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.
Andrew Gross reports that MDZ will miss tonight’s game and hints that it could be a hip injury. Steve Zipay indicates that del Zotto initially hurt his hip in a Feb. 25 game against the Buffalo Sabres.
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.