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Zuccarello Appreciation Thread Part 2

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Old
01-02-2014, 11:29 AM
  #251
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Originally Posted by Placid View Post
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.



You have

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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01-02-2014, 11:51 AM
  #252
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Originally Posted by JrSakic92 View Post
Zuc is an absolute lock on Norway's 1st line along with KHL-Star Patrick Thoresen (former Flyers and Oilers player).
A bit OT but I wish the Rangers would make a bid for Thoresen, he'd be a good 3rd line C for the Rangers. Granted thats not something that will happen considering he prefers the money in the KHL over NHL change

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01-02-2014, 12:12 PM
  #253
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Originally Posted by Idlerlee View Post
A bit OT but I wish the Rangers would make a bid for Thoresen, he'd be a good 3rd line C for the Rangers. Granted thats not something that will happen considering he prefers the money in the KHL over NHL change
I'd take Thoresen over Richards (2011--> version) any day of the week.

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01-02-2014, 02:56 PM
  #254
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Originally Posted by Idlerlee View Post
A bit OT but I wish the Rangers would make a bid for Thoresen, he'd be a good 3rd line C for the Rangers. Granted thats not something that will happen considering he prefers the money in the KHL over NHL change
Also add Tollefsen, we need a really tough guy on the blueline

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01-02-2014, 04:45 PM
  #255
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
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.
Good question, unfortunately i dont have the answer. Why i said it probably suited Zuke better (and it being more "open"), was because under AV he gets some more chances to utilize his creativity. They try to do a proper setup while transitioning up the ice, not just cross the red line and hammer it into the corner. Torts system was very inflexible (maybe rigid is a better word ?) by comparison.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to a rigid system. The advantage is that everyone on the ice knows precisely what they should be doing, what exact spot they are supposed to be at, and so on. The disadvantage is of course that it absolutely kills creativity and "free thinking" in general. Torts didnt have 5 hockey players out there as much as 5 automatons (well, it felt like it at times, hehe).

The rigid system offers advantages such as;
1. Hockey IQ (or even normal IQ) is generally not a factor.. if you can tie your own skates and take instructions, you can play in Torts system.
2. In that vein, switching players out was less of an issue, as long as they are clear on what exactly their job is within that system.

The danger with such a system is that if the opponent figures you out, you are toast (hi Bruins).

The Rangers as they are now, are still mostly a "Torts" team, with most players signed because of their usability in his system.

Even half a season in, some seem to struggle quite a lot with the switch in play style. But i do hope that its temporary... its just taking (much) longer than expected to adjust. But i have faith in them

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01-02-2014, 07:12 PM
  #256
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Originally Posted by Placid View Post

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.
Not at all meant as a bash here, but why do you reckon he is a .5 player? A curious question in all seriousness.

First of all, his entire tenure is hardly more than his season so far.
It was with mostly 3rd and 4th line minutes and line mates.
It was in a system you do not think he fitted.
It was while bouncing up and down back and forth while playing his rookie minutes and still getting used to NA ice.

With this I think the 0.5 was an impressive point pace.

The numbers he is putting up now seems like a much more accurate reflection of his potential. It is the first time he is being utilized properly with a coach who allows him to play. If you add the fact that the team is not producing at all that would lead me to think he could be a 60+ point player, not a fighting for 40 points guy.

Again, I do not intend to argue here, just curious as to why the bar is so low for the guy.

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01-02-2014, 07:28 PM
  #257
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Originally Posted by SKS View Post
Not at all meant as a bash here, but why do you reckon he is a .5 player? A curious question in all seriousness.

First of all, his entire tenure is hardly more than his season so far.
It was with mostly 3rd and 4th line minutes and line mates.
It was in a system you do not think he fitted.
It was while bouncing up and down back and forth while playing his rookie minutes and still getting used to NA ice.

With this I think the 0.5 was an impressive point pace.

The numbers he is putting up now seems like a much more accurate reflection of his potential. It is the first time he is being utilized properly with a coach who allows him to play. If you add the fact that the team is not producing at all that would lead me to think he could be a 60+ point player, not a fighting for 40 points guy.

