Thursday, January 06, 2011

Mats All Folks!

The sun may come up tonight at midnight in Oslo, Norway as its son, Mats Zuccarello, the Norwegian with the Neapolitan name scored his first Ranger goal, a game winner. The 2-1 win over Carolina in OT was a playoff type game. If Everready batteries decides to remake its commercials using people, Zuccarello would be perfect. He is perpetual motion, non-stop action and the only time he stops is when he runs into someone, sometimes. Mats goes all of 5'7", and that must be with the skates on, but it doesn't matter for to recoin a cliche, he plays big, mighty big. To quote Mats, "I have had a long time to practice being small."

However, Mats wasn't alone as he had help from that other Scandanavian, Henrik Lundqvist, who upped his record to 17-12-3 with 31 saves. Lundqvist had to be almost perfect in beating Cam Ward, who was also very good, making 33 saves. Ward's record fell to 17-11-5. Brandon Dubinsky also played a dominant game picking up two assists. Dubinskyand Zuccarello both picked up assists on Matt Gilroy's opening goal which gave the Rangers the lead until the other Staal, Eric, tied it with a little over six minutes left.

Another outstanding performannce was turned in by the prodigal son, Sean Avery, who was a force all night. He started on the fourth line and in the third period skated with Gaborik and Anisimov. In the second period he blocked a shot with his left hand and then skated off to the locker room and you could almost see a smile on the coaches face. Another broken hand? However, Sean was on the bench at the start of the third to a frowning coach. No broken hand, but the puck that he stopped was removed from the game as it was damaged.

Don't forget to pray for Jake Feldman and Fran Pizzani.

ICINGS:

Mats Zuccarello is the Norwegian Hobbit
More love for the Norwegian Hobbit.

Jay Greenburg / NY Post:
Say hello to Rangers' Zuccarello --
The puck went behind the goal to Zuccarello, who came out the other end to a waiting, butterflying, Ward. And like Matteau! Matteau! Matteau! Zuccarello! Zuccarello!, Zuccarello! scored, roofing his first NHL goal, in his sixth game, giving the Rangers a 2-1 overtime victory.

It was just a great feeling to watch it go in,” Zuccarello said. “It was an unbelievable rush.”

Not just for him, either, but for teammates pouring off the bench who easily made a 5-foot-7 guy disappear in the joy...

“He is going to be really special for us from his talent alone,” said Dubinsky, referring to Zuccarello’s ability to see the play like 95 percent of bigger and faster players cannot.

“I have been like this for 23 years,” Zuccarello said. “I have had a long time to practice being small. I have to use being small to my advantage.”

Will Zuccarello continue to hold his own amidst the long shadows and long reaches of a big man’s game? The jury is out, but last night the puck inarguably was in, the littlest guy on the ice pulling out a big, big win for the Rangers.
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Scotty Hockey:
23-15-3: Storhet! --
*Zooooooooook. What a great way to score your first NHL goal, huh? Overtime, game-winner at the Garden. Wow. Love this kid and what he brings but, it should be said, he is still new to the league and may need more time back down on the farm before the season is through. How funny was it to see him be embraced by Brian Boyle after the goal? Over a foot difference there but it showed the sheer joy the kid had and joy his teammates had for him. It seemed to be more than just a celebration of a overtime tally, but the delight of older brothers for a younger sibling's success. Storhet = Greatness in Norwegian...
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Blue Seat Blogs:
How Long Will Zuccarello Be On Broadway?
... Zuccarello’s performances will also have a huge impact on current roster players, particularly Frolov, Prospal and to a lesser extent Christensen. While EC is more threatened by the development of the young centers even he could be a victim of simple maths – too many forwards – while Prospal (despite being a leader on the team and a respected veteran) and Frolov will need unbelievable second halves to the season to convince management to bring them back and even that may not be enough. So the play of Zuccarello, while right now to be enjoyed, is more likely to be beneficial long term rather than for this season and that isn’t a bad thing. Don’t be sad if he doesn’t stay this year, look forward to the time when the Hobbit becomes a mainstay on Broadway.
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Rick Carpiniello / Rangers Report Blog:
2010-11 NEW YORK RANGERS MID-SEASON RECAP --
The Rangers will begin the second half of their 2010-11 regular season tomorrow, January 7, when they face-off against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. New York currently ranks third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 23-15-3 for 49 points through 41 games. Compared to last season, the Rangers have registered four more wins and six more points (19-17-5, 43 points in 2009-10), having tallied 13 more goals (121 this season, 108 last season) while allowing 11 fewer goals against (104 this season, 115 last season). New York has also shown a four-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (eight this season, four last season)...



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