Mats Zuccarello has never been able to find the consistency in his game to be able to stay in the NHL. He is finally starting to turn the corner and become an everyday player in the league.
Zuccarello was re-signed by the New York Rangers late last year right before the trade deadline to give the slumping team a spark. He played great down the stretch, and it was clear that he had made improvements to his defensive game.
He is no longer a liability out there while in his own zone, and the things that made Zuccarello successful were his great hands and creativity. Now that he has been given some more freedom, he is playing great.
Alain Vigneault has let the Rangers open up their offense more than they have in the past few years. This is something that Zuccarello has already showed he will flourish under. One thing that Zuccarello also has found is consistent linemates. Derick Brassard and Benoit Pouliot join Zuccarello on the Rangers second line to make for one of the smallest lines in the league, but one that has shown tremendous grit, skill, speed and creativity.
In the Rangers’ win last night Zuccarello, was all over the ice, especially on the forecheck. He continued to attack the opponent, forcing turnovers and creating great scoring chances with his linemates. Rangers fans should all be excited about how great Zuccarello is playing. His persistence will eventually lead to goals and assists.
Now that he has other playmakers on his line, Zuccarello is poised for a breakout season.