had a bit of a tough ending on the season, but we have to remember that he is not used to play so many games and he worked so hard when he played. If he uses this summer well and add some muscle and speed (confidence) im sure he's gonne be a big asset to rangers. This team lack skill and with WW and EC possibly gone he is our best penalty guy left! I think we even could see him on the first line what do you guys think? how many points can he make next season?
I agree.

I've seen a ton of him not just last year, but the 3 last seasons and he have improved a ton each year. I think people underrates him a lot actually. The kid was on pace to score 45 pts, that normally gets you into the top 5 among scoring for rookies. And he was not in a good environment at all, playing with two offensiveminded players, of which Step also was a rookie (compared to say playing with like a 30 y/o vet who puts up a steady 60-70 pts per season). Mostly getting like 10-12 minutes a night.

What did we worry about before the season? The physical aspects? He definitely exceeded expectations there. Was he run over once this season? Compared to a Prucha he handled himself 2x as good. The speed? Well he improved that over the course of the season, and unlike a Nigel Dawes, he have much more potential to imporve his skating in the future.

And while we all knew his playmaking abilities are good -- his poise, which is a different issue, you need to have the guts and coolness to hold on to the puck at the NHL level too -- was nothing short of fantastic. His puckmovement along the boards were second to none compared to the rest of the roster. I mean, you skate into the corner to fetch a bouncing puck, with someone on your back, most players is not able to get the puck where they want it to go -- MZA was fantastic in that aspect.

On the backcheck, he was also very good, while natrually, of course, being held back by his size defensively.

So what do we have:
1. A player that steadily is improving on a year by year basis.

2. A player that have scored at the NHL level. Like per minutes of ice time he scored only less then Gabby and more then Cally and Dubi.

3. A player that have shown that he can rise to the occasion, and step up when the team really needs him.

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05-04-2011, 03:57 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
I don't think he can get both faster and bigger this summer. Extra weight slows you down until you get used to it. Zucca will have to choose between one and the other to make major progress. If he gets significantly stronger while keeping his speed or if he gets much faster while gaining 5 pounds, he will crack the Rangers as a regular top-9 forward. Then he can work on the second thing next summer.

To expect him to gain 15 pounds while significanly increasing his speed, all in three months, is not reasonable.
He needs to add some combination of the two. The order in which he does it doesn't matter to me. Right now he's getting knocked off the puck every time he gets hit and he's a step too slow to create the separation needed to avoid hits and make plays.

Ola, I don't think anybody is doubting his talent (at least the people here being serious). It's just that he's a question mark until he shows he can add the speed and strength necessary to compete in the NHL. We all very much hope he does it and fills a spot on our second or third line next year.

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05-04-2011, 04:10 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
He needs to add some combination of the two. The order in which he does it doesn't matter to me. Right now he's getting knocked off the puck every time he gets hit and he's a step too slow to create the separation needed to avoid hits and make plays.

Ola, I don't think anybody is doubting his talent (at least the people here being serious). It's just that he's a question mark until he shows he can add the speed and strength necessary to compete in the NHL. We all very much hope he does it and fills a spot on our second or third line next year.
I fully expect him to get a little bit stronger and work on his skating over the summer. He is a very motivated person, and has been an underdog all of his life because of his size. He knows what he needs to do to stick, and I truly think that he will.

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05-04-2011, 05:25 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by AJBergy86 View Post
I fully expect him to get a little bit stronger and work on his skating over the summer. He is a very motivated person, and has been an underdog all of his life because of his size. He knows what he needs to do to stick, and I truly think that he will.
This.

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05-04-2011, 05:28 AM
  #31
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I agree.

I've seen a ton of him not just last year, but the 3 last seasons and he have improved a ton each year. I think people underrates him a lot actually. The kid was on pace to score 45 pts, that normally gets you into the top 5 among scoring for rookies. And he was not in a good environment at all, playing with two offensiveminded players, of which Step also was a rookie (compared to say playing with like a 30 y/o vet who puts up a steady 60-70 pts per season). Mostly getting like 10-12 minutes a night.

