Does this team miss Dubinsky?

May 15, 2012, by

Everyday on Twitter, I see the beat writers giving answers to the same question: Did Brandon Dubinsky skate? The answer has been ‘no’, and the answer will likely be ‘no’ for the forseeable future. Dubinsky is still using his walking boot and has not skated since the Ottawa series. Prior to that, Dubinsky was alternating between second line duties and third line duties (following the injury to Brian Boyle), although this was before Chris Kreider was inserted into the top six.

With Boyle back, and Kreider showing he deserves his top six minutes, the question about the Rangers missing Dubinsky hasn’t been brought up too often. After all, why question something if the Rangers are winning? John Mitchell is doing just fine on the fourth line, and won a key face off that led to Marc Staal’s overtime winner in Game Five of the Washington series. Mike Rupp is playing very well. Ruslan Fedotenko is too.

So the question becomes: If Dubinsky comes back, who would sit? Does the team even miss him?

Dubinsky may not have been producing offensively, but he has definitely been a great asset to the club defensively and on the penalty kill. Let’s remember that the penalty kill really struggled in the Washington series, although the Caps have some tremendous talent. Was it just coincidence that the kill looked bad when Dubinsky was out? I’m inclined to think no, it was not a coincidence. The club definitely misses him on the kill.

While the Rangers as a whole may miss him in that particular scenario, is it enough to say that they miss him in every scenario? He certainly wasn’t scoring, so there’s no loss on offense. Defensively, the Rangers have done a magnificent job of shutting down the opposition’s best scorers. But the depth appears to be lacking, as it’s the secondary and tertiary scorers that have been breaking through against them (see: Chimera, Jason).

In the hypothetical situation that Dubinsky is to return, and let it be known that John Tortorella will play Dubi if he can go, it’s tough to see who he would really replace. Earlier in the postseason the target was on Fedotenko’s back, but he’s been great this postseason. Then it moved to Mitchell, who hasn’t exactly been playing poorly, but hasn’t been turning heads enough to keep Dubi out of the lineup.

At even strength, there really wouldn’t be too much of a difference between Dubi and Mitchell. Maybe Dubi can turn one of those fourth line grind shifts into a goal, but that’s a big maybe. It’s the added depth on the kill that would really help the Rangers. In the end, the team likely misses Dubi, but not as much as we might think.

Categories : Analysis


  1. TommyT says:

    I don’t believe Dubi is missed at all. I agreed with all of your points, and personally believe he may have very well played his last game as a NYR. Sad to say but he wont be missed, big contract for a 3rd line guy.

  2. Chris F says:

    The organization does not miss him, honestly, from a strategic, performance perspective. However, you have to believe that the guys in the room, the team and the coaching staff, definitely miss Dubinsky. He has always been well liked.

    As a fan, if the Rangers lift the Cup this year and Dubi is not on the ice to partake, after all he has given for this organization, it will be very disappointing. If his injury allows him back before the end, I say give the kid the chance to be part of history.

  3. evan says:

    I have been one of the first to question the value Dubi brings, especially with his contract in a cap league and with many young guys waiting in the wings. However, there is no way you can tell me that you would rather want Mitchell, Rupp or Fedotenko on the ice over Dubinsky. Has mitchell played better of late? Yea. But anytime mitchell and Rupp are on the ice, him and rupp have a great start to their shift and then they get pinned in our defensive zone for a 5 on 5 PP.

    Dubinsky may not have been scoring, but given how we are playing these 1 goal games, i could actually trust dubi to play 10-12 minutes and give some of our top guys a rest. Mitchell and Rupp i cannot trust for more than 6 minutes in a game.

    In the end, we have a ton of draft talent waiting in the wings with more scoring ability than dubi. I love dubi as a home grown player and I am willing to give him the first half of next year to prove this year was in aberration. However, scoring has clearly been our problem this postseason and if we can top a pure finisher for dubi this summer I really do not see how you can argue against that.

  4. Walt says:

    There is no way anyone can honestly say that Dubi isn’t an assit, especially at this time of the year.

    Your right on the mark, with Dubi out, the Caps ran rough shot on the PP against us. Yes they have high quality skilled players, but Dubi was missed big time.

    Because this won’t be a series of line brawls, Dubi should replace Rupp, or at least Mitchell, should he be healthy. Then if we have a lead late in a game, Prust skates with Boyle, Dubi skates with Cally, and you rotate them as shut down forwards. Look, I personally like the kid, he isn’t the most gifted player out there, but he wears his blue heart on his sleeve, and for that he should be rewarded.

  5. Mikeyyy says:

    I have always liked dubi… But this entire year has been a lost cause for him.

    I don’t think he plays unless someone is injured. And will be traded to clear cap space for Nash in the offseason.

