Archive for Mats Zuccarello
Let’s have a gander at the grades for the Rangers’ top two forward lines shall we?
Rick Nash’s overall season can be argued both as a positive and a negative. Indeed, there are few players that have divided opinion the way Nash has since he became a Ranger. A season that featured notable career highs but that was offset by another underwhelming postseason, things went as far as culminating with Nash being considered prime trade material this offseason. Hardly the appreciation you’d expect for a 42 goal player and early season Hart Trophy candidate. The problem is that Nash, like many Rangers, is now judged primarily on what he does after the regular season and this is where he failed to live up to both his regular season production and significant salary.
Nash needs to be a leader, the go-to guy offensively and in the postseason that didn’t happen nearly enough. Nash lacked postseason consistency, was never close to being his dominant regular season self and as the Rangers went quietly into the offseason, tellingly, so did Nash. Once again, despite solid numbers the microscope will firmly be on Nash come October. Despite the disappointing end, Nash finished in the top ten for the Hart trophy. Grade: B
It’s still amazing to think that just a couple of short seasons ago, Mats Zuccarello was toiling away in the KHL because, well, the Rangers didn’t really want him. At best, they were certainly not convinced by him. Fast forward a few years and Zuccarello is absolutely irreplaceable on a club that harbours annual Stanley Cup hopes.
We all saw how the Rangers struggled to generate consistent offense in the playoffs. Zuccarello’s enforced absence early in the playoffs was almost an instant death knell to the team’s hopes of winning the Cup. It shouldn’t have been the case however.
The Rangers had Rick Nash, they had Marty St Louis in position to step up, they had their trio of young centers all entering the playoffs in good form and they had Chris ‘Mr Playoff’ Kreider. But it didn’t work out as intended. St Louis literally played himself out of a new contract and maybe even out of the league. Nash hasn’t ridden himself of his playoffs demons. So what does it all mean?
- Ryan McDonagh had a fractured foot, suffered in Game 4.
- Dan Girardi sprained his right MCL in Game 4.
- Mats Zuccarello had a brain contusion (yeesh), full recovery expected. He was unable to talk for 3 days and needed speech therapy.
- Marc Staal had a hairline fracture in his ankle, suffered in the regular season.
While injuries are not an excuse, these injuries certainly played a role in the Rangers’ defensive performance in the latter half of the series.
In case you missed it, Mats Zuccarello skated this morning on his own before the New York Rangers took the ice for practice. Zucc has been out since Game 5 of the first round with a concussion, suffered after taking a shot from Ryan McDonagh to the skull.
While Zuccarello skating is always good to see, his return to the lineup is not imminent. This is normal progress, and I still wouldn’t expect him back this series. Concussions are always tricky, so it’s better to air on the side of caution instead of getting your hopes up.
Per Mats Zuccarello’s agent, the injured winger is back in light training (note: Norwegian article) after suffering what he believes to be a serious concussion. Zuccarello was struck in the side of the head by a Ryan McDonagh slap shot in Game Five against the Penguins. While there is no timetable for his return, light work is always a good sign. This should hopefully put an end to the silly rumor started by one of those “anonymous” accounts that his career was over.
S/T to @sirlondon_ for the tip.
Per Larry Brooks, injured winger Mats Zuccarello will be unavailable for the entire second round series against the Washington Capitals. Zuccarello was struck in the head by a Ryan McDonagh slap shot in Game Five against the Penguins.
This isn’t good, as Zucc is a core part of the Rangers offense. Martin St. Louis will take his role in the top-six, and the Rangers will need a lot from him.
In case you missed it, Mats Zuccarello is out indefinitely with an upper body injury. Rumors are that this is a mild concussion, but a concussion is a concussion as Zuccarello took a hard slap shot to the head off the stick of Ryan McDonagh. Assuming this is long term, because with concussions that’s the only assumption you can make, then the Rangers are out a top line forward, and there is no one in or out of the lineup that can replace his production.
Instead, the Rangers are going to need produce enough from other parts to make the Zuccarello absence more manageable. You can’t replace a top line forward, but you can –quoting Moneyball– replace him in the aggregate. Zucc hasn’t put up many points in the playoffs, but his value is with his speed and puck possession skill. The Rangers have someone like that readily available in Carl Hagelin.
At the optional skate today, injured defenseman Kevin Klein was on the ice. Klein has been out since March with a broken wrist and missed the entire first round series against the Penguins. Klein has been “nearing a return” for quite some time now.
Mats Zuccarello, who took a Ryan McDonagh shot to the noggin during Game Five, was not on the ice for the optional skate. Zuccarello didn’t return to Game Five, which is a rarity for injuries in the playoffs.
Update: Zuccarello is out indefinitely.
On the broadcast, MSG noted that Mats Zuccarello will not return to the game after taking a Ryan McDonagh slapshot to the face. You can view the GIF here. Jesper Fast took Zuccarello’s spot on his line, and the Rangers have been playing with 11 forwards.
It’s worth noting that this is the playoffs, and usually players come right back to the bench after something like this. Since Zuccarello isn’t returning, it may be serious.
People questioned the amount Glen Sather gave up for Marty St Louis, baulked at the cost of Rick Nash and panicked when Anthony Duclair was part of the Keith Yandle package. Move forward from each of those deals however and each star acquisition brought into the Rangers fold has made a tangible impact on the Rangers helping turn the organisation into an annual contender. (Of course, Keith Yandle’s true impact is still to be truly measured).
What has allowed Sather to make all these bold moves and show almost blatant disregard to the importance of early round draft picks is the way the Rangers roster has progressively become younger, more talented and well established. The Rangers have eight players who have scored at least 10 goals, five of which have only ever played for the Rangers, while Derick Brassard is just 27 and tied into the Rangers for the long term. That number of ten goal goalscorers doesn’t count JT Miller whose impact is now being felt consistently and who should hit double figures.