Read: What Mats Zuccarello told a Norway paper about the Rangers game five performance.

ZuccarelloMats Zuccarello spoke with VG following the Rangers loss in game five to Montreal.

Zuccarelo said that:

  • the Rangers did “too much wrong and did not deserve to win.”
  • Montreal had the “knife to the throat” and were better than the Rangers
  • They can’t take penalties and make mistakes against good teams
  • The loss was not Henrik Lundqvist’s fault and he didn’t get help from the players in front of him.
  • On his game, Zuccarello said he was very bad
  • “we were the ass, everything was bad”

Zuccarello was a minus two, had two shots on goal, 3 shots that were blocked, 1 that missed the net, two hits and was called for goalie interference.

Zucc Pouliot Brass

Read: How Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard stepped up in game five

Against the Penguins on Friday, Mats Zuccarello had his first multi-point game of the playoffs.

Zuccarello had two primary assists, one secondary assist, after only putting up two assists in the first 11 games of the playoffs.

Zuccarello had three goals in the playoffs, game one against the Flyers, game six against the Flyers and game four against the Penguins.

Derick Brassard had his first multi-point game of the playoffs on Friday with two goals and one assist.

Brassard had the game winning goal in game one against the Penguins but was scoreless in games 2,3,4 and only combined for four shots in those three games, including one where he was shotless.

Friday was also his least amount of ice time in the playoffs so far, 13:47, and his first game of the series being at least 50% on faceoffs.

Brassard said that he can’t mention any success he is having without mentioning his linemates Mats Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot because he wouldn’t be producing without him. (Daily News)

Alain Vigneault said on Saturday that he couldn’t explain that line’s success against the Penguins but added that for the angers to move on it will have to continue. (Ranger Rants)

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Buzz: Contract talks with Mats Zuccarello are expected to start soon/may prevent him from World Championships

ZuccarelloContract talks with the Rangers and Mats Zuccarello are expected to start shortly after the Rangers season ends. (TV2)

It’s believed that Zuccarello’s contract talks could/would prevent him from playing for Norway at the World Championships. (TV2)

TV 2 Hockey Analyst Bjorn Ereveik says that Zuccarello wouldn’t play for Norway not because he doesn’t want to but because his agents don’t want him to risk injury and put himself at a disadvantage in contract talks. (TV2)

Norway coach Roy Johansen says that he can’t talk with Zuccarello about anything with the national team until his season with the Rangers ends. (VG)

Zuccarello won’t risk anything that impacts a chance at a “lucrative NHL contract” with the Rangers and negotiations on a new deal can start when the season ends. (VG)

Zuccarello is an RFA this summer and coming off a one-year contract worth $1.15 million.

The Rangers qualifying offer for Zuccarello will be $1.15 million.

Zuccarello signed a one-year deal with the Rangers after lowering their demands because they didn’t want to go to arbitration.

For more on Zuccarello’s contract talks from last year, CLICK HERE.

Zucc Pouliot Brass

Read: The Derick Brassard line in the playoffs

So far, through eight playoff games:

  • Benoit Pouliot: 3 goals, 3 assists, 13 shots, 14:30 per game
  • Derick Brassard: 1 goal, 2 assists, 15 shots, 15:21
  • Mats Zuccarello: 2 goals, 2 assists, 18 shots, 16:38

Brassard now has points in two straight games but was scoreless in games 3, 4, 5, 6 against the Flyers.

Zuccarello had points in the first two games and had points in game six and seven.

Pouliot had points in the first two games and is now on a three game point streak with 2 goals and 2 assists.

Alain Vigneault said after the game on Friday, On the Brassard line, “since Christmas they have probably been our most consistent line. They have real good chemistry, they read off one another and support one another well. Tonight they were good with the puck and strong on the forecheck and scored two in OT.”

Derick Brassard said after the game on MSG, I thought tonight our line scored two goals but they played us really tight. We just try to bring some offense and I felt that against Philly we didn’t get rewarded but we had a big game seven and it gave us confidence

Ken Danyeko said on Hockey Night Live, “if you told me in September that your second line would be Brassard, Pouliot and Zuccarello, I would say that you are going to have a tough time making the playoffs. To their credit, especially from the second half on, have been dynamic.”


Read: Mats Zuccarello says that he doesn’t dive

Zuccarello1Yesterday against Philadelphia was the first time in Mats Zuccarello’s career that he was called for “diving.”

Zuccarello was called for diving against Andrew MacDonald while MacDonald was called for interference at 8:40 of the second period.

When asked about the penalty today, Zuccarello told SNY’s Nick Licalzi, “I don’t know, I didn’t agree with that call but it’s fast hockey out there. The refs make mistakes like we do and there is nothing to think about. Every body who watches me play knows that I am not a diver so you get pretty irritated there when you think it’s a bad call. Now I don’t think about it and it’s a new game tomorrow.”