  6. kerry says:

    Mitchell/Rupp over Dubi?? I can’t even believe I just typed that. Enough’s enough with the hating on Dubinsky. He’s a blue-blooded Rangers and brings great intensity consistently when on the ice. He is definitely missed by his team, and though the Rangers are winning, it’s been BARELY!! Last night’s game was magnificent, but face it folks . . . we’re lucky to still be in this. We nearly lost to the SENATORS!! Everyone has down years, and this is Dubi’s, and not everyone is an Alex Ovechkin, which Dubi may never be . . . and neither will the rest of the Rangers. Give this kid a break people. He’s a valuable Ranger, and he will bring a lot to the team when, and hopefully if, he returns. I can’t wait. GO DUBI!!

  7. Zen says:

    I always laugh when the Dubi enthusiasts come out of the woodwork. Given how bad he has been this year and how often he fails to meet any expectation, I am obviously not one of them. BUT I still admit that he is an asset on the PK and can throw his body around on the 3rd/4th lines okay. My issue with him is his contract and how he has pretty much been the only young Ranger who didn’t succeed after getting paid.

    That being said… at this time of year, contracts don’t matter, so I wouldn’t mind if he came back because he IS a better option than Mitchell. BTW- Rupp won’t leave the line-up, given his playoff experience.

  8. michael says:

    Mitchell has been winning faceoffs. Rupp has been taking foolish penalties. He has been around long enough to know better. As long as Prust and Bickel (who is playing all of 3 minutes) are in the lineup Rupp’s toughness isn’t needed in the playoffs.

    If Dubinsky is 100% bring him in and let him play…right up until he throws a weak backhander along the ice towards the goal. At least give the guy a chance to end a bad year on a good note.

    • The Suit says:

      How has Rupp been taking stupid penalties when he’s only been penalized twice in the last 2 series?

  9. rob sahm says:

    if people dont think dubi can contribute your not a smart hockey fan. sit mitchel if dubi is healthy look the man was never going to be a 40 goal scorer and his big contract is sathers fault. if you dont think he is worth it anymore then deal him in the offseson for nash iginla bobby ryan or a bag of pucks this soap oprea with dubi should be put to bed already

  10. wwpd says:

    not that Tortorella’s press conference comments mean much, but I think he said the other day that he reminded in answer to someone’s question that he wasn’t even using Dubi on the PK so much lately before his injury, and best I recall he is right about that

    • Pronk says:

      Im confused with regards to the penalty kill argument. As Torts said himself in the game 6 press conference vs washington he was not using dubi much on the kill prior to his injury and didn’t think the penalty kill was affected at all by dubi’s absence. So if we take that out of play, as we should, the only difference is possible slight edge over mitchell in offensive play (a small one at that averaging .441 points a game to Mitchels .2541 a game this season, neither a significant offensive threat). The only large difference is that dubinksy is a liability to take penalties every time he’s one the ice he has 110 PIM with 6 fighting majors so we subtract 30 min for that and he has 80 minutes putting the rangers shorthanded this season. Thats more then any other forward on the team by a long shot and any other 2 forwards combined with one or 2 exception. So from what I see Dubinsky is liability to the team compared to mitchell and i do not believe it makes sense to keep dubinsky at the current absurd contract when we have a similar player in mitchell. Oh and to those that make the “but he bleeds blue and gives himself up for the team argument” he had fewer blocked shots per game then scoring offensive stars such as ovechkin, malkin, crosby, richards, gaborik. So maybe Dubinsky has a spot over Rupp on the fourth line of the rangers but as i see it id rather have rupp with his 1.5 million contract and someone that will go out and fight effectively as well as has that kind of experience and figure in the locker room than dubinsky eating nearly 7% of the rangers total cap space for 3 years to come.

      • Section 121 says:

        You need to subtract all the 10 misconducts and incidentals as well to accurately state how much Dubi has put the team in short handed situations.

  11. Bobby Tux says:

    DUBINSKY takes dumb penalties, often positions himself poorly, and has no “hockey sense”. There is absolutely no way that TORTs dresses him without an injury. This is a case of addition by subtraction.

    After the season he is part of a package for Nash, Ryan, or possibly Weber (much needed powe play help)

  12. kerry says:

    Amen brother. Get well soon Dubi and GO RANGERS!

  13. Joeyc says:

    Dubinsky would repace Rupp or mithcell for sure. Many of you may have short term memory but he is a key forchecker and great on the defensive power play. Yes his goal scoring lacked this year but he makes up for it in his aggressive style much the way Prust does. However, Dubi can get hot at any moment we all know he has the skill and sitting Rupp would not change th game much when you have Bickel and Prust for physical protection.

  14. Lou says:

    Dubi lost his guts and fire the moment he signed the contract. He didnt hit this year, didnt score this year, didnt block shots this year…so why would we expect different in the playoffs?
    What did the flyers players call him on the tv show? Weisel — that is to say COWARD. Common folks, I know he has been a ranger for a long time, but he has less nads than Gomez.
    Rupp adds more between periods than Dubi can by playing 20+ minutes and figure skating till his shifts are over.
    Go Rangers!!

  15. kgb16 says:

    I agree with sitting Mitchell, Rupp for Dubi, or even Prust, who I think, has been ok but sseems a step slow these days.

  16. kerry says:

    You trollers are not Ranger fans. Stop messing with our chemistry and hit the road losers