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Zuccarello drawing some eyes

Wednesday, 09.28.2011 / 9:59 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / Rangers World Tour

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Zuccarello drawing some eyes
PRAGUE -- As soon as the lady introduced herself as being from Norwegian TV, Rangers coach John Tortorella and PR man John Rosasco broke into laughter.

The woman, who is here with a camera crew following around Norwegian-born Mats Zuccarello, must have felt a little awkward that her simple introduction drew some laughter, but Tortorella quickly let her know it wasn't aimed at her.

"We had a lot of Norwegian TV follow us last year, too, in New York," he said.

He's right. As soon as Zuccarello was in New York, people from his home country were following him and monitoring his development in the NHL. After all, the guy is one of two Norwegian-born players in the NHL last season (Jonas Holos), so naturally there is a great interest in how he's doing in the world's finest hockey league.

They're so interested, in fact, that the crew here Wednesday even wanted to interview me about Zuccarello.

Tortorella, though, was much more informative about Zuccarello's development.

"Last year was a great year for him to understand how to play in the small buildings and understand the National Hockey League and North American hockey," the coach said. "He had some things to work on. We talked about it before he left in the summer, and you can tell he is concentrating on what he needs to do. He's had a really good camp, so hopefully he'll continue on along the way and he'll do just fine."

Tortorella said he was particularly pleased with how Zuccarello played Monday night in Philadelphia.

"He was one of our better players," he said. "He made a couple of good plays. He is probably one of our better players in-close as far as making plays. He's had a really good camp."

But, how much will he play, asked the Norwegian TV lady.

"If he plays well, he'll play," Tortorella answered.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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