Make no mistake, Mats Zuccarello is loyal to the Rangers

The World Cup of Hockey is fun, but it’s not the real season.

Right now, Mats Zuccarello plays for Team Europe. Most of the time, though, he plays for the New York Rangers.

So where his loyalties lie should be obvious. And they definitely are.

I’ve always wondered how that would work in international tournaments. Even in bigger ones, like the Olympics. You’re playing for your country - that team never changes. Your NHL team can always change in an instant, though.

Then again, I suppose Team Europe isn’t really Zuccarello playing for his country. Would things be different if it was Norway vs. Sweden fighting for a medal in the Olympics, though? I still doubt it - particularly as the Rangers’ season lasts much longer, with a whole other goal in mind that they’ve been working towards for a really long time together.

Zuccarello and Team Europe take on Henrik Lundqvist and Team Sweden tonight at 7 p.m. in one of the final World Cup exhibition games. They won’t meet up again unless they’re lucky enough to do so in the knockout rounds.