With The Blueline Crippled, The Offense (And Dubinsky) Must Step Up

December 20, 2011, by

The month of December has not been kind to the New York Rangers. Already without Marc Staal, the Rangers lost two –and possibly three– more defensemen to injury during this literally painful month. Mike Sauer went down with a concussion after a thunderous Dion Phaneuf hit on December 5. Then just this past weekend, the Rangers lost Steve Eminger to a separated shoulder, and may have lost Jeff Woywitka for a short period of time with a bruised ankle. When Eminger and Woywitka are considered significant injuries, then something is wrong on Broadway.

With those three (four including Woywitka) out, the Rangers are turning to rookies Tim Erixon and Stu Bickel to play decent minutes to at least keep the Rangers in the game. Along with Anton Stralman and Michael Del Zotto, that makes four defensemen who were –for all intents and purposes– not on the club last year. So much for consistency.

In the past three games, the Rangers have mustered just four goals, a trend that cannot continue. When one part of the team falters, another must step up to pick up the slack. The Rangers, as currently constructed due to injuries, cannot win defensive battles. They simply do not have the appropriate tools to shut down multiple lines of offense.

The Rangers are going to have to outscore their opponents in the short term. That means players like Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan, and Ryan Callahan will need to continue to shoulder the load. It also means that Brandon Dubinsky must start playing like the player he was last year. If the team needs someone, it’s him.

Dubinsky is a good all around player, but is only considered to be good when he is scoring. His assist numbers are still there (he has 12), but Dubinsky has just one goal, which is unacceptable for someone making $4.25 million a year. If Dubi wants to turn the season around, this is his opportunity. The Rangers leaned on him last year when there multiple injuries to forwards, and he needs to show that they can lean on him again.

This is Dubinsky’s chance to step on the gas and show why the Rangers gave him that contract this summer, as the offense will need to bear the responsibility of carrying this team while the Rangers dress the CT Whale defense.


  1. Matt J says:

    Thank god for Henrik and Marty right? They’re also going to have to keep us in these games.

  2. Walt says:

    Last year it was McD, who along with Sauer, were outstanding rookies. The year before it was MDZ, and a few years before that it was Staal, and Girardi! Point being made is that these men were given a chance, and they earned a spot on the roster. Lets see if that can’t be the case with both Tim, and Stu!!!!!

    On the offensive side of the equation, the team over all, not just Dubi, have to step it up. Granted, I am some what dissappointed with Dubi’s out put so far, and now he has to show that he can perform. The sign of a good man is to elevate his game in tough times, and I believe that Dubi has the gonads to do just that.

    I personally believe that we also need scoreing from Boyle, Feds, and Prust. They should challenge themselves, and step up with the team needing the additional scoreing load. Here’s a shout out to both Gabbi, and Richards, put the team on your shoulders, and show everyone what your made of as well.

    We play the Devils tonight. This may sound stupid but lets Avery play, Kovelchuk hates the guy, and will be distracted by him. Play as physical game as possible against this team, and crash the nets. Their goal tending is suspect, fat boy is on his way out after this year, and Hedburg isn’t a top flight guy. Just get in their faces, and we should prevail tonight!!!!!

    • Tim says:

      Great post–couldn’t agree more. Lets hope for a big game and big things to come from Dubs and hopefully Avery at least gets the chance to crack the line up. If they don’t go to him for this game, I don’t know when they ever will…Lets Go Rangers!

    • bob says:

      Almost a 100% sure Avery will not play.He should have been in there the last few games.To me,if Chritensen plays over Avery,the coach is letting his personal feelings cloud his judgement.All the guys you mentioned need to step up their game.

  3. BobbyTux says:

    Dubinsky needs to be traded for Bobby Ryan plus Toni Lydman. If the Rangers add Wolski to the deal and potentially one minor league up and comer. It works cap wise.

    Lydman solves lots of current Ranger problems on D. Also we can all agree taht Ryan is much better offense player than Dubinsky solely because he plays in front of the net. The Rangers do not have that player on the currenroster or anywhere in the minors.