If you're a New York Rangers fan, you probably aren't too keen towards defensemen Michael Del Zotto. His performance lately has been less than par which certainly does not need to be pointed out for any Rangers fans to take notice. It is a common belief that because of MDZ's poor on-ice decision making and frustrating gameplay that he is dragging the team down with him. On the contrary, MDZ's stats so far this year haven't been great, but they're not the worst on the team.
MDZ is currently in a three-way tie for third in defensive goals with John Moore and Dan Girardi with only one goal a piece. He is second in assists (3), second in points (4), and fourth in +/- (-4) for Rangers defensemen. Surprisingly, the defensemen with the worse overall stats is Girardi with one goal, one assist, two points, and a -6 +/-. This is ignored of course because of Girardi's passionate, hard-working performance combined with his overall likability.
Now, in no way am I attempting to attack Dan Girardi, or any other defensemen on the team. In reality I've come to notice that although MDZ's gameplay is extremely hard to watch sometimes due to amateur mistakes, it's not as awful as many assume it to be. In fact, like I previously stated, he doesn't have the worst defensive stats on the team. In all actuality, he is about average and therefore doesn't deserve all the ridicule he endures. Now I know Rangers fans are passionate hence the reason why we get so worked up on our players when we know they're better than how they're preforming, but if MDZ isn't as bad as we presumed, what does he have to do to be seen in a positive light?
Personally, and I believe a lot of you will agree with me, I need more aggression in MDZ's gameplay and less minimum effort. I'm tired of him standing in front of the net and thinking that counts as defending. It provides no protection for Lundqvist and only allows the opposing teams offense to easily get shots on net. That's just my opinion. What do you guys think?