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Michael Del Zotto: Latest member of Tortorella’s doghouse

May 21, 2012, 11:09 PM EDT

There’s a segment of the New York Rangers fan base that doesn’t agree with the notion that Michael Del Zotto has improved his defense all that much since his up-and-down rookie season. In Game 4, it appeared that John Tortorella agreed.

After receiving 7:28 time on ice in the first period, Del Zotto played in just one shift in the second period (1:40) and four in third (for 2:31). It’s pretty easy to see why MDZ was warming the bench as he was guilty of some glaring lapses on defense, which was a point made most abundantly clear when Zach Parise embarrassed him to set up Travis Zajac‘s 2-0 eventual game-winner:

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That segment of Rangers fans often call him “Del Zaster,”* although the exact spelling might range depending upon the angry message boards/Twitter feeds you frequent. Del Zotto registered a secondary assist on the Rangers’ only goal so perhaps he will get a chance to redeem himself, but there was no mistaking how Tortorella felt. Along with sitting on the bench, MDZ served one of Mike Rupp‘s roughing penalties because the tough guy was booted from the game.

Voice your opinion on what Tortorella should do with MDZ, then. Should he be a scratch? Should he get Stu Bickell-type minutes or go back to his typical, healthy amount of minutes?

* Joke-killing clarification: “disaster.”

  1. bcisleman - May 21, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    In fairness to the kid, Grapes notes starting at about the 5:59 mark that MDZ lost his grandmother who he was very tight with over the weekend.

    • brian32556 - May 22, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      It falls on deaf ears with these MSNBC blog writers – they can’t get facts straight, nevermind dig into a story. The commentators said during the broadcast on NBCSN (you know, the same company that pays you for this drivel) that his grandmother passed away this past weekend. Oh wait, you were probably watching CBC and missed that little tidbit. For shame!

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