- Al: “We are joined by one of our favorite Rangers to talk to, Mats Zuccarello. As someone who has never done what you did to score that goal, how did you learn to deflect the puck and do it in a way that it’s going to help the team score a goal.”
- Zucc: “…Mac just shot it at me…I didn’t do much.”
- Al: “There has to be some skill there”
- Zucc: “yea…yea…I can agree on that (smile and laugh)
- Al: Let’s take a look at the goal and tell me what you are feeling when you score a goal like that. You have had some great plays in the last few games.” (Continued below)
Zuccarello had points in four straight games, four games without a point and then two against the Predators.
On the season, Zuccarello has 2 goals, 10 assists and 9 of his points are primary points.
He is also third on the team in shots on goal with 52 and third on the team in shot attempts with 88.
Derek Stepan told the Daily News that Zuccarello is and has always been a pass first kind of guy and that he tells Zuccarello to shoot the puck more.
According to Extra Skater, when Zuccarello is on the ice the Rangers have 54.2% of the shot attempts and 54.5% of the shots on goal.
Zuccarello is starting 29.7% of his shifts in the offensive zone, 38.4% in the neutral zone and 31.9% in the defensive zone.
Brodeur shoved Zuccarello in the second period and as Zuccarello was preparing to charge back, he was put in a head lock by Marek Zidlickly. Zuccarello and Zidlicky were called for roughing penalties.
After the game, Zucarello said that there was nothing to to their battles and told the NY Post that it was just “heat of the moment” and two competitive guys battling. “No big deal.”
He added that those kinds of things happen in heated rivalry games like this.
Brodeur said last night “he’s the only guy I can take on.”
Pete DeBoer said “I saw Zuccarello stick him two or three times and he better hope that Marty doesn’t get upset.
On Wednesday night, Don La Greca asked Mats Zuccarello to describe the play he made to set up Derek Stepan for the game winning goal against the Penguins:
Zuccarello said that he saw two Penguins close to him and that Derek Stepan had speed coming into the zone. He added, “I didn’t Know Step was that fast….it was a nice goal by Step.”
Zuccarello has one goal and seven assists in his last eight games.
Zuccarello had seven total shots in the seven games prior to being scratched including three games with 0 shots.
Zucc told Licalzi that he had a tough start and put a lot of pressure on himself to produce and that since then he has relaxed, played a simple game and feels as if he is contributing.
He told the Daily News , that he put a lot of pressure on himself to produce while the Rangers were battling injuries and wanted to show the coaches that he could be a big player.
In a chat with the Rangers website, Chris Kreider described Zuccarello as something of a “wildcard” who can do a lot on the ice.
Henrik Lundqvist told SNY’s Nick Licalzi that Zuccarello is a hard worker, a great player and someone who sees the game really well.
Zucc, according to TV2, had the Broadway Hat following the win over the Sabres. He was the first star in that game.
Since being put together, Kreider has two goals, Stepan has two assists and Zuccarello has two assists.
According to Extra Skater, at 5 on 5 last night:
- Zuccarello: 21 shot attempts for, 11 shot attempts against. 16 shots on goal for, 4 against
- Kreider: 20 shot attempts for, 11 against, 15 shots on goal for, 4 against
- Stepan: 20 shot attempts for, 11 against, 15 shots on goal for, 4 against
Zuccarello had eight shot attempts, 5 on goal, 1 that missed the net, 2 that were blocked, Stepan had 7 shots on goal, and Kreider had six shots on goal and one shot that missed the net.
They played mostly against Mark Pysyk and Christian Ehrhoff
Stepan said after the game, to SNY’s Nick Licalzi, that the line has worked because “the two wingers are great. Chris’ speed alone is something that makes more space for me and Zucc to make plays and Zucc has been making great plays the last two games and he has been able to back the D off with Chris’ speed and make plays underneath.
Zuccarello told Licalzi, “Kreids is a big body, strong, wins a lot of pucks. Step is one of the smartest players there is. He reads the game well, he is a good passer and smart. I fly around a little bit. It’s going well but we have to stay humble and keep working the same way. It’s just hard work that makes us successful.”
Carl Hagelin told Licalzi that the line “looks good” and that Kreider’s size and speed compliment how good Stepan and Zuccarello are with the puck.
