by Patrick Hoffman on 04/19/11 at 01:27 AM ET
That is certainly what it looks like as the New York Rangers sent Mats Zuccarello down to Connecticut today. Like the Rangers, the Connecticut Whale are preparing for Game 4 of their AHL Playoffs’ series with the Portland Pirates.
Zuccarello will be able to help the Whale in their first-round AHL playoff series against Portland. The Whale, like the Rangers, lost the first two games on the road before winning Game 3 in Hartford, 3-1, on Sunday. Game 4 is Tuesday, also in Connecticut.
After a much-hyped signing last offseason for the Norwegian Hobbit following his MVP season in the Swedish Elite League, there is some question as to whether the 5-foot-7 Zuccarello will ever be able to adapt his game to the NHL. Tortorella admitted before Game 2 that Zuccarello’s size was a concern in the playoffs.
The 23-year-old Zuccarello had six goals and 17 assists in 42 games for the Rangers and often showed fine playmaking ability, looking and making passes other players either wouldn’t attempt or could not complete. But he definitely struggled to score and though he was not afraid of physically challenging bigger players, his efforts often had little effect.
Avery has definitely played better as of late so it makes sent to send Zuccarello down to help out the Whale. What say you?
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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