The last few games we've seen a much improved Rangers team. So what's changed? Better understanding of Alain Vigneault's system? Another closed door meeting? Nope. Derrick Brassard lays it all out for us (via Daily News)...
“There’s more desperation in our game, there’s more emotion, more desperation about winning. We’re not playing any differently, X’s and O’s, just with more emotion.”
...this has been something myself and many of you have been begging for from this Rangers team all season. Passion. They're finishing checks, skating hard, coming to the aid of teammates and it's translating into wins. I'm not sure what, if anything, flipped the switch, but they have been so much more enjoyable to watch even in the loses.
...and the one player who most personifies the Rangers renewed energy is Zuccarello. Guy has been a force on the ice since he was benched earlier in the season and his care free, jovial attitude in the locker room must be having a positive effect on his teammates.
...now, the Rangers are still a long way from convincing me that this is a permanent change and I still think some trades need to be made to upgrade the roster, but I started to get an inkling things were turning around last week when they began to display some resiliency. Just have to hope the players don't lose this emotional edge during the Christmas break.
It was heartwarming to see myself on the tree this morning. Thanks Kevin and Joe.
And thanks everyone for making this such a fun space to express my fanhood. It's really cool the range of people that come here to lurk and post. A tired cliche it might be, but this diversity, rubbing shoulders with one another, is why I love NY so much. So thanks again for all your hard work, Kevin. I hope the balance of irritation to satisfaction (and appreciation) continues to tip in our favor.
Now to Zucc. Zucc is the only Ranger this year who has been consistently dangerous on 90% of his shifts. I like the way Stepan is playing defensively but he seems a little lost still on O -- he was the one at the end of the year last year. Martin St. Louis is a great talent -- a generational talent -- and we know Zucc is not in his class, but his effect on the ice reminds me a bit of MSL: his craftiness, quickness, and consistent orientation to being a threat. It takes a disciplined mindset to play like that night in and night out; and we shouldn't shit on others who are merely exceptional humans and can't play that way constantly. Of course, the more Zucc types (of all shapes and sizes) that we can get on the team, the closer we get to the Bostons and LAs and Chicagos and San Joses of the league. Passion, confidence, grit, strength, guile.
Loved watching them skate off the ice to the tunnel, Zucc and DZ were the last 2 off and they were playfully pushing each other...let's face it, Zucc is the man
Zucc has been a big contributor, but two guys respond to Matt Cooke hitting Zucc (somewhat) high, I think, was the switch. It wasn't a dirty or malicious hit, but that's the point. The rangers have been notorious for not responding to hits that are actually dirty. Standing up to a routine hit because it was simply an unneeded hit on an important player, I think, was something new, and I loved it.
Zucc is my hero. At one point he was fighting two Leafs out there. And his stare down...it fills me with joy and fear at the same time.
I like that the energy is coming from the 2nd/3rd line guys. Zucc, Krieder, Brass, Poopoo, Boyler, Hags...all skating with purpose out there. Now if we could only get Nash and Richards to follow suit...
They only play like this when Talbot is in goal.. I'll wait and see how they play once Hank gets put back in...
Zucc for the C! Leads by example, passion and has a big heart. And looks like his teammates are taking notes :D
ya can't ask any more out of the team than to play hard, with passion and to play as a team and stick up for each other. if you don't do any of these things you're going to be dead in the water. you can accept losses if the the effort is there, ( you might not like it ) but you know you did your best, which hasn't been happening. so let's hope after the break they remember how it's done.
Zuuuuccccc! The man is a shining example of dedication hard work and perseverance. He probably got shit his whole life for wanting to be a pro hockey player and being a smaller guy, anyone who's been considered an underdog understands how much motivation it provides
yeah I did notice that they were finishing checks on the forecheck. wasn't sure what it was at first, thought maybe they were tripping and falling over into opposing players.
Perhaps they were visited by 3 spirits in the night?? In any case, give me a team of Zuccs and Dorsetts any day. They might not win many games, but they'll never take a shift off.
Firstly Happy Christmas/Holidays everyone!! Last season too they were mediocre through mid season and decided when the playoff picture started looking questionable to actually become a team and play with passion and desperation. We point fingers at the coach, me included but it starts with the players. I've been a Zucc fan all along since last season as many here know. Saw his leadership last year, some of it by example but some probably on the bench and in the room as well and things he did and said impressed me, not the least of which was to take a low ball contract to help his GM sign his more valuable players. If only they all had this team mentality and being a Ranger meant more to them than having the shiniest contract in the land. Not just the world class skills of Zucc impressed me, especially with his passing but I saw his vision of the ice, his smarts and guile would compensate for what he lacks in the poundage dept. A hobbit, even with his magical invisibility ring -( though if they can't see him they can't hit him_, is not enough when the checking gets tighter and meaner down the road and without the right support Zucc will become less of a factor as the year rolls forth. Others have to step up more and Zucc needs more protection out there. Now that they are showing signs of determination Slats will have to make some good decisions and balance this roster to compliment his coaches strategies but mostly by getting more size and grit. I know my thoughts here are just a repeat of what a lot of us feel but hey, after a few games when the team showed a little heart maybe there is something here for the GM to work with.
Frodo has the heart of a lion. His teammates can learn a lot from him. He is fearless and goes places no other Rangers on this team would dare to go. (The front of the net). He certainly is leading by example.
Of course they're playing with more heart and emotion. There not playing in front of Hank who has been allowing 2 goals in the first 10 mins of the first period. That kills the team. Long live king talbot
If zuccarello were 6'2 215 with his skill set he'd be in the conversation with some of the top guys the way he is playing right now. And he'd probably fight EVERYONE, fiesty little bastard he is.
@cb1 Good point but I disagree with you on Boyle.IMO.He's been a no show most of the season.I expect more from the guy the just winning his share of the face off's Time for him to move on.
unfortunately, you can't teach what he has going on right now