Again, I do not intend to argue here, just curious as to why the bar is so low for the guy.
You have to ask yourself why the rest of the team isn't producing much, and the answer, although convoluted, lies with wide open offensively creative hockey not being a strong suit for most of the roster.

And that leads to the question of how long the coaching staff can let that go on as the team languishes at .500. And that leads to the question if Zuccarello can continue to produce like this in a different situation.

I dont know the answers -- but I do know that abandoning team success for guys like Zuccarello and Kreider's individual successes, isn't what Im interested in.

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01-02-2014, 07:32 PM
  #258
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Originally Posted by SKS View Post
Not at all meant as a bash here, but why do you reckon he is a .5 player? A curious question in all seriousness.

First of all, his entire tenure is hardly more than his season so far.
It was with mostly 3rd and 4th line minutes and line mates.
It was in a system you do not think he fitted.
It was while bouncing up and down back and forth while playing his rookie minutes and still getting used to NA ice.

With this I think the 0.5 was an impressive point pace.

The numbers he is putting up now seems like a much more accurate reflection of his potential. It is the first time he is being utilized properly with a coach who allows him to play. If you add the fact that the team is not producing at all that would lead me to think he could be a 60+ point player, not a fighting for 40 points guy.

Again, I do not intend to argue here, just curious as to why the bar is so low for the guy.
The step he is taking this season kind of reminds me a little of the step he took in his second AHL season.

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01-02-2014, 08:15 PM
  #259
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Originally Posted by SKS View Post
Not at all meant as a bash here, but why do you reckon he is a .5 player? A curious question in all seriousness.

First of all, his entire tenure is hardly more than his season so far.
It was with mostly 3rd and 4th line minutes and line mates.
It was in a system you do not think he fitted.
It was while bouncing up and down back and forth while playing his rookie minutes and still getting used to NA ice.

With this I think the 0.5 was an impressive point pace.

The numbers he is putting up now seems like a much more accurate reflection of his potential. It is the first time he is being utilized properly with a coach who allows him to play. If you add the fact that the team is not producing at all that would lead me to think he could be a 60+ point player, not a fighting for 40 points guy.
I didnt say he was a 0.5 PPG player, i said that was what i expected of him (the lowest standard if you will). That was, as you said, what he managed to produce under uuuh.. "less than ideal" circumstances. And yes, i think that is impressive numbers as well

I also said that he is still developing, and that 50 - 60 points in a season is absolutely within reach (that is about his current pace i think).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKS View Post
Again, I do not intend to argue here, just curious as to why the bar is so low for the guy.
Your post is not taken as being argumentative, no worries there

I want Zuke to succeed as much as anyone (well, more than most probably, since he is our only NHL player), i just try to temper my excitement with some rationality and caution (lest i'd just get disappointed, hehe).

Do i hope that he continues his PPG play throughout the rest of the season ? You bet your behind i do. But do i expect him to manage that ? No, i dont. Everyone slumps sooner or later (we can of course hope for that to happen in 10 years time...lol).

But i do feel that with AV, he has a much longer leash than he did with Torts, as well as a much greater freedom to "do his thing" on the ice.

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01-03-2014, 02:30 AM
  #261
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New article about Zuke this morning, in a Norwegian paper. Mostly just recaps, with some "experts" chipping in, but some contract talk that might interest someone (i apologize in advance for the rather atrocious translation.. not Google's finest hour this...).

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01-03-2014, 03:03 AM
  #262
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Originally Posted by Placid View Post
New article about Zuke this morning, in a Norwegian paper. Mostly just recaps, with some "experts" chipping in, but some contract talk that might interest someone (i apologize in advance for the rather atrocious translation.. not Google's finest hour this...).
Fantastic:
The history of previous Rangers stay in memory - with nedflytting to the farm team and return to Europe - so do not rosy things out. But then, suddenly: Things loosened and Zuccarello started to perform.

