Feb 10, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) picks up the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Rangers beat the Maple Leafs 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
What can be said about the Norwegian hobbit that hasn’t already been said a hundred times? For somebody that’s 5’7″, it’d be understandable to see him shy away from contact in fear of getting his head clobbered by taller opponents, but instead, Zuccarello hits anything and everything in his path, including 6’9″ giant Zdeno Chara. Everybody in New York loves him, and he’s a key component to the roster on and off the ice. He’s down a few points from last year, 49 this season as opposed to 59 in 2013-14, but for a squad that doesn’t have too many tough guys, Zuccarello can put the puck in the net while not backing down from anybody in the league. When rumors circulated that Zuccarello might get traded just before the deadline, the Rangers didn’t play well at all against the Flyers that night, uneasy that their favorite Hobbit might get moved. Rangers fans chant his name every time he’s on the ice, and pleasing the crowd like that is almost impossible to accomplish in the Big Apple. He loves New York, and New York loves him.
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