Zuccarello said on Sunday, “They both get a penalty, so there is no point in hanging up in it.” (Nettavisen)

Alain Vigneault said this morning,”‘ll let you make the judgment on if Zuccarello is an embellisher. You make the call on that, it doesn’t matter what I think.”

Derek Dorsett was also called for diving and denied that he dove after he was hit from behind by Wayne Simmonds, saying that he may have gone down easy but didn’t dive. (NY Post)

Read: The Benoit Pouliot, Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello line

Benoit Pouliot, Mats Zuccarello, Benoit Pouliot4/10|9:13AM: Brassard says that sometimes their line gets put up against the other teams third pair and when that happens they are able to take advantage. (NY Post)

Brassard adds that there is no selfishness on that line and that when a player is open he knows he will get the puck. (Newsday)

4/9|6:35PM: Following the Rangers win over the Hurricanes, Alain Vigneault joked that the Benoit Pouliot, Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello line was the line that “didn’t want to score.” He added, “they had some great looks and it has some good chemistry 5 on 5 and on the PP and we need them to play that way.”

Dave Maloney said after the game, “they have been so much fun to watch. When the game is played well it’s the skill game and capitalizing on the small parts of the ice. This threesome has been by and large the Rangers best this season.”

Joe Micheletti said that it’s three unselfish players who are so fun to watch when they pass the puck around. He said that their chemistry is so good that when they get into open areas they don’t even need to look to see where they are.

Zuccarello says that the line is three guys who work hard and don’t think too much when on the ice.

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Read: Mats Zuccarello is back to producing points

Mats ZuccarelloSince returning from a broken hand, Mats Zuccarello has 2 goals and 10 assists in 15 games.

The 12 points for Zuccarello have come in eight of the 15 games, with a 3 game pointless streak and a two game pointless streak during the run, and he has five points in the past three games.

Zuccarello’s 55 points is not only a career high but has also placed him as the highest scoring Norwegian player in a season, beating Espen Knutsen’s record of 53 during the 2000-01 season.

Dave Maloney and Joe Micheletti praised Zuccarello’s enthusiasm and ability to inject himself into every play and situation.

Read: Mats Zuccarello’s return to the lineup

Mats ZuccarelloIn his return to the Rangers lineup on Friday, Mats Zuccarello had an assist, a plus one rating, a holding the stick penalty, 3 shots on goal, 2 shots blocked and 3 hits in 18:19.

Zuccarello played:

  • 5:55 in the first
  • 4:59 in the second
  • 7:25 in the third

At 5 on 5, Zuccarello was on the ice for 16 attempts for, 18 against and 11 shots on goal for and 11 against. (ES)

Zuccarello started 50% of his shifts in the offensive zone and 50% in the neutral zone. (ES)

After the game on MSG, Alain Vigneault said “he didn’t miss a beat. he was real solid. Other than the penalty which could go either way I thought he played real strong.”

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Note: Mats Zuccarello is a game time decision tomorrow/Henrik Lundqvist will start

Mats Zuccarello4:05PM: Zuccarello said today (Rangers):

  • On tomorrow, “I don’t know. We will have to talk about and we will see.”
  • Are you cleared to play, “I don’t know.”
  • Is the pain a lot less, “Yes, I feel good, I feel that I can do most of the things out there.”
  • On team with him being back, “I think we have had a good team all year, we have good D, good goalies and we have four good lines. We have skills and speed and some heavy bodies who can do different things. I think we are a solid all around team.”
  • On Marty and the PP, “he is a world class player, probably the best player in the league the last five years. It’s gonna help us to score more goals and win more games. It’s nice for us as the younger guys to learn from him, he is a good pro player and one of the best in the game.”
  • Was Marty an inspiration for you, “obviously…he is almost as tall as me (joking) of course. He is something for sure that you look at and see that it’s possible to be a shorter and succeed and for sure he is a role model in that way and not just that but how he plays and what he does out there.”

1:35PM: It will be a game time decision whether Mats Zuccarello returns to the Rangers lineup tomorrow in Carolina according to Alain Vigneault. (Andrew Gross)

Zuccarello said that he feels ready to play but doesn’t know if he will. (Gross)

On Tuesday, Alain Vigneault said “I think he is day to day now, I don’t expect him tomorrow. It’s just a pain thing. As soon as he can handle the pain taking a pass and he can shoot the puck now, as soon as he can handle the pain. It shouldn’t be much longer.” (Vigneault)

For more on Zuccarello’s injury click HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Henrik Lundqvist will start against the Hurricanes. (Rangers)

It will be Lundqvist’s fourth straight start. He is currently on a three-game losing streak

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