"Guys go through ups and downs," Zuccarello said after this morning's optional skate. "Obviously, almost all the (injured) players are back so I get less time on the ice. All players want to play as much as they can but I do the best I can. I just have to stay positive. I try to pay attention to everything out there. It's exciting, too. It's like watching a game on TV but with better seats. Obviously, if we win, it doesn't matter."
MZA's ice time has gone from an average of about 15 minutes per game down to a season low 8:24 against the Kings last night. Zuccarello has 3g, 11a in 24 games this season.
...this was a topic of conversation when I was on Blueshirt Banter Radio the other night. If MZA is only going to get 8 minutes a night should he be sent back to the Whale so he can get first line minutes? I think that answer depends on what the organization's plan is for this team. If they want to develop young players at the NHL level he needs to be getting ice time over players such as Wolski, Prospal, Avery (hurts to say it) and Fedotenko when he comes back. However, if they want to develop these guys while being competitive then maybe sending him down to the Whale isn't the worst idea.
...either way, giving him just eight minutes a night isn't helping anyone.
...this philosophy also goes for Del Zotto.
is it really a big deal? doesnt mean hes going to play 8 minutes every night, torts is inconsistent like this. they arent focusing on developing players right now, we arent the islanders, we are trying to make it in to the playoffs. players like prospal, avery, and fedotenko are vets who have been in this position before and in a game like last night where it is close, a rookie might not play as much, doesnt mean we should send him back down to the minors. you dont think practicing wiht the big club and playing 3rd line minutes is helping mza? youre reading way too much into this
@drywpd Agreed on all accounts. Would hate to see MZA go down as well. Big time identity crisis but hopefully this little winning streak will help get everyone on the same page.
its going to be interesting to see what happens when everyone is healthy. theres just something about mza that is different and we may miss if he goes down. a player like grachev needs ice time and time to develope and that is why he should stay down in hartford and after reading your earlier post, it seems like that is working out well. i think mza is a little different in that respect, but thats my opinion. i think our real problem is that we have about 2 tiers of players, the first being our guys that get serious minutes every night (gabby, cally, duby, step, probably missing some) and the next tier (pretty much everyone else). I think that most good teams have 3/4 tiers and players to fit each role/tier and we dont have that. now, this can be a positive as we have seen in how well we have dealt with injuries (players easily replacing eachtoher), but when everyone is healthy i think we have a bit of an identity crisis
@drywpd Thanks for clarifying. My concern with MZA is that his ice time will dwindle even more when Feds comes back. Then basically you have a guy playing 8 minutes and taking shootouts. Not enough in my opinion. But if this is just Torts being Torts and MZA ends up with 12 min a night than I'm ok with it.
@drywpd I'm on the same page as you. In addition, I'd be kinda annoyed if MZA was sent to the Whale because I wouldn't get to watch him play.
i dont think i was clear enough in what i was trying to say. obviously there has been an emphasis on youth, but I dont think it has ever been at the expense fo the team. right now, our better players are all young. we could argue who should play bt mdz and eminger, but at the end of the day, is there really a difference between the two of them ability wise, eminger barely played a couple of nights ago. so while there has been a so called "youth movement" have we really had a choice?
with respect to MZA, i think he is a vital part of this team and sending hiim down would hurt our team. recently we have been involved in some tight, important games and he has played a little less as torts has relied on some vets, but should we send him down based on that? i think playing him 10-12 minutes a night is fine fore his development as he is importnat to our success (playmaking, PP, shootout, etc...) Torts is notoriously inconsistent with ice time and i dont think we need to read too much into this
@drywpd They're not focused on developing players right now? Have you not heard Torts say at almost every press conference that it's about the kids? If they're not developing players why is Del Zotto not in Hartford because he certainly doesn't deserve to play over Eminger. And no I don't think practicing is the same as actual game experience and logging big minutes learning the game as opposed to watching.
You can watch someone ride a bicycle but you can't really learn how to ride until you get on the bike.