Michael Del Zotto’s name doesn’t carry the same panache as Henrik Lundqvist, Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards or even Marc Staal, but he’s been enjoying the best season of his brief NHL career for the New York Rangers. He’s been a nice offensive producer with 35 points, but an already shaky Rangers power play will have to find a way without him tonight.
The offensive blueliner arrived on the NHL scene in a big way as a rookie, collecting 37 points in 2009-10. That being said, he struggled in his end (exemplified in part by a -20 rating) and then regressed last season, making him a big wild card this year. It seems that MDZ has cleaned up his all-around game (whether you dig the stat or not, a +24 rating certainly isn’t a bad thing) while getting his scoring touch back. MDZ already has 35 points this season, so he should be able to set a new career-high as long as this hip issue doesn’t sideline him for too long.
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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