With Marc Staal's most recent concussion, the thought was Michael Del Zotto would get a real opportunity to prove himself one last time before the Rangers finally ship him out of town.
However, with the recall of Dylan McIlrath, it looks like Del Zotto's opportunity might have lasted all of two games as he or Justin Falk will likely come out of the lineup for the Undertaker.
It's no secret that Vigneault hasn't been enamored with Del Zotto since his arrival as evidenced by his decision to make the defenseman a healthy scratch seven times in the first 32 games as well as this statement earlier in the season (via Pro Hockey Talk)...
“I’ve been told his strengths are his ability to beat the forecheck, join the rush, help out on the power play and get shots through. I have not seen that on a consistent enough basis for him to be able to say he’s going to be in the lineup every night.”
Now it looks like the two are in disagreement about Del Zotto's recent performance (via Bergen Record)...
“It’s a good opportunity for me to get back to where I want to be, I felt that I made steps in the right direction the last couple of games and obviously the more minutes the more comfortable you get. It’s a matter of moving forward."
Meanwhile, Vigneault painted a very different picture:
“Yeah, he’s been all right. He’s had his moments where he’s jumped up in the attack and made the right plays. On their second goal, we’ve got three forwards deep and he decides to stay in and test the waters a little bit. We came back, we had even numbers but their guys made a real good play on that play. Sometimes those are the ones you might be better off being a little bit on the defensive side if you see three guys caught in deep in that situation. He probably thought he could keep the puck in and he didn’t.”
...Del Zotto may have been a little bit better the last two games, but not being as atrocious isn't good enough. Del Zotto is on this team to provide offense from the blueline and quarterback the power play, so if he remains unable to deliver, I have to assume Vigneault is going to push Sather to move his 23-year old defenseman. If he hasn't already.
...i was really douped into thinking Del Zotto would be able to figure it out under a more offensive-minded coach. I bought into the fact that Tortorella had possibly put the shackles on the Toronto native and once unchained he would thrive in a system that allowed him to showcase a great outlet pass and finally lead a successful Rangers power play. But if he can't produce under either regime, I have to wonder if he'll ever succeed in the NHL.
...and don't get me started on his defensive deficiencies. It makes me yearn for the days when Marek Malik roamed the blueline for the Rangers.
...add in having a guy like John Moore, who essentially has the same skill set as Del Zotto, on the roster and it makes the embattled defenseman that much more expendable.
...plus if McIlrath offers even a semblance of being able to handle the NHL game, Del Zotto will be out of New York quicker than a teenage boy losing his virginity.
MDZ playing at the SAME level as Girardi and Moore, meaning all three of them are lacking. I don't give a damn about Girardi's "resume". He sucks right now and so does Moore. Falk is a stiff. And if they stick McIlrath with Falk they're just wasting everyone's time. Split up Moore and MDZ.
As a longtime Ranger fan i still, like most, get SO excited when one of our youngsters are brought up to the big team......we all know where i am going with this. Do we really think this kid is going to get a legitimate shot to stay? I am pretty sure this will be one or two and done and back to the minors. Once he makes his first "mistake" micheletti will jump on him and keep pointing out how young he is and how he needs to grow in the minors blah blah blah. God forbid he points out a Girardi error!
Why is everyone singeling out del zotto...he has ben no worse than any other d out there beside mcd...falks the one that needs to be out hes lost out there
"He probably thought he could keep the puck in and he didn’t." That in a nutshell is the problem with EVERY defenseman on this team, although McDonagh has shown a much better aptitude for accomplishing this task this year. It's what squashes momentum on the PP, it creates odd man rushes the other way, and it gives the opponent a chance to change lines and hinder their own opportunity to change. It boggles my mind when these guys think they can control a fast moving bouncing puck with just the blade of their stick. They must all think they have the hand-eye coordination of Daniel-san catching a fly with chopsticks. Put your damn body in front of the puck and keep it in the zone. How friggin' hard is that? They don't need to make a perfect pass, keep it in and reset!
Although recent trade rumors.. Lets wait a little bit longer - wasn't the plan in drafting mcilrath, at least a part of it,that he would stay back and cover for MDZ defensive errors ? They knew he would not be defensivly sound.
This whole plan was a bit delayed with Dylans knee injury.
Lets see if the plan works.. Maybe not this season maybe next if the big truck can't stay in the NHL
just get rid of DelScrubo already. i'm sick of hearing about him quarterbacking the PP even though it will never happen, sick of his horrible defense, sick of him sliding around like chris drury, sick of hearing that he has all this offensive potential but has never lived up to that in the 4-5 seasons he has played already, sick of him being such a soft-nosed player. but most of all i'm sick of seeing his pictues on this blog.
@TheNYRBlog he doesn't realize he is getting more minutes because there is no other option. He is immature.
Sad that delzaster hasn't blossomed, but I'd say Falk comes out. He's had some big lapses lately. Dz can handle big min. It will be more interesting to see if Moore gets a chance at second pairing or at least bigger minutes.
@RangerGuy99 I hate listening to him,he always goes on and on about how great the opponent players are.I actually turn off the sound sometimes.
@weregnalose Stalman has also looked better than DelScrubo who makes 2.5M vs. Stralman's $1.7M. Stralman may be the NYR best bang for the buck. And Moore has looked out of place at times but he has already surpassed DelScrubo on the depth chart and also has "MOORE" potential. also, DelScrubo totally sucks.
Girardi has a resume and Staal was playing with one eye. Del Zotto on the other hand hasn't progressed and is making the same mistakes now that he made his rookie season.
@Kovalev27 Not a bad idea, espeically with people throwing out the suggestion of DZ playing wing. Obvisously, now, we're way off course from AV's game plan, but it could be an option.
I'd keep Pouliot/Pyatt out. With "The Undertaker" getting his first NHL start, although it's only CBJ, would prefer someone with some fighting experience is on the bench so no one tries to give the kid a "Welcome to the NHL" beating.
@TheWrage Spin doctor baby!!!!
@teemuNYR @RangerGuy99 I am more pissed when he says another great save by the opposing goaltender when the shot goes straight at him
@Kevin DeLury Sorry, I was out of pineapple juice ;-)
If he keeps playing as he always does, we won't get jack offered in return and the teenage boy is going to turn 20!