What did we worry about before the season? The physical aspects? He definitely exceeded expectations there. Was he run over once this season? Compared to a Prucha he handled himself 2x as good. The speed? Well he improved that over the course of the season, and unlike a Nigel Dawes, he have much more potential to imporve his skating in the future.

And while we all knew his playmaking abilities are good -- his poise, which is a different issue, you need to have the guts and coolness to hold on to the puck at the NHL level too -- was nothing short of fantastic. His puckmovement along the boards were second to none compared to the rest of the roster. I mean, you skate into the corner to fetch a bouncing puck, with someone on your back, most players is not able to get the puck where they want it to go -- MZA was fantastic in that aspect.

On the backcheck, he was also very good, while natrually, of course, being held back by his size defensively.

So what do we have:
1. A player that steadily is improving on a year by year basis.

2. A player that have scored at the NHL level. Like per minutes of ice time he scored only less then Gabby and more then Cally and Dubi.

3. A player that have shown that he can rise to the occasion, and step up when the team really needs him.

Good points. I think we that have seen him over a longer period of time knows more what he's capable off, then those who just have seen him in NY

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05-04-2011, 06:52 AM
  #32
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if you are very small, you better be a real good skater.

if you arent a good skater, you better be a real good scorer.

if you are very small and neither a good skater nor a good scorer, you are an ahl player.

he does have some nifty hands though.

im hoping his skating improves.

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05-04-2011, 08:47 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by offdacrossbar View Post
if you are very small, you better be a real good skater.

if you arent a good skater, you better be a real good scorer.

if you are very small and neither a good skater nor a good scorer, you are an ahl player.

he does have some nifty hands though.

im hoping his skating improves.
I agree. And I'd add:

If you are a small player, you better be strong.

He's not strong enough.

I like Zuccarello a lot. It's hard not to like him. He has a great personality, and he works very hard. He also has hands, vision, and smarts.

But when you're as small as him, that's not enough.

His skating is poor, and his strength is poor. And it caught up to him.

If he can't become an elite level skater and really improve his strength, he's not going to make it in the NHL.

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05-04-2011, 08:54 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Glennsoe View Post
As a Norwegian, I also feel he's being overlooked cause some "hot rookie" MIGHT be a Ranger next season..

If Mza can work on his short comings, he'll get a great chance at making the main roster next year..

I liked his play overal last year, like every other player he got his high's and low's...

Stepan was just as bad the last games of the regular season and absolutly stunked in the play of's yet people here let it go "cause he's a rookie"...

Mza lead the team in Power play points and more than earned his spot due to smartness and great passes that his team mates didn't read...

But...I'm a Norwegian...so what do I know..

Btw; My favorite players last season were Staal and Stepan...Mza were in my top 10..

The problem is that he's extremely small, isn't a great skater, and isn't nearly strong enough.

The "hot rookie" most want, Kreider, is 6-3, 217 lbs, will be one of the fastest skaters in the league, is strong, motivated, and will provide equal or greater skill.

I want Zuccarello to be successful, too. But if he can't vastly improve his skating and strength he won't last in the NHL.

It's not a question about his talent or character.

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05-04-2011, 09:32 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Glennsoe View Post
As a Norwegian, I also feel he's being overlooked cause some "hot rookie" MIGHT be a Ranger next season..

If Mza can work on his short comings, he'll get a great chance at making the main roster next year..

I liked his play overal last year, like every other player he got his high's and low's...

Stepan was just as bad the last games of the regular season and absolutly stunked in the play of's yet people here let it go "cause he's a rookie"...

Mza lead the team in Power play points and more than earned his spot due to smartness and great passes that his team mates didn't read...

But...I'm a Norwegian...so what do I know..

Btw; My favorite players last season were Staal and Stepan...Mza were in my top 10..

I agree with this. MZA definitely showed this year he can handle the NHL. Give him an off-season to work on his overall strength. Size is an issue, absolutely, but MZA wasn't letting his size be the main thing that stopped him from ripping it up. He's a rookie from the SEL who played with another rookie and Wolski, who sadly disappeared after showing good chemistry with the two. MZA showed that the game he plays doesn't rely on size and I think he'll be a good player in the NHL.