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01-03-2014, 04:00 AM
  #263
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The Hobbit is one of the very few players on this team who is well suited to AV's style of play. That's pretty much it. Tort's kind of hockey was basically the antihockey of Zuccarello, I'm actually impressed he performed so well as he did, which speaks alot of his talent level. The huge problem with AV's hockey is you need defensemen who can actually handle the puck and we have two who can do that, McD and Strålman. Then we have a bunch who are absolutely horrible at it (especially Girardi and Del Zotto when he stresses himself, which is almost always) and one who was passable (Staal), but then he lost an eye.

$ather needs to make up his mind. What kind of roster does he want? A gritty squad or a puck possession squad? What is the overall philosophy? At least choose one and build on that for half a decade, you don't run a team like when you choose what kind of chocolate you want to stuff in your mouth for the weekend.


Last edited by Chimp: 01-03-2014 at 04:09 AM.
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01-03-2014, 04:24 AM
  #264
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A bit OT but I wish the Rangers would make a bid for Thoresen, he'd be a good 3rd line C for the Rangers. Granted thats not something that will happen considering he prefers the money in the KHL over NHL change
If NYR offered him a decent contract I'm pretty sure he would take it. He has spent quite a few years on a high salary in Russia - it would be easier for him to take a smaller contract now. Especially for a team from a city like New York (don't think he would replace a high salary in St. Petersburg with a small one in a place like Edmonton).

I guess you might be right. He would be perfect on a producing 3rd line in New York. And he could very well cover as a 2nd line C when needed.

Not sure if AV will build a "producing 3rd line" though. I'm a Canucks fan and in Vancouver he always totally relied on his top 6 to come up with the goals. He won't ever have a couple of Sedins in New York though - so he might change things a bit in terms of how to set up his lines.

In any case - a smart GM needing a talented 3C based in a decent city could very well find a excellent deal in Thoresen this summer.

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01-03-2014, 08:10 AM
  #265
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Zucc would take a $1,000,000 contract in New York over a $2,000,000 contract in Russia.

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01-03-2014, 12:11 PM
  #266
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Zucc would take a $1,000,000 contract in New York over a $2,000,000 contract in Russia.
Important to note here is that the 1 mill for the NHL is before tax, the 2.3 or so mill he'd have made in Russia is after tax

I dont know exactly what they pay in tax in the NHL, but according to this post, New York seems to lie somewhere between 40 and 50 percent.

So shortly put, he'd have made 4-5 times more in KHL.

At least nobody can say he is greedy, hehe.

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01-03-2014, 12:26 PM
  #267
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I'm a Canucks fan and in Vancouver he always totally relied on his top 6 to come up with the goals. He won't ever have a couple of Sedins in New York though - so he might change things a bit in terms of how to set up his lines.
ahh, he did ? I know next to nothing about him before his tenure in the Rangers (while i've seen highlights and the odd Canucks game, i've never watched them regularly).

He has been quite good in rolling at least 3 lines fairly evenly this far, but this might perhaps be because he doesnt know his players well enough yet.

In any case, i hope that he'll continue to distribute the ice time relatively equally between the players. But we'll see

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01-03-2014, 12:39 PM
  #268
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We should not continue to ask him to take contracts way below guys that do not produce as much. He deserves a fair market contract. A little home town discount would be great but he proved he was a team first guy already at 1.15 mill this season.

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01-04-2014, 03:19 AM
  #269
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Now has 30 pts in 41 games.

He has been consistent as ever since being scratched.

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Soon.
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01-04-2014, 05:23 AM
  #270
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Now has 30 pts in 41 games.

