Greg Zanon's beard once blocked a shot all by itself. Greg Zanon doesn't block shots, the puck runs away in fear. Greg Zanon would play through injury, if Greg Zanon could be injured.
We've heard them all, we're made some up, and we love them. Zanonisms are really the only way to give the respect to a guy whose main goal in life seems to eat as much rubber as he possibly can. He is, however, still human.
As much as we all want Greg Zanon to single handedly win hockey games, that is not his role. His role is to keep the team in the game and give the offense a chance to win. To protect the goalie from facing another fifteen or so shots a game on top of the 743 they already need to stop.
Where did Zanon wind up for grades? Did the HW staff muster the courage to challenge the man of Kevlar? Make the jump and find out.
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JS- GRADE: B Zuperman. #2 in blocked shots in the league this year, reached 1000 career blocks, and was once again a very reliable 2nd goalie, but for some reason, he wasn't as good as last year. Maybe it's because our expectations were higher this year? Anyhoo, they isn't much you can say about Zanon, he doesn't score goals, but he's not in Minnesota to score goals. He does exactly what he's supposed to do and has become one of the best in the league at it. He's also indestructible as he could take a speeding bus to the face and still play the next game. He didn't miss a single game this year, just one of three Wild players to do so. We love you Zuperman, stay just the way you are.
Elise- GRADE: B+ B is for beast.
Dan- GRADE: B Although I appreciate his shot blocking abilities and his mentoring of Stoner, his defensive game is not what his stats suggest. While he is used quite alot against opposing teams to players (2nd highest even strength time on ice/game), he isn't able to shutdown premium offensive talents and will sometimes result in blocking the shot rather than pushing the player off the puck. Still, he is key for the Wild and for 1.933 million cap hit, its quite a bargain.
Bryan- GRADE: B- Zuperman was a little less Zuper this year, but still a superb d-man. Zanon finished second in the league with 212 blocked shots, which was critical for a team getting outshot every game and giving up goals too often. There were a few times I remember asking "What was Zanon thinking there?" but they were few and far between. All-in-all, it was a good season for Zanon, and he lived up to exactly what he is expected to do.
Nathan- GRADE: C- Never one to question the work ethic of Zanon, his on-ice performance took a step back this year. The seven points I can handle. The zero goals I can handle. The -5 I cannot. Zanon needs to be a shut-down guy. He needs to be paired with someone (Marek Zidlicky) who can roam forward, push the play and rely on Zanon to never give up the odd-man rush, never get caught out of position, and when the play is in his own end, Zanon needs to be clearing the slot and blocking shots. He was average this year. He's only 30 though, and has time to pick it up next season and be the rock on the blue line.
Cumulative GPA: 2.75 B-