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05-04-2011, 09:58 AM
  #36
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I'm not ready to write off MZA at all, but I think generally that expectations tend to run a little high for this kid.

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05-04-2011, 10:03 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by vetleh View Post
When i see people project next years line combos, many not even mention MZA. He had a very good first season and if he had played all the games he would had around the same amount as Stepan in points. Sure he had a bit of a tough ending on the season
And its the those reasons that he didn't play a full season that kept him out of the lineup early in the season and late in the season that people question his ability to be a full timer next season.

Fact is, if he was as good as Stepan, he would have made the team out of camp like Stepan, but he didn't, he needed time in the AHL and at the end of the season when the games counted most, he couldn't be relied upon, yet.

MZA has skill and I love his attitude but he does have his hills to climb and often how one ends the year is how they start the next.

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05-04-2011, 10:10 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
I don't think he can get both faster and bigger this summer. Extra weight slows you down until you get used to it. Zucca will have to choose between one and the other to make major progress. If he gets significantly stronger while keeping his speed or if he gets much faster while gaining 5 pounds, he will crack the Rangers as a regular top-9 forward. Then he can work on the second thing next summer.

To expect him to gain 15 pounds while significanly increasing his speed, all in three months, is not reasonable.
long term size and strength is needed, but given the choice i'd go with speed/quickness for him right now. even if he adds 10-15lbs he'll still be small so his best bet i think is adding speed and quickness so he can avoid hits and get to loose pucks

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05-04-2011, 11:57 AM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Atoz View Post
He played 42 games and scored 6 goals.

If that's very good what would very bad be?
So agree he is the boards new pet project but his size and lack of playing a 82 schedule killed him. He was worn out and once the games were let go alittle and he was hit every shift and nailed a couple times he was invisable

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05-04-2011, 01:54 PM
  #40
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So agree he is the boards new pet project but his size and lack of playing a 82 schedule killed him. He was worn out and once the games were let go alittle and he was hit every shift and nailed a couple times he was invisable
He put up essentially as many points as Sean Avery in about 40 less games. If MZA was invisible what about Avery?

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05-04-2011, 03:34 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
Ola, I don't think anybody is doubting his talent (at least the people here being serious). It's just that he's a question mark until he shows he can add the speed and strength necessary to compete in the NHL. We all very much hope he does it and fills a spot on our second or third line next year.
Yeah, I understand. If you just saw him this season, I can understand if people would doubt if he will keep developing.

I hope he is given time though. And is put in a good environment...

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05-04-2011, 04:50 PM
  #42
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What did we worry about before the season? The physical aspects? He definitely exceeded expectations there. Was he run over once this season? Compared to a Prucha he handled himself 2x as good. The speed? Well he improved that over the course of the season, and unlike a Nigel Dawes, he have much more potential to imporve his skating in the future.
It's not necessarily about being "run over" the way Prucha was... MZA was marginalized on the ice in some of the more physical games this season, and you saw Torts reduce his ice time accordingly in those games... San Jose game comes to mind in particular, there were a few others (I think one of the TB games). Torts addressed it in one of the post game conferences to the media. It's not that he plays scared or anything, it's that in more physical games, it's easier and more likely for teams to separate him from the play and take him off the puck along the boards, which minimizes his impact on the ice and diminishes his effectiveness. I'm never one to write smaller players off, and vehemently argue with people who say Christian Thomas is a longshot to play in the NHL because he's 5'9. So I'm not drawing any implications about him not being able to cut it. MZA is going to have to be better defensively to earn more playing time and gain the coaches trust and hopefully he has an excellent camp next year. But I would not be surprised if he loses a spot in the line-up to other players who perform equally well in camp.


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05-04-2011, 04:57 PM
  #43
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I think he'd be much more successful in the Western Conference at this point.

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05-04-2011, 05:20 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by offdacrossbar View Post
if you are very small, you better be a real good skater.

if you arent a good skater, you better be a real good scorer.

if you are very small and neither a good skater nor a good scorer, you are an ahl player.

he does have some nifty hands though.

im hoping his skating improves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SupersonicMonkey View Post
I agree. And I'd add:

If you are a small player, you better be strong.

