"I told him at one point, ‘People know how tough you are, you don’t need to keep proving it.’ It’s too tiring. You’ll get hurt and won’t have energy when you need the puck. It wears you down. Don’t waste all that energy. Pick your spots better and you’ll have juice in the tank.
""Believe in yourself. I know you always feel you have to prove yourself to other people, because you’re not a high draft pick. But, you have to stop putting everyone else on a pedestal because you were not supposed to be here. That doesn’t mean you don’t stop being respectful of others, just don’t disrespect yourself."Martin St. Louis to Mats Zuccarello, via Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts (#28)
St. Louis finished his career with the Rangers, retiring after the end of last season. Since then, the Rangers have had only one Mats Zuccarello-sized player: Zucc himself. He's the lone smaller guy now.
St. Louis, 12 years' Zuccarello's senior, no doubt had advice to pass on to his younger counterpart, and there it is.
It's easy to forget Zucc had only played 125 NHL games by the time St. Louis came on board. In the grand scheme of things, that's really not that many. So was his advice, one littler guy to another, valuable? It's hard to imagine it wouldn't have been.
That's really great advice, too. To say "believe in yourself" is one thing - but everything he adds on just makes it that much more meaningful.
Welcome to the New York Rangers, the team with the most stylish goalies around.
Seriously, that's a damn fine suit.
Antti Raanta doesn't have Henrik Lundqvist's straight up model-like looks, but he does have a respectable .916 save percentage to back up Lundqvist's .922, helping form what's been a pretty great goaltending pair for the Rangers.
They're middle of the pack in goals against, but are 11th in shots against per game. Only two teams who have let more shots go against them per game have allowed fewer goals - and we're talking single digits here. For what Lundqvist and Raanta have to face every night, they've been doing great.
A goalie pair that looks good both on and off the ice, evidently. Good call, Raanta.
Click for sound, guys.I can't even tell you how many times I've watched this Vine now, but it's both an embarrassing amount and, simultaneously, not nearly enough.
Keith Yandle is a precious, beautiful soul who must be protected at all costs. Also he must stay a Ranger. Please.
... Which one's the gnome, and which one's the real Zucc?
Seriously, this is a beautiful giveaway. It looks just like him. That gnome has perfectly captured the essence of all that is Mats Zuccarello, from the hair to the smile to the, well, height.
This is a brilliant idea. We should have more. Not all of his Rangers teammates are as little as Zucc, but I vote for a Derick Brassard gnome to join the Zuccarello gnome so they can be best friends in your garden, too.
You have to go all the way back to December 2015 to find a stretch of games in which the Rangers didn't pick up a single point. They suffered a three-game losing streak to the Wild, Jets, and finally, Caps, before beating the Ducks to get back on track.
Since then, the Rangers have yet to go two games in a row without picking up at least a single point.
As the season winds down, the Rangers look to be comfortably in a playoff spot. Not losing multiple games in a row sure has helped! Here's to hoping they can keep that up through the rest of the year.
Some good news down on the farm, as Nicklas Jensen scored four goals and seven points through three games last week. His play had him named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week.
Three of those four goals came in one game, as he scored his third career AHL hat trick - final goal seen above - which was, of course, pivotal in helping the Wolf Pack continue their current six-game winning streak.
With 12 games left in the season, Hartford is climbing up the standings, and may have a shot at post-season play.
Jensen, 23, has 12 goals and 19 points in 29 games with Hartford since the Rangers acquired him in exchange for Emerson Etem.
NY Rangers goalie Antti Raanta has a new helmet that pays tribute to the NYPD.
Antti Raanta has been wonderful as of late. There's his general good goaltending performances, him bopping opponents on the head, and just how approachable and loveable a guy he seems to be in general.
So let's take a moment to look back on the time Raanta got his army unit blown up.
He told this story back when he was with the Chicago Blackhawks. See, Finland's conscription practices have come up again in the news, what with the Penguins' Olli Maatta set to begin his service. Raanta, a Finn, of course had to serve for six months as well - and he led his unit into a minefield.
Good thing it's only pucks he faces now!
I miss a bit of the language. Speech is not quite 100 percent, but it is not sure it will be so much better. I'm okay with it. There are certainly many who are happy that I'll shut up once in a while.Mats Zuccarello, via VG Sporten, a Norwegian newspaper. Translated by Google Translate, with me cleaning it up just a little.
Zucc is having his best-ever season on the ice - no small feat in general, but especially so considering how his last season ended.
He still has problems with words and letters on occasion, but he's taking all of this in stride - things could have been worse, and hey, it is what it is now. Nothing he can do about that but keep going on, and he's doing a great job of it.
Even if he talks less now. But he jokes that that might actually be a positive for other people - and when you can joke about it, you're probably in a good place.
VG also asked Zucc about the playoff race, and he knows not to take anything for granted there.
We'd recognize that smile anywhere, huh? This is one of the best pictures of little Mats Zuccarello ever, though Peter Forsberg deserves a bit of credit for that.
The caption is a really awesome part of all this too, though. Last off-season, Mats Zuccarello made his return to the ice for his charity All Star Game for Right to Play.
It looks like he'll be holding another one again this year - but Peter Forsberg is going to be involved, too.
Zucc vs. Foppa? Sign us up, that is going to be the coolest thing.