With Slumping Offense Comes Change – Dubi?

December 16, 2011, by

Amid a scoring slump of sorts (2 games is hardly a crisis) Coach Tortorella once again swapped up his lines during the Blues game. On one occasion Carl Hagelin played opposite Marian Gaborik. With all the line changes comes speculation about the who, what, where and why’s.

Perhaps the main thing the Rangers didn’t do well against the Blues was stick to their own game. The team needs to get back to basics in the next game against Phoenix. The game against the Coyotes should signal a few changes as the Rangers need to get some snarl back and improve their overall effort. Examples may need to be made and the game should call for the inclusion of Sean Avery and Mike Rupp. There should be more ice time to Carl Hagelin whose sole mission should be to harass the puck carrier.

They need to throw the puck on net and crash the net as much as possible. What went on in St Louis was not nearly enough in regards to offense generated and the last two games have been the result of slipping play in recent games. The Rangers have had an up and down couple of weeks with some good and some bad performances.

Will Tortorella bench Brandon Dubinsky at some stage? Despite being a Dubinsky fan it’s a move I have called for, for a while. It’s becoming a serious issue. He’s well off his normal level of play and he needs a game out of the line up. While Dubinsky isn’t the only player underperforming (Brian Boyle, Fedotenko both come to mind for starters) he is the most critical element of what is going wrong.

The Rangers, especially right now, need Dubinsky to be better, much better. He’s an integral secondary scorer that simply isn’t scoring (the occasional assist doesn’t count). When the Gaborik line is being shut down so much pressure turns to Richards and Callahan to score as Fedotenko (on their line) has never been relied on for offense. So with no Dubinsky offense, the depth is tested.

It’s getting to the stage of the season where Dubinsky’s bad year threatens to undermine everything good about the year so far. His bad year threatens to adversely affect the great start to the season. He needs to be a factor going forward. I don’t buy into the apparent annual team slump around this time of year. It’s a different team with different players. What I do buy into is making changes to proactively impact players’ form. Let the players characterised by work effort and determination play. Get back to being a relentless fore-checking team and for that, at least right now, Dubi needs to sit.


  1. Matt J says:

    This is getting pretty ridiculous. First of all he’s not shooting the puck enough, and now when he does he can’t hit an ocean if he was on a beach. He’s got to bear down and not shoot for every corner. Just try to generate a rebound for starters.

  2. Walt says:

    Your spot on with this post!

    Dubi needs to perform, or maybe sat. How about the team get a sports pyscologist, I believe that there is something mental going on here. How about moving Dubi to the second line, long with Cally, and Richards, and get Feds to the third line, or ride the pine?

    Boyle has been sound defensivly, but he too should be told in no uncertain terms, get in the face of the goalie, or sit out a few games. A man with that size, should be an unmovable object, and he isn’t. Is he too soft?????

    Last, but not least, give the Hags kid as much playing time as we can. Maybe he goes to the top six, and utilize his skill set, and speed. When someone like Hags starts to exceed expectations, the rest of the bench will either get excited, and or worried about their collective playingtime!!!!

  3. tmd39 says:

    I don’t think sitting him is going to help. It’s a confidence thing at this point. It’s a catch-22 really – he hasn’t earned minutes with his play, but he needs minutes to get going again.

    • Chris says:

      Maybe, but something needs to be

      Walt, I assume they already have a psych. Most sports teams at that level
      Employ mental coaches this day and age…

  4. Bloomer says:

    I thought the best combo on the ice was Cally, Dubi and Prust. They were hard on the forecheck and scored the only goal. The problem with Dubinskys game right now is he cant find the net. Instead of trying to pick the top right hand corner maybe he should just get the puck on the net… would be a good start.The Hagelin kid makes things happen with his speed and he can play defence too..hes a keeper for sure.

  5. RangerSmurf says:

    Dubinsky’s the wrong scapegoat. As others are saying, his biggest issue right now is getting shots. Conversion is a lesser issue, but he didn’t suddenly become a 2% shooter.

    The Fed-BR-Cally line consistently gets murdered against top competition. There needs to be an adjustment either in that line or in the way it is deployed, in a hurry. It was exasperated last night by the first two STL goals, where they looked really bad.

    Agree that Hagelin needs more minutes. It seems no matter who he plays with, the team spends their time in the offensive zone. They need more of that.

    • Chris says:

      Dubi isn’t a scapegoat at all Smurf. he’s paid 4.2m to produce and simply put: he isn’t. Everyone murdered Gaborik last year because he didn’t score enough and relative to their salaries they are similar situations.

      Offensive zone starts, whatever you want to use… the guy is being paid to be a scorer and he’s anything but that right now.

  6. Mikeyyyy says:

    Avery should be slotted in with be and Callahan. That’s a speed line with lots of upside. That would work assuming Torts stops pouting like little girl and starts putting his personal problems with Avery aside for what’s best for the team and not his micro pen is mightier. And I really don’t care what anyone thinks about that because it hasn’t been done, yet. And if we are really trying anything to get the team going then you try everything. Because its very easy for a 2 game skid to become a 6 game skid , really fast.

    • The Suit says:

      If Torts tries it will you stop pouting like a little girl haha?

    • RangerFanInChicago says:

      How about moving Hagelin up to be with Cally and BR? Dubi can center for Mitchell and Feds and have Avery, Boyle and Prust on the 4th line. EC needs to go away, far far away.

  7. Michael says:

    Simple fixes: play the guys who skate hard consistently. Give minutes to the guys who make things happen. Avery has skated hard and should play. Stepan and Hagelin deserve quality minutes. Anisimov is earning his minutes. Boyle is soft and not skating hard. Dubi is a train wreck. Christensen is worthless. Replace those 3 with any 3 guys who will skate hard every minute.

  8. The Suit says:

    I’d put Avery in and take out EC. Move Dubi up to center Mitchell and Hagelin. Drop Boyle down to center Aves and Prust. Bingo. Bango. Boom.

  9. kgb16 says:

    Sounds like a lot of pressure on Avery to right this thing. Torts should at least give him a shot. It will not hurt Dubi or Boyle to take a seat for a gem or 2.