Dubi do, or Dubi don’t?

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Sounds like Brandon Dubinsky may not return from a broken hand tonight against Atlanta.

The question remains, when he does return, where does he fit and how does the lineup get juggled?

I’m sure it would depend on how game-ready he looks in practice — his conditioning, his ability to handle and shoot the puck with whatever protection he’ll have to wear under his glove, his rustiness, etc.

In my opinion, though, once he’s game-ready I’d want to see him get another shot with Gaborik, either with Prospal or (as NYRGuy suggested yesterday) with Avery on the other side. The other possibility, on a team so desperate for production, is that he centers Avery and Callahan, in Chris Drury’s spot.

Whatever it is, it’s crucial Dubinsky comes back better than he was before he left, because the Rangers really need a contributor. Need one very badly, in this very busy and important week and in the crucial weeks in the immediate future.

Here is a preview from NHL.com.

Phoenix GM Don Maloney is on NHL Live with the commish today.

I’ll see youse later.

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51 Comments

  1. We need wins. End of story. We need points. Solid effort, schmolid effort. At this point, points are the point.

  2. Lets hope Duby’s return is going to change the chemistry of the line up enough, that it evens out the strength of the team. Torts has been throwing lines that just don’t work, and an extra center man frees up the guys that have been filling in. Likely wishful thinking, but it might make a differance. Duby is young and still learning, but he does a lot of good things when he playing well.

  3. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    If Dubi comes back tonight, and with the overall play of everyone sucking balls (except a few) I’d try these lines:

    Avery-Dubi-Gabby
    Higgins-Artie-Prospal
    (Lisin)Kotalik-Christensen-Cally
    Drury-Boyle-Lisin(Kotalik)

    You could swap Kots & Lisin during the game, but put the under acheivers on the 4th line, and use them on the PP/PK so there minutes wont be too low.

    Sit Voros, & Brashear, put Drury on the 4th line to teach him a lesson, and give Christensen a REAL look playing 3rd line minutes with capable wings.

  4. WARNING: If you are easliy offended by poor Ranger performance please skip this post.

    Current numbers:

    Points: 30 Projected for 79
    Standings:
    Division: 4th
    Conference: 12th
    League: 27th
    PP%: 20.9 ranked 9th
    PK%: 84.2 ranked 7th
    SOG: 30 ranked 14th
    SOGA: 28.2 ranked 8th
    SV%: .901 ranked 23rd
    Goals For 2.71, against 3.00, Dif: -.29

    Gaborik 22 goals.
    Next player, Prospal with 6.

  5. One would wish that Tortorella had either the (a) Balls or (b) Smarts to realize that Chris Drury is finished as being an effective top 6 player and is in all seriousness a borderline 3rd liner…But Tortorella apparently had to watch the Chris Drury Ranger Profiles 1,000 times before accepting the job because he still thinks Drury is an effective player , a “Big Man” on the team.

    Torts will continue to harm this team by pushing Drury out there…much like how he killed the PP by putting Captain useless out there on the point.

    Accountability…Tortorella can sure say it…but his actions make me wonder if he can even spell it.

  6. CJP – Drury was never really an effective top 6 player. When he was, he had the likes of Sakic, Forsberg, and a ton of other talented players around him. In Buffalo he had Briere, Vanek, Afinogenov (in his best season), and underated guys like Pominville and Roy (at the time he was underrated and probably still is).

    Also, I’m worried, this is beginning to sound like last year all over again with the “crash the net and throw pucks on goal”. This team did better when they didn’t shoot the lights out with crappy shots from the outside and instead cycled the puck around the outside until a man go open in the slot, fired a few quick and sometimes pretty passes, and lit up the red light numerous times.

    Buffalo dominated because they weren’t afraid to pass up a shot or two to make that extra pass (as long as it was quick). The Rangers seem to have re-adopted Renney hockey, which is “O!!! I NEED TO SHOOT NOW!!!” instead of calming it down and looking for a nice pass that will throw the defense and goalie off guard instead of being really predictable.

  7. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    JAy:
    Stats dont lie, and those are pretty ugly!

    CJP: I agree. you’d think by now Torts would realize two things.
    1.) Drury belongs on the PK, second PP unit, and the 4th LINE!!
    2.) Kotalik belongs on the top PP unit manning one of the points, and should play next to his buddy on the 4th LINE!

    Drury jsut doesnt seem like he can paly anymore, unless he’s killing penalties. 2 goals in 31 games =4th line

    Anyone else think if Torts was jsut using the parts he has more effectivley we’d have a few more wins?