Adam Rotter: The line has been really effective for the Rangers at creating chances and possessing the puck. It’s three guys who didn’t have the starts to the season that they wanted but have, especially Zuccarello and Stepan, come alive since being put together.
1:33PM: Scott Arniel told TV2 that Zucc is a player who thinks a lot and right now the best thing for him to do is rest. Arniel said that Zucc could be back against the Red Wings.
11:22AM: Alain Vigneault has told the media in Philadelphia, Steve Zipay and Andrew Gross, that Mats Zuccarello will be a healthy scratch tonight and Brandon Mashinter will be in the lineup.
Vigneault said that the decision to sit Zuccarello is based on performance and not about trying to have another tough guy in the lineup against the Flyers
For more on Zucc, CLICK HERE.
Vigneault also said that Henrik Lundqvist will skate with Benoit Allaire today.
Michael Del Zotto is in the lineup and Justin Falk is a scratch.
4:19PM: Zuccarello told TV2 that he doesn’t think he will play tomorrow. He also said, according to google translate, that he has played this season like “bad sh**.”
He added that being shifted to different lines this week shows that he hasn’t played up to expectations and it’s not a good feeling.
1:58PM: According to reports from practice today, Mats Zuccarello was in and out of line rushes and Alain Vigneault said that he hadn’t yet decided on his forwards for tomorrow night in Philadelphia.
Andrew Gross tweeted that Zuccarello was on the ice and having a long chat with Associate Coach Scott Arniel and that could indicate that Zuccarello will be scratched tomorrow.
Zuccarello has no points in seven games, is a minus three, has 9 hits, 7 shots and an average of 16:41 of ice time.
According to Extra Skater, Zuccarello at even strength has been on the ice for:
- 28 shots on goal for, 53 shots on goal against (last on the team in terms of percentage)
- 65 shot attempts for and 93 shot attempts against
- 0 goals for, 3 goals against
Zuccarello is starting 23.8% of his shifts in the offensive zone, 39.3% in the neutral zone and 36.9% in the defensive zone. His average shot distance is 30.6 and he has had 15 total attempts, 7 on goal, 7 that missed the net and 1 that was blocked.
Mats Zuccarello seems to be one of the players in the Rangers top six that Alain Vigneault put on notice as having to produce offense and get on the stat sheet.
Zuccarello told the Rangers website that he is well aware that he has no points in the Rangers five games and is constantly thinking about it. He said that he is playing important minutes and needs to show that he deserves to stay in that role.
He says that he has been producing a lot of chances and that he knows his offense will come, hopefully, Zuccarello said, it comes tonight against the Capitals.
Zuccarello has never gone more than three games in his career with the Rangers without registering a point.
He has gone three games without a point between about half a dozen times in his career in his career with the Rangers.
While meeting with the media yesterday, Alain Vigneault said that there are a few players, he didn’t specify, who have been given big roles and top six minutes but have yet to produce.
Pat Leonard, in the Daily News, thinks that the unnamed players that Vigneault mentioned are Benoit Pouliot, Taylor Pyatt and Mats Zuccarello.
Those three players have combined for ZERO points and a total of 21 shots on goal.
- Pouliot: minus 3, 13:49 per game, on ice for 3 goals against, 0 goals for, 59 shot attempts against, 64 shot attempts for, 36 shots on goal against, 30 shots on goal for.
- Starts: 30.8% of shifts in offensive zone, 40.4% in the neutral zone, 28.8% in the defensive zone
- Zuccarello: minus 2, 17:23 per game, on ice for 2 goals against, 0 goals for, 76 total shot attempts against, 77 shot attempts for, 46 shots on goal against, 36 shots on goal for.
- Starts: 23.2% of shifts in offensive zone, 35.7% in neutral zone, 41.1% in defensive zones
- Pyatt: minus 6, 15:22 per game, on ice for 8 goals against, 1 goal for, 90 total shot attempts against, 53 shot attempts for, 46 shots on goal against, 30 shots on goal for.
- Starts: 17.7% in the offensive zone, 51.6% in the neutral zone, 30.6% in the defensive zone.
Zuccarello told the Daily News that he knows he has to produce and that while he is glad to have been given a good role, he knows he will lose it if he doesn’t start adding offense.
Derick Brassard told the NY Post that he to create offense for his linemates and when he gets scoring chances he needs to bury them.