Actually, I never said that.
Nevertheless, the Rangers finally awoke from their power play slumber, going 4-for-11 tonight in a 5-3 win over the Bruins after an unsightly 0-for-41 run through the first six games of the preseason. Better yet, look at who scored: Shanahan on a 5-on-3, Jagr on a 4-on-3. Even Nigel Dawes, who now seems to be a lock to make the NHL roster, pumped one in on the man-advantage.
Which brings me to me next point. As I had expected early on, the Rangers opted to send both Brandon Dubinsky and Marc Staal to the AHL and juniors, respectively, and I’m not sure it’s a bad move on either side. In Staal’s case, you’re looking at a 19-year-old kid who seemed shell-shocked at times against the Islanders Friday night and won’t suffer from an extra year of juniors. And with Dubinsky, you have a player who may have adapted well to the NHL game to start the year, but who wasn’t going to get the minutes he deserves at such an impressionable age.
The point is this: if the Rangers see Dubinsky as an effective front-line center for them in the future, then he needs to play somewhere. Against the Islanders, he played a meager eight minutes centering the fourth line. Yes, he produced a goal in the process. But it was still difficult to get into any rhythm seeing the ice so sparingly. Might he eventually end up in the NHL at some point this year? Perhaps. But it will probably be only when the Rangers know they can give him a regular shift, and not the 45 seconds after a penalty kill that he was looking at now.
One other point: I know many fans are going to ask why Dubinsky was shunned instead of Marcel Hossa and Dawes, and the answer is he’s a center, which the Rangers have enough of. Sure, he could probably adapt to playing the wing. But at this point in his career, it’s not worth taking him out of his element.
Not to sound too much like a parent, but the move just might be for his own good.