Dubinsky gets his shot

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More thanks are in order to Andrew Gross, who is helping me get through my jury duty misery by keeping me — and by extension, you — updated on the Rangers. Here’s Andrew’s report on the recently summoned Brandon Dubinsky, who will be thrown into the fire tomorrow night against the Isles:

Brandon Dubinsky found out he was being called up to the Rangers for the first time when Wolf Pack GM/coach Jim Schoenfeld called him into his office after Tuesday’s skate.

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Schoenfeld, who had a lengthy NHL career as a defenseman and has coached the Sabres, the Devils, the Capitals and the Coyotes, had a few pearls of wisdom for the 20-year-old Dubinsky.

“He said a couple of things I do well down there (in the AHL) might not work as welll up here because the other guys are a little bit stronger and smarter up here. Yeah, he gave me a few words of wisdom,’” Dubinsky said. “He just told me down there, a lot of times, I was protecting the puck real well down low and holding guys off and maybe outmuscling guys. He gold me the guys are all stronger up here, I’ve got to make the plays quicker. I’m not going to necessarily outmuscle the defenseman. He said, `Just make smart plays and don’t get yourself in trouble. Keep doing what you’re doing but be aware of what’s going on around you because things happen a lot faster.”

Schoenfeld has obviously been sending good reports back to Tom Renney, though the Rangers coach knows Dubinsky is far from a finished product.

“I thought they practiced well and you can see they’re excited to be here and they didn’t look out of place at all,” Renney said of Dubinsky and rookie defenseman David Liffiton after today’s skate. “(Dubinsky) is a young player. It’s not just about how he physically adapts to the pro game and what the AHL has to offer. It’s also sort of the mental maturation that goes along with that. It’s about becoming consistent as a player, putting yourself in position to learn to get better in areas of weakness. He’s still a work in progress. But we feel he’s a big, strong kid who maybe will offer up some of that offense we’re looking for.’”

For his part, Dubinsky said he believes he’s gotten stronger since a good showing in the Rangers’ training camp and his play in the defensive zone has gotten smarter.

Essentially, he’s learning what it takes to be a pro.

“There’s a lot of mental preparation you’ve got to do,” Dubinsky said. “It’s a long schedule, nobody’s taking care of you so you’ve got to take care of yourself and be ready. It’s a job here, it’s not for fun anymore. There are constantly guys wanting to take your job and you obviously want to move up so you’ve got to be ready to play every night and bring the same intensity.”

As for Dubinsky’s background, his father did live in Massapequa, Long Island before moving West and, ultimately, to Alaska, where Dubinsky was born. Dubinsky said he still has a few family members who live in the New York area but, unfortunately, he has not kept in touch with them. In other words, there’s not likely to be a Dubinsky rooting section in the Coliseum stands tomorrow night.

His father, by the way, was a Rangers fan, which he remained even after the NHL birthed the Islanders.

“He didn’t want to convert,” Dubinsky said.

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8 Comments

  1. Renney says, “He’s still a work in progress.”

    he already has played the “footspeed” type card before Dubi gets one shift.

    as though Renney and his pets are not works, or jerks in progress.

  2. people complain when the kids don’t get a shot…now they get a shot and then it’s “quick quick…find something else to complain about”. Dubinsky is very young dlv. If he’s at the peak of his skills at his age, then wow that would be amazing (and sad). Guess what? Of course he’s a work in progress! He’s been in the nhl for how manygames now? 0? You think there’s no adjustment from the ahl to the nhl? I’m sure you’re looking forward to tonight’s game so you can find some other trivial or nonexistent complaint to file against Renney. Here’s a tip: focus on the great hockey the rangers are playing and the fact that they could move into a playoff spot with a win. But that has nothing to do with Renney…nah, how could that be? It’s the players on the ice who get the credit when they win and it’s the coach who gets the blame when they lose.

  3. You know, I sometimes wonder what you guys are seeing that I’m not. Immo was ok, not great, and certainly not the second coming of Phil Esposito. Pock has been ok when he’s been given a chance, but he’ll never be mistaken for Ray Bourque (heck, he may not even be better than Phil Bourque — anyone remember him?). Everyone complains as if these guys somehow lit the world on fire. They didn’t and I have no problems with them sitting. Anyway, I think Renney deserves some credit for his coaching. He’s taken a team with two stars (one who has not been healthy all year and the other who has been out for a month now), no legitimate 1st-line center, a good goaltender, and a thoroughly mediocre defense, to within 2 points of a playoff spot and, what, a third-place GAA in the conference. I know I’ll get lambasted as a “PR” guy or a Renney apologist, but I just don’t see why his decisions to play or not play certain players are consistently criticized. It’s not like these guys are going to be stars for other teams.

  4. “It’s not like these guys are going to be stars for other teams.”

    Please refer to Savard, Marc and Zidlicky, Marek.

    Conversely, how do you know what an Immonen can do if he doesn’t get any icetime. In 14 games, playing mostly with offensively-challenged wingers, Immo has 5 assists. Blair Betts, on the other hand has 2 (that’s TWO) assists in 66 games. He also leads the Rangers (and is 13th in the NHL) in faceoff %. Are you gonna tell me that Immo is not good enough to be the fourth line center, getting his 8 minutes every and gaining experience so we can see if he’s got the goods to move up next season? Do you call that good decision making. Yeah, I’d say you are being a Renney apologist.

  5. Hey Chad,

    Marc Savard played here and was traded if I remember correctly. It was a bad move, but I don’t remember his problem being a lack of playing time. There are countless prospects that the team has either given up on our moved for useless veterans. But, that’s not the point here. There are also “top” prospects (Lundmark, Malhotra, Brendl) that don’t pan out — maybe because they are rushed before are ready. I say give the team some breathing room on promoting their young talent. Prucha is a good player; Girardi seems solid; Ortmeyer is a good 3-4 line winger. But, pushing a youth movement just for the sake of getting them experience doesn’t make sense when you have a decent team with veterans now.

  6. Savard was traded because of his attittude problems thinking he was bigger than NY. Mike York was viewed to be a more complete player than him.

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