Michael Del Zotto will be back in the press box on Wednesday night and, quite possibly, back in his coach’s doghouse as well.
Del Zotto will be a healthy scratch for the Rangers for tonight’s game in Florida, the team announced this afternoon. It marks the fourth time in seven games the 23-year-old rearguard has been dropped from the lineup.
The former first round pick was a healthy scratch in three straight games last week before drawing back in for wins over Dallas and Nashville, then a 5-0 blowout loss in Tampa (Del Zotto went minus-2 in the defeat to the Lightning.)
The lack of harmony between he and head coach Alain Vigneault has led to numerous trade rumors, including one linking Del Zotto to Ottawa (which apparently went cold, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.)
All of this marks a pretty quick fall from grace for Del Zotto. Last season, he signed a two-year, $5.1 million extension and proceeded to score 21 points in 46 games, leading all Rangers defensemen in scoring.
Through 19 games this year, he has just four points and is averaging a career-low 18:08 TOI per game.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger