Read: Mats Zuccarello Is A Bargain For The Rangers

Mats ZuccarelloWhen asked about Mats Zuccarello recently, Joe Micheletti said that Zucc has a tremendous amount of heart and confidence and certainly looks like he is not only an NHL player but could be a very good one.

Dave Maloney said that Zuccarello has been really good for the Rangers and that at $1 million “and change” you won’t find many better bargains in the NHL.

According to Cap Geek’s bargain hunter, Zuccarello is the 14th best bargain in the NHL in terms of the points he is putting up compared to his salary.

Zuccarello, 26, is on a one-year deal worth $1.150 million. He will be an RFA after the season.

According to NHL.com, Zuccarello is on pace for 18 goals and 38 assists.

Adam Rotter: I think the Rangers will end up giving Zuccarello a 3-year deal and the money will probably be around $3.5 to $4.5 million. Over $4 million seems to be the going rate for guys who get 50-60 points and while Zuccarello has been the Rangers best forward lately, this is the first time he has ever really produced consistently. That said, this is the kind of production and the kind of player that the Rangers expected Zuccarello to be and it seems like he is or has turned the corner toward being an effective scorer/playmaker in the NHL.

Read: Mats Zuccarell Is One Of The Rangers Top Forwards

ZuccarelloIn the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that Mats Zuccarello has assumed a big role with the Rangers this season, calling him one of the most “dynamic and dependable” forwards.

Zuccarello has 22 points in his last 26 games and told Larry Brooks that he is happy with his game but isn’t satisfied.
Zuccarello said that he thinks he can be better and continue to develop as a player.

The most important thing to Zuccarello is helping the team win and that all of the work he has been putting in has been paying off.

He is third on the Rangers in total ice-time for forwards and fourth in average ice-time per game for forwards.

 

Stats: Mats Zuccarello Lately

Mats Zuccarello

Joe Micheletti said after the game last night that Zuccarello “was, I thought the first period in particular was the best Ranger. You noticed him on the ice, whether it was on the forecheck, coming back or in front of the goalie. He doesn’t take any guff from anyone. You have to love the heart of Zuccarello. He is never afraid to go to the net. He was tremendous tonight.”

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Read: Mats Zuccarello Has Been One Of The Rangers Top Players Recently

ZuccarelloAfter only scoring 3 points in 11 October games, Mats Zuccarello had 12 points in 15 November games and has 6 points in 7 December games.

Dave Maloney said after the Rangers beat the Sabres, “I talked with Jeff Gorton and he brought up that Zuccarello was as good a player that the Rangers have had over the last 10 games. Tonight he just continued to be an offensive player. What I love about him is how patient he is before he decides what to do with the puck.”

Maloney said before the Rangers played the Flames, “he is a wonderful character. What he does in a lot of areas on the ice is that he gets into position to make a play. He is not afraid to stir up. He is very patient with the puck.”

Joe Micheletti said that he spoke with Zuccarello and that Zuccarello is trying to be more patient with the puck and stop trying to rush or force passes and plays.

According to NHL.com, Zuccarello is on pace for 15 goals and 37 assists.

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Read: Another Mats Zuccarello and Al Trautwig Interview

Mats ZuccarelloMats Zuccarello was the first intermission guest during the Rangers and Jets game and he had the following exchange with Al Trautwig:

  • 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)

Al and Zucc previously had a conversation when Zuccarello’s mother was in town

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Stats: What Mats Zuccarello Has Been Doing Lately

Mats ZuccarelloIn his last 11 games, Mats Zuccarello has one goal and eight assists, a plus six rating and an average of 18:36 per game.

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.

Read: The Marty Brodeur/Mats Zuccarello Scrums Last Night

Devils Rangers HockeyThroughout the game last night, Mats Zuccarello was around Marty Brodeur and the two seemed to engage in a few altercations.

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.

Read: Mats Zuccarello Describes The Derek Stepan Goal From Wednesday

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.

Read: Mats Zuccarello Felt The Pressure Early On But Has Picked His Game Up

Mats ZuccarelloSince being scratched against the Flyers, Mats Zuccarello has one goal and two assists in 4 games to go with 11 shots.

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.