Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mats Zuccarello Time Needs To Come Now

I give in.  Just a few days ago I addressed the calls for Mats Zuccarello to be called up due to his recent hot play and I said that it was still too early for the move to be made but the combination of watching the Rangers play another inept game that lacked any offensive creativity and Zuke scoring another two goals for the red-hot Whale have made me rethink my position and say it is time to give the kid a shot.  Zuccarello now has 12 goals and 8 assists in 28 games on the year but an even more impressive 10 goals and 8 assists in his last 16 contests only to get more impressive 6 goals and 6 assists in 10 games and finally 3 goals and 1 assist in his last two.  The point of breaking it down to that extent is to show that he is getting better and better and when he is on his game he not only gets points but he gets them in bunches with seven multi-point games on the season.

When I talked about this on Wednesday I said that one of the main issues I had with calling Zuke up right now was where he would play in the lineup given that it was unlikely any of the top 3 lines would be a place he would be put and that the impending returns of Drury and Prospal only further complicated those issues.  Scratch all of that out now as well because if I have to witness another game of Alex Frolov on the power play I might have the uncontrollable desire to wrap a car around a tree, but luckily for me I do not drive.  In the comments Shurshik14 suggested letting Zuke play on the top line with Stepan and Gaborik and while I said that is a lot to put on a kid still adjusting to the North American game, at this point it is truly worth a shot.

The frustrating thing watching the Rangers is not just the lack of scoring which fans by now are relatively used to it is the utter lack of creativity in the lineup and if there is one thing that Mats is a lock to bring it is some flash and creativity.  You have a player who sees the ice exceptionally well, is a very good passer and for a change is someone who can finish the play.  Add that to your best playmaking center and your best offensive player all three of which can pass, skate, and score and it could be a very dynamic combination.  The only issue playing those three together is that either Stepan has to be the grinder in the corners more than he does now with a Fedotenko of the line will just have to use their skill instead of playing the dump and chase style, not that a little less of that would be a bad thing. 

Maybe it is funny, maybe it is not but to me it is because hearing Torts today say that Zuke was not ready only helps me believe that calling him up is the right move and maybe even that Torts believes that because he does have a history of saying one thing and doing another with the media.  So let a stop showcasing Afro and instead call-up the Hobbit not named Frodo.