He has been consistent as ever since being scratched.
Guy has put up great play since the benching
Now 65th in the league in points (great for the $$) but says more about the disgusting state of offense on the rest of the team

TERRIBLE OFFENSIVE YEARS
Richards 42 GP - 27 Pts - $6.666.667 salary - 53 pts/82 games - $125.786/point
Brassard 41 GP - 22 Pts - $3.200.000 salary - 44 pts/82 games - $72,727/point
Nash 25 GP - 16 Pts - $7.800.00 salary - 55 pts/82 games - $141.818/point
Callahan (been injured too much) 25 GP - 13 Pts - $4.275.000 salary - 43 pts/82 games - $99.419/pt
Boyle 42 GP - 8 Pts - $1.700.000 salary - 16 pts/82 games - $106.250/point
Dorsett 37 GP - 5 Pts - $1.633.333 salary - 11 pts/82 games -$148.484/point
Moore 34 GP - 4 Pts - $1.000.000 salary - 10 pts/82 games - $100.000/point
Miller 23 GP - 3 Pts - $894.167 salary (ELC) - 11 pts/82 games - $81.287/point
Others(5 players) 43 GP - 1 Pt - ~5.100.000 salary - LOT$/point
TOTAL - 312 GP - 127 PTS - 28.269.267 - 245 POINTS/82 GAMES - $105.241/POINT/player

PASSABLE/GOOD OFFENSE
Hagelin 32 GP - 15 Pts - $2.200.000 salary - 52 pts/82 game - $42.307/point
Pouliot 40 GP - 14 Pts - $1.300.000 salary - 29 pts/82 game - $44.827/point

VERY GOOD OFFENSE
Zuccarello 41 GP - 30 Pts - $1.150.000 salary - 60 pts/82 game - $19.166/point
Kreider 35 GP - 22 Pts - $800.000 salary (ELC) - 52 pts/82 games - $15.384/point

This is why the Rangers suck this year. Players being paid big are putting up small points. Simple as that. Same goes for Hank that has not at all played close to the new contract he got. Players should take some blame. Rest falls on injuries, new system, coaches (country Club redux), and good ole Cigar Man. Travesty

Where are all the know-it-alls here on the boards that thought we paid Zuccarello too much or that he should not be resigned at all!?!

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01-04-2014, 06:35 AM
  #271
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Originally Posted by Placid View Post
ahh, he did ? I know next to nothing about him before his tenure in the Rangers (while i've seen highlights and the odd Canucks game, i've never watched them regularly).

He has been quite good in rolling at least 3 lines fairly evenly this far, but this might perhaps be because he doesnt know his players well enough yet.

In any case, i hope that he'll continue to distribute the ice time relatively equally between the players. But we'll see
It has to be said he had two of the best Cs in the league available on his two top lines (Kesler before his injury problems was a beast) - so it allowed him to play things a bit differently than you would have to with most rosters. It is extremely unlikely that NYR will ever have two Cs as good as Sedin and Kesler aka 2009-2011 under AV.

I don't think it was only up to AV, but the situation with Hodgson would be comparable to a third line with Thoresen. Vancouver never tried to build a 3rd line that would fit a C like Hodgson who is better offensively than defensively. Instead the 3rd line was build around Malholtra (basically to deal with defensive zone face offs), Påhlsson, Lapierre etc.

I like AV, but he is good and not very good in my opinion. He benefitted greatly from having three elite players on fairly cheap contracts (Sedins and Kesler) as well as playing in an utterly crap Northwest Division.

I guess I'm crashing the Zuccarello appreciation thread here. I'll stop discussing AV in this thread.

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01-04-2014, 07:52 AM
  #272
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Best player for The Rangers last night.

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01-04-2014, 08:08 AM
  #273
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Best player for The Rangers last night.
I think you can scratch "last night"

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01-04-2014, 09:16 AM
  #274
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Too bad for Zuccarello he's RFA.

Imagine him playing with Crosby.

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01-04-2014, 10:08 AM
  #275
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Imagine him playing with Crosby.
Its not unreasonable to think that he'd have himself a St. Louis year if that was the case.

Really hope that Sather gets his mojo on when the season draws to an end and get him signed for 3-4 years at 3.5-4 mill, imo. anything less is a steal. That being if his form is what it is today when we end the season, hopefully in the playoffs. Because one does want more hockey in a season.

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