See, I told you not to worry.

6

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.

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6 Comments

  1. Sam,
    What do you think Renney and the org.’s deal with Hossa is? do they still consider him a prospect who will eventually become a decent player or is he trade bait? and what about Kasperaitis i hear he looked less then wonderful tonight, whats your view on his situation right now? Thanks for the game coverage its greatly appreciated!
    Thanks!

  2. Sam:

    Hossa is a waste of space. We can only hope he is trade bait, because I just don’t see what he contributes that is valuable. When he gets the puck, he does not know what to do with it. Why in the world is Renney so enamoured with the guy.

    Great blog, BTW. Thanks!

  3. Hey Sam, love the blog. How did Kapsaraitis play this afternoon. Looking at the box score, he just played a little over 11 minutes. What’s up with that? Also, are you now going to cover the Rangers full time? What happened to Gross? Keep up the good work!

    Regards,
    Alex from Larchmont

  4. agree with you fully on Dubinsky, half on Staal (the other half wishes he could play in the AHL). i am glad that you have started this blog because i find it refreshingly honest, humorously and amazingly in-depth (always the best).

    keep on trucking!

    -danny

  5. Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Yes, I’ll be here all year, so provided you all don’t get sick of me, it should be fun. As for my predecessor, Andrew Gross, he’s covering the Jets now; but I know for a fact he doesn’t completely have hockey out of his system, so I suspect we’ll see more of him after football season.

    Very quick on Hossa: a few entries ago I mentioned that the Rangers like his size and his energy, particularly on the penalty kill. I don’t see it yet, either, to be honest. But I’ll wait and see how the start of the year unfolds.

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