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Rangers’ Del Zotto gets accustomed to playing right side

Sep 16, 2013, 10:06 PM EDT

delzottogetty Getty Images

With Alain Vigneault taking over as the new coach, plenty of New York Rangers must make adjustments next season. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto told the New York Post on Monday that he’s fighting through some growing pains related to switching from a left to a right defensive spot.

“Every situation on the ice is different from one side to the other, where the blind side is, how you receive and protect the puck, the outlets that are available to you,” Del Zotto said. “It’s been a little bit difficult, but I feel more confident every day.”

In case you’re wondering, the 23-year-old is a left-handed shot.

On the bright side, Del Zotto said that having Marc Staal beside him significantly eases the adjustment, raving about how much ice the recovering blueliner can cover.

The Post notes that Del Zotto has essentially played his entire career on the left side, so this isn’t a minor change. Then again, some Rangers fans call him “Del Zaster,” so he can’t get much worse on the right side, right?


  1. stakex - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    I still can’t understand why so many Rangers fans don’t like Del Zotto. He’s had some problems, and his play in the playoffs was a bit suspect the last couple years… but he’s also scored 62 points and was a +26 over the last two seasons (or one and a half with the short season). With numbers like that, it should be easy to overlook his sometimes suspect defensive play.

    • moarjam - Sep 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      I like him too. Very good young player. He gets a lot of flack from rangers fans is because he is not the second coming of Brian Leetch, which is not fair. He was suppose to be the ppqb and he hasn’t been very effective at it thus far. Another reason (which I believe is the biggest) is his consistency. He will play lights out for 4-5 games and then have a game where he looks terrible.

      I believe he will get it worked out. He is still so young (23) and has been a top 4 dman on one of the better D units in the league since he was 19.

  2. ragsrus - Sep 17, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    He’s still better than anyone the devils have.

  3. stepanup - Sep 17, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    I do like what Del Zotto brings to the table, as he’s an up-tempo defenseman who will push the play, and the Rangers hadn’t had that before he came along. However, it feels like 3/4 of the time that there’s an oddman rush that ends up in the net, it’s DZ that was caught up ice.

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