May 22, 2012, 12:11 AM EDT
Michael Del Zotto landed in John Tortorella’s doghouse in Game 4, but it might only be a temporary stay. Tortorella was supportive of the New York Rangers defenseman after he struggled mightily in a 4-1 Game 4 defeat.
“Yeah, it was a struggle for him,” Tortorella said. “He hasn’t had many games like that this year. And we figure — I have an extra D dressed. We figured we’d take a little pressure off him, let him — just let him watch it, and Michael has gone through a great process. He’s a big part of our club. He’ll bounce back.”
The Rangers might just need him – warts and all. Even when New York is winning, the team struggles to produce consistent offense. They’ve received some key contributions from blueliners in the playoffs – Del Zotto had a huge goal in Game 7 against the Washington Capitals, for one – so his offensive instincts are valuable.
Del Zotto is reportedly dealing with a death in his family, so it’s been a tough time for the young defenseman. Tortorella’s support might just pay off with a bounce-back game, then.
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