He's not strong enough.

I like Zuccarello a lot. It's hard not to like him. He has a great personality, and he works very hard. He also has hands, vision, and smarts.

But when you're as small as him, that's not enough.

His skating is poor, and his strength is poor. And it caught up to him.

If he can't become an elite level skater and really improve his strength, he's not going to make it in the NHL.
i agree with both of these. he's weak on the boards, and is an average at best skater. with his size, its unlikely he'll be an NHLer within the confines of Tort's system.

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05-04-2011, 05:27 PM
  #45
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I don't think his skating is bad across the board, I think it may just be his acceleration. I mean when he gets going, he's moving fairly quickly out there, it may just be an issue with how long it takes him to get going. I haven't really scrutinized it closely enough to say for sure, but I definitely remember him flying up the ice at times last season so I know he's not universally a bad skater or slow.

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05-04-2011, 09:55 PM
  #46
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I remember how some Rangers fans felt about guys like Dubi and Callahan their rookie season's. My, how things change.

Players don't find their games overnight. Gotta give Zuccs a few season's before you try to label him as this or that.

I don't mind his speed that much. He isn't strong, but similar to Stepan, he competes. He surprised his opposition a few times with his physical play. He stole a few points for us in shootouts too. Those few extra points was the difference between missing, and making the playoffs.

I'd certainly listen to offers for him though. He's by no means a core player yet. He has a lot to prove. He can't afford to come here next season without being significantly better. There are a lot of players in our organization that'll be fighting for that playing time. I feel some of those options, would ultimately be more valuable than a guy like Zucc's, especially if we do address our lack of scoring (ahem, Richards).

Wonder what kind of value Zucc's does have..

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05-04-2011, 11:16 PM
  #47
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^That. Torts rewards players who deserve playing time. He doesn't play favorites. Zucc will have to earn his spot
Really? Because with the 0 offense id think he would have kept Zucc in the line-up for the playoffs. With Zucc he has potential and should be playing for this team next year as long as he keeps using his body and going into the corners without fear he will be fine. He could increase his speed and strength a bit if he wants to create more offense 5 on 5 but on PP he understands the passes and plays to be made which many guys on this team dont seem to get or have.

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05-04-2011, 11:19 PM
  #48
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I remember how some Rangers fans felt about guys like Dubi and Callahan their rookie season's. My, how things change.

Players don't find their games overnight. Gotta give Zuccs a few season's before you try to label him as this or that.

I don't mind his speed that much. He isn't strong, but similar to Stepan, he competes. He surprised his opposition a few times with his physical play. He stole a few points for us in shootouts too. Those few extra points was the difference between missing, and making the playoffs.

I'd certainly listen to offers for him though. He's by no means a core player yet. He has a lot to prove. He can't afford to come here next season without being significantly better. There are a lot of players in our organization that'll be fighting for that playing time. I feel some of those options, would ultimately be more valuable than a guy like Zucc's, especially if we do address our lack of scoring (ahem, Richards).

Wonder what kind of value Zucc's does have..
Dont worry if he plays with heart and finds a way to create chances he should/will be in the line-up. I say should because Torts could be ****ed in his decesions at times. I mean 1st or 4th line, it doesent really matter he can play anywhere as long as he battles. There is no if he cant crack top 2 lines he cant play. If he competes hard he will be a valuable guy next year imo.

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05-04-2011, 11:32 PM
  #49
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I sort of agree with what some of the psoters have said about him needing to become faster and stronger.

He definitely has the hands and playmaking skills to stick in any top six in the NHL, but he doesn't have the speed to be able to create enough room to make use of those tools. Look at smaller statured players around the NHL, Steve SUllivan, Brian Gionta, or Martin St. Louis; what do they all have in common? top notch speed.

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05-04-2011, 11:44 PM
  #50
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Guessing Frodo's going to spend some time with Barb this summer. I think Stepan should join him. **** it, the whole team should.

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