Senators’ Michael Del Zotto on DJ Smith, DJing himself and playing with Artem Zub – The Athletic

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It’s been nearly a decade, but Michael Del Zotto is convinced the Ottawa Senators cost his New York Rangers team a Stanley Cup championship.

In the spring of 2012, Del Zotto’s No. 1 Rangers were pushed to the brink against an Ottawa team that made it to the first round of the playoffs. And although the Rangers ultimately won the game with a relentless 2-1 victory in the deciding seventh game, the defenseman believes the Rangers ran out of gas when they faced the New Jersey Devils in the Conference final. from the east.

“It hurt us for the rest of the playoffs. Going to seven with this team has cost us a lot, ”Del Zotto told The Athletic. “Playing seven games against a physical team is not pleasant on the body when you expect to play a few series after that.”

Now that the current edition of the Senators is trying to carve out an identity as a physical and nasty opponent, Del Zotto is more than happy to don his jersey after signing a two-year contract with Ottawa last week. The 31-year-old said DJ Smith has a lot in common with his Rangers head coach John Tortorella.

“There are similarities between him and DJ. They are a bit different, but they coach the same way where they expect your best effort every night,” explained Del Zotto. “I like the way the DJ coaches. The jam they’re playing with and a bit of an old-fashioned mentality – which I’ll bring along as well. “

Del Zotto reunited with Tortorella in Columbus last season after the Blue Jackets brought him to training camp on a PTO.


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