New York Rangers‘ head coach Alain Vigneault has not been pleased with defenseman Michael Del Zotto‘s play this season. An offensive minded defenseman in Del Zotto has only produced four points this season, one goal and three assists. He has been more noticeable the past few seasons for his bad play, rather than good. Since this is Vigneault’s first season as Rangers’ head coach, it puts the onus on Del Zotto to make a good impression. It is safe to say he failed.
Vigneault announced during the Rangers three days off, preparing to face the Montreal Canadiens, that Del Zotto will not suit up for the game and that he will be a healthy scratch with Justin Falk taking his place. Del Zotto expressed his frustration of being a healthy scratch to the media and thinks him being a healthy scratch is unfair because his minutes are decreasing with each and every game. The reason why Vigneault has been decreasing his ice time is the fact that Del Zotto just cannot be trusted in the defensive end.
Del Zotto is a liability on defense and is only useful when he is producing offensively, which he has not. And surprisingly Falk, who is a big physical defensive defenseman, got a number of shots through last night against the Canadiens. He did a great job keeping the puck in the offensive zone and allowing the Rangers’ forwards to keep the offensive pressure on the Canadiens, and he played very well on the defensive end of the ice. Falk obviously had something to prove and wants Vigneault to keep him in the lineup.
Vigneault just does not trust Del Zotto enough to get the job done in the Rangers’ end of the ice and if Falk continues to impress, Del Zotto, who is already hearing his name in trade rumors, might be on the move to a new team soon.