Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
Mats Zuccarello's progress, Scott Arniel on NYR, Torts on Prust
Don't count on the Norwegian Hobbit strolling out of Hartford soon.
Mats Zuccarello, who has 10 goals and eight assists in 27 games for the AHL Whale, isn't ready yet, according to the Rangers brass, althought they are "happy with his progress."
Assistant general manager Jim Schoenfeld and coach John Tortorella "talked about it the other day," Tortorella said. "He is one of those players who can make a play, again I haven't monitored much, Jimmy's seen him play, I haven't. They're happy with his progress but he still has a ways to go. I think he'll get here quicker because he understands; he knew right away, when I met with him in my office at the exit meeting when we sent him down (in September), he said, "I'm not used to this at all, and I have a ways to go" and he's played pretty well down there."
With Jared Boll injured, twenty-three year-old Tom Sestito, (6-5, 228) was called up from Springfield. Coach Scott Arniel said he expects that the left wing will bring "a physical presence...he was right there on the bubble in training camp, went down and didn't pout and he's been one of their best players. He'll get a chance to be in front of the net on power plays and on one of the top lines." It'll be his season debut.
Here's Arniel on the Rangers:
"Very mobile back end, their defense is very active, real good skill back there, four lines and the ability to play in high scoring games. They've also shown they can lock teams down, they're a team that's rolling with confidence, so we have a good challenge. We have to get back to grind and work and make teams play in their own end. Our strong suit all year has been our forechecking and ability to cycle."
Michael Del Zotto's report on the power play and defense, written by hand while a healthy scratch and watching the Ottawa game, was four pages long...Torts on Prust, who'se left shoulder is not 100 percent, but is 3-3-6 in the last 10. "He's kinda flown under the radar, he has made plays, he protects the puck well, it surprised me when the year started."