AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Mats Zuccarello has yet to net his first goal of the season, but the diminutive Norwegian has already left his mark in six games since returning to the Blueshirts.
Zuccarello has averaged a healthy 16:49 and has earned high praise from coach John Tortorella for his conditioning, quickness and creativity. Zuccarello has had an immediate impact on the power play, where the Rangers are five-of-15 since his arrival. Zuccarello has just one assist on the man advantage, but he’s been very effective in gaining entry into the offensive zone and setting up the attack.
The stats confirm that Zuccarello has also added a bit more jam to his game – he has 13 hits in six matches, a significant increase over the eight hits he had in 10 games last year and the 56 hits Zuccarello recorded in 42 games as a rookie. Perhaps most importantly, Zuccarello has helped jumpstart Brad Richards and the duo has formed an effective line with fellow newcomer Ryane Clowe.
Clowe, Derick Br...