  8. Hartford Whalerpack on

    About Drury…Torts puts him out their to fail. It’s very weird. Instead of calling out Drury’s poor performance to the media he simply puts him on the ice…the shootout, PP quarterback, etc. Drury has publicly failed at everything Torts has asked him to do…that’s bad enough.

  9. Mikey – maybe we’d have a couple more wins, but we are still, at-best, a borderline playoff team (nevermind a Cup contender) with this roster. No matter how you juggle the lines, we only have 1 real scoring threat.

  10. I’m going to repost this. It was in response to Pavels comment on the freefall of the team and draft lottery.

    “I am also hoping for the lottery.
    I don’t want to say I like the freefall, but honestly I don’t have clue as to what the genius behind Torts system is. I don’t understand what he expects from the players, and I can’t understand the moves or decisions he makes. We play the exact system he talked about…pursuit. That is exactly what we watch every game. This team follows the puck around the entire game. They don’t dictate anything. There is no pressure, very little grit and no leadership…
    When is this ‘the captain’ going to say
    something… anything. I don’t hear leadership and I certainly don’t see leadership…anywhere.
    I am all for Torts, but I am quietly chuckling at the “fire Renney” crowd of last season, because the entire problem begins and ends with Sather. There is no coach out there that could do a better job with this roster…it ain’t happenin! And until a change is made in the front office of this organization, I will not and can’t not take this team seriously. Sather has literally killed this franchise. Last summer he got lucky and escaped from under 1 of the 4 massive contracts he dished out. However, I’m hoping that the remaining three end his career.”

    IMO we could get Vinny L. or any other player we have discussed in trade talks…to me nothing is going to change until Sather goes.
    I don’t see the benefit to getting anyone unless it has the potential to
    A. Turn this team into a contender or
    B. Contributes to a build for the future

  11. Gross and Zip saying that it looks like

    Higgins Dubi Gabby
    Prospal Drury Cally

    will be our top two lines.

    And also that Lisin will return tonight.

  12. It’s amazing just what a bust Drury really is. The Rangers thought they were getting a somewhat elite Center and they ended up with a 3rd liner (at best). This really did Sather in. When you sign (and PAY) someone like Drury who isn’t producing at all, you really do yourself in. The money for a true 1st line Center just isn’t there and the guy collecting that money is being outdone by Manny Malhotra- lol. That’s pathetic.

    I mean, imagine San Jose if Thornton wasn’t producing? Pittsburgh if Crosby wasn’t producing? One guy actually can make a big difference when you consider what he does for the players around him and what it forces the opposing team to defend against. I just can’t believe how anemic Drury has been. It blows my mind. I know he was never a “top skill” guy but he did always manage to find a way wherever else he was. And yeah, the players who were around him on those teams were better- sure. But you’d think he could do just a LITTLE more than he’s doing right now.

    Shoulda kept Gomez- lol.

  13. If those lines are right, Drury is now going to ruin Prospal’s season, just like he did to Callahan and Higgins and Avery and pretty much everyone he played with. Notice, Torts won’t put Drury with Gaborik…

  14. Well, it’s not like Prospal is really lighting up the league either. He’s just lucky that he has touched the puck a few times before Gaborik buried it in the net. These guys are all useless.

  15. Guy, we knew going in to this season that we didn’t have a true number 1 center. Dubi is not, Prospal is not, and Drury is clearly not. We have Gabby, and beyond that, we have not great players that make people around them better. Prospal is good, but Gabby makes him better than he actually is. We can not afford one, but we need a Vinny, or someone like him to be a true first line center. When you have that, and the other players can drop down and then play their true roles, then the team will be better. Probably not MUCH better, but better.

  16. Tony – I have no idea why Sather thought Drury was an elite center. If you look at his stats, the only one that impresses is his GWGs in the playoffs. In regards to season play, he’s a slightly above average player at best. He’s the US’s version of Ryan Smyth. Completely overhyped with a great reputation, but the stats don’t back up the numbers. Any idiot could have figured that out during that offseason (Buffalo offered him 6 million and even they thought they were giving too much). Plus as I mentioned before, all his solid years came when he had great players around him. There is a reason why he had his worst years in Calgary and didn’t start to turn things on in Buffalo until players were around him.

    I said he’s a solid role guy, but won’t put up numbers when he’s the focal point of your offense. Even now he is still technically the #1 center, at least contract wise, and because he is making so much money, we can’t get him two wingers that can score or pass to set him up and make him a better player. If he was getting the 4 million (he’s probably worth less) or so he’s worth, you could take that 3 million and get him a real winger.

  17. It also amazes me how much ice time Kotalik DOESN’T get considering he is 3rd on the team in scoring (6g, 13a, 19 pts). Sure, he doesn’t always look great but you can’t argue with stats. We need to play