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Del Zotto Quietly leading Team in +/- (among the league leaders)

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Old
12-12-2011, 11:05 AM
  #26
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Del Zotto never had a good shot, especially not a slapper. He is the puck movement guy on the blue line and during the power play. Ideally he has another guy on the point who can shoot.

He and Stepan (Who is equally not a slap shot guy) should not be on the points at the same time. But the Rangers have no one who can play the point with a big slapper except Richards, and they seem to have abandoned it with him.

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12-12-2011, 11:11 AM
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I think he has improved immensly this season, but what impresses me the most is his physically nasty side in the d-zone

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12-12-2011, 11:20 AM
  #28
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He has been good for us. Really hope he doesn't regress and keeps building on what he has learned. It is easy to forget he is only 21. I think this is a good system for him to learn in and the offense and scoring will come.

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12-12-2011, 11:25 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by nyr2k2 View Post
I don't put too much stock into +/-, but Del Zotto's is no coincidence. He has been very good out there. It's impressive how far he has come defensively in such a short period of time. If the guy keeps working, he's going to be an excellent defenseman for the team for a long, long time.

He's been much better with his passing as well. He no longer attempts long, ice-length passes from his own end every shift. He still makes them, but he's doing a much better job choosing his spots. Still needs to work on hitting the net more frequently. Nothing more frustrating than when he's at the left point and fires a slapper high and wide on the glove side and the pucks wraps around the boards and back out of the zone.
It was a learning curve going to the NHL and maturation for MDZ. He needed time. People so quickly forgot how young he was when he came into the NHL. He had such a great rookie year offensively that they forgot that his defensive game needed work. Fans didn't take into account the fact that opposing players would catch onto his habits and what he likes to do. Then people were so quickly ready to trade him which I found absurd. I've been against every proposal with him in it. He has too much raw talent. His skating ability and passing are just too good. The kid had a reality check last season. And like i just said in the trade proposal thread, he showed a ton of character by not packing it in and letting it beat him down. He went out this off-season and worked his tail off because like he has even said recently to the media, he wanted to be on the NHL roster at the start of the season.

I say it all the time, Patience is a Virtue.

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12-12-2011, 11:26 AM
  #30
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I think he has improved immensly this season, but what impresses me the most is his physically nasty side in the d-zone
That's the key to his defensive game and what separates him from the prototypical young, offensively-minded defensemen who were never noted to have strong defensive games... Del Zotto understands to compete at the NHL level you need to play a style that makes it difficult for the opposing forwards to operate and he has become really effective at pinning forwards against the boards, rubbing them out of the play and allowing his teammates to recover the puck, and clearing guys out from the goal area... I loved how nasty MDZ got with Dominic Moore in the Tampa Bay game....

Staal, Girardi, McD, Sauer, MDZ - they all play an aggressive style in the defensive zone, they all buy into the same mentality... None of them are devastating hitters with any regularity, but they have active sticks, are very physical and hands on in the d-zone and we are so much more difficult to play against than the days of the Redden's and Rozsival's....

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Old
12-12-2011, 11:43 AM
  #31
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Its kind of hard to hit the net from the blueline when the opposing players have their sticks in the shooting lanes and nearly every shot is blocked or deflected into the net. The puck rarely gets to the net for defection or a rebound opportunity for a Ranger player. I have a Ranger calendar on my wall. MDZ is the player for December. He was born 6/24/90. Still just 21 years old.
Thats not really a good excuse, other players can find ways to still hit the net. If that means he needs to "walk the blue line" a bit to change the angle then he has to do that. Or maybe it means he needs to get the shot off faster before players get their bodies or sticks in the way.

And I disagree SLU Hockey somewhat, his shot is actually quite good, good wrist shot and he does have a hard slap shot(wrist shot being the better of the two). Again it comes back to hitting the net with it though.

