Blue Seat Blogs

NY Rangers Game 22 Open Thread: There and Back Again: A Hobbit’s Tale

Mats Zuccarello returns to MSG

For nine seasons, Mats Zuccarello brought his unique brand of hockey to Broadway. Small, fiesty, and incredibly skilled, the winger won over fans pretty quickly, enjoying a breakout season in 2013-2014 while partnered with Derick Brassard and Benoit Pouliot. That was the start of five straight seasons with 50 points, six if you include his 50 point pace in 2018-2019.

But as expected, with the Rangers rebuilding, Zuccarello represented a primary trade chip, and he was sent to Dallas for what turned into second and third round picks. In 509 games with the Rangers, Zuccarello put up a line of 113-239-352.

For Zuccarello, it wasn’t just the stat line. It was his fierceness on the ice. The willingness to go toe-to-toe with Zdeno Chara. The creativity and physicality. The vision and passing. He was a pure joy to watch on the ice in New York for those nine years. In Alain Vigneault’s offensively leaning system, he flourished as a true two-way player, dangerous in all three zones.

Zuccarello is sorely missed by the fans, the one player that was beloved by all.

Wild Lines

Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Mats Zuccarello
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Kevin Fiala
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Luke Kunin
Ryan Donato-Victor Rask-Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matthew Dumba
Carson Soucy-Brad Hunt

PP1: Parise-Koivu-Fiala-Suter-Spurgeon
PP2: Zucker-Staal-Zuccarello-Hunt-Dumba

Alex Stalock gets the start.

Rangers Lines

Artemi PanarinRyan StromeJesper Fast
Chris KreiderFilip Chytil-Pavel Buchnevich
Brendan LemieuxBrett HowdenKaapo Kakko
Tim GettingerGreg McKeggBrendan Smith

Libor HajekJacob Trouba
Brady SkjeiTony DeAngelo
Ryan LindgrenAdam Fox

PP1: Panarin-Chytil-Buchnevich-Kreider-DeAngelo
PP2: Kakko-Strome-Lemieux-Trouba-Fox

PK Forwards: Fast, Kreider, Strome, Howden, Lemieux
PK Defense: Skjei, Trouba, Staal Smith

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches: Mika Zibanejad (concussion), Marc Staal (ankle)

Crazy Prediction: No one cries.

Game time is 7pm.


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