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12-12-2011, 11:44 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by wolfgaze View Post
That's the key to his defensive game and what separates him from the prototypical young, offensively-minded defensemen who were never noted to have strong defensive games... Del Zotto understands to compete at the NHL level you need to play a style that makes it difficult for the opposing forwards to operate and he has become really effective at pinning forwards against the boards, rubbing them out of the play and allowing his teammates to recover the puck, and clearing guys out from the goal area... I loved how nasty MDZ got with Dominic Moore in the Tampa Bay game....

Staal, Girardi, McD, Sauer, MDZ - they all play an aggressive style in the defensive zone, they all buy into the same mentality... None of them are devastating hitters with any regularity, but they have active sticks, are very physical and hands on in the d-zone and we are so much more difficult to play against than the days of the Redden's and Rozsival's....
Great post. Del Zotto has improved ten fold this season. And while he still has improving to do in many facets of his game, i certainly expect him to continue to get better.

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12-12-2011, 11:48 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by SLU Hockey View Post
Del Zotto never had a good shot, especially not a slapper. He is the puck movement guy on the blue line and during the power play. Ideally he has another guy on the point who can shoot.

He and Stepan (Who is equally not a slap shot guy) should not be on the points at the same time. But the Rangers have no one who can play the point with a big slapper except Richards, and they seem to have abandoned it with him.
since they made the move to having Stepan and MDZ at th epoints the PP has been on fire. id say its working just fine. both units are producing.

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12-12-2011, 12:00 PM
  #34
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Its not shooting wide from the point that is his problem, its when he cuts down the side to the top of the face off circle or the harsh marks and shoots it wide. Even with a smaller angle he usually has a pretty clear lane to the goalie but when it misses the puck ends up behind the other net.

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12-12-2011, 12:06 PM
  #35
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And I disagree SLU Hockey somewhat, his shot is actually quite good, good wrist shot and he does have a hard slap shot(wrist shot being the better of the two). Again it comes back to hitting the net with it though.
MDZ may have the physical ability to release a good shot, but his decision making process is what comes into question.... A lot of times he'll miss high and wide with his wrist shot and the puck goes zipping around the boards and out of the zone.... I'd like to see him use some better judgement and throw low shots on goal and let the rest of the team look for deflections and rebounds... MDZ doesn't have the accuracy nor the release/velocity to beat a lot of goaltenders if they are square to him and not moving across the crease, so he's going to have to try and be smarter with his decision making process...

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12-12-2011, 12:07 PM
  #36
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MDZ has been fantastic this season and it's pathetic it seems like I have to defend him every few games.

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12-12-2011, 12:21 PM
  #37
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Pretty much the only major negative you can point to in his game right now.
he just needs to work on getting his shot off faster. he can hit the net fine if he has time. The nets don't change from juniors to majors. just the speed of the game. he had a fine shot in juniors.

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12-12-2011, 12:35 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by BlueshirtBlitz View Post
MDZ has been fantastic this season and it's pathetic it seems like I have to defend him every few games.
Agreed. Last season was a different story, and some folks may have a hard time letting the memory of that go. But the word that MDZ, his teammates and his coach have thrown around a lot this season is maturity, which if you read between the lines tells you exactly what the problem was last season.

He's on board now and is reaping the rewards of it.

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12-12-2011, 12:37 PM
  #39
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Its not shooting wide from the point that is his problem, its when he cuts down the side to the top of the face off circle or the harsh marks and shoots it wide. Even with a smaller angle he usually has a pretty clear lane to the goalie but when it misses the puck ends up behind the other net.
In those cases, you either need to be good enough to pick the corner, or just try to put it through the goalie or create a rebound. Del Zotto tries to pick the corners and more often misses the net

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12-12-2011, 12:48 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by wolfgaze View Post
That's the key to his defensive game and what separates him from the prototypical young, offensively-minded defensemen who were never noted to have strong defensive games... Del Zotto understands to compete at the NHL level you need to play a style that makes it difficult for the opposing forwards to operate and he has become really effective at pinning forwards against the boards, rubbing them out of the play and allowing his teammates to recover the puck, and clearing guys out from the goal area... I loved how nasty MDZ got with Dominic Moore in the Tampa Bay game....

Staal, Girardi, McD, Sauer, MDZ - they all play an aggressive style in the defensive zone, they all buy into the same mentality... None of them are devastating hitters with any regularity, but they have active sticks, are very physical and hands on in the d-zone and we are so much more difficult to play against than the days of the Redden's and Rozsival's....
Good post, but I have to add Emminger to the nastiness in his own end

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12-12-2011, 01:12 PM
  #41
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He helps us score... as long as he isn't shooting the puck. It's rare he even puts one on net, and when he misses the net it seems like half the time we have to re-establish our presence in the offensive zone because the puck's gone around the boards and out. I really want him to practice on his shot. For an offensive defenseman he misses the net quite frequently. Regardless MDZ has been big for us this season, with 2 goals 12 assists and a +15 at the moment he has been wonderful, with room to improve.

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12-12-2011, 01:25 PM
  #42
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In those cases, you either need to be good enough to pick the corner, or just try to put it through the goalie or create a rebound. Del Zotto tries to pick the corners and more often misses the net
Yep. Being a lefty cutting down the left side leaves you little room for error.

It seems like whenever he gets it on net something good happens. He has a pretty heavy wrist shot.

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12-12-2011, 01:34 PM
  #43
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mdz is always looking to hit someone hard. this is the ryan callahan influence imho. you see cally obliterate ppl, and you want to do the same.

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Old
12-12-2011, 01:38 PM
  #44
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Its not shooting wide from the point that is his problem, its when he cuts down the side to the top of the face off circle or the harsh marks and shoots it wide. Even with a smaller angle he usually has a pretty clear lane to the goalie but when it misses the puck ends up behind the other net.
Exactly. There's nothing wrong with missing the net from the point. It happens. All the best point guys miss the net. His problem is when he cuts in and shoots from a sharp angle. He has to stop doing that. Problem solved.

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12-12-2011, 01:40 PM
  #45
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Just as quietly, he now just became the points leader among our defensemen. I am stunned when I read people here write that he's not playing like a top-4 defenseman. What do these people not like? The 43-point pace? The good defense? The physical play where he not just takes the body, but finishes his checks by driving through the opponent? What's the problem here?

Some people are watching this year's team, but in their mind, replays from last year are spinning. A 40+ point defenseman who hits and plays defense is a top-4 on every single team in the league.

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12-12-2011, 01:42 PM
  #46
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Another thing that should be mentioned is his off season work ethic. He did a serious summer routine with the Rangers strength coach and last year went to that crazy Gary Roberts camp.

Good to see someone that wants badly to succeed.

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12-12-2011, 01:43 PM
  #47
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Good post, but I have to add Emminger to the nastiness in his own end
Yup, Steve does it too but he always makes me nervous that he's going to get called for a penalty!

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12-12-2011, 01:45 PM
  #48
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It's a bit frustrating, but I'm not too concerned about how often he hits the net right now. He's talented enough that he makes things happen in lots of different ways.

The key for me is how well the defensive side of his game has progressed. He fails to do that and he's down w/ the Whale and maybe on his way out of the Org.

It's been mentioned but bears repeating, this is a 21 year old D man we're talking about here. Sauer did not connect all the dots till he was 23. People will argue the factors all day long, but a 21 year old playing solid defense, especially when it's Del Zotto, with his history, is no small thing. Clearly this is a kid that gets it.

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Old
12-12-2011, 01:45 PM
  #49
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He's playing absolutely phenomenal hockey right now, anyone who says differently has not been watching.

That said his issue has been consistency, not overall ability. Here's to hoping he keeps it up, as I personally am really pulling for him.

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12-12-2011, 01:47 PM
  #50
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After a slow start (typical of the rest of the team) when he had only a single point in 6 games, MDZ has 13 points in the last 21 games. In particular after Sauer went down, MDZ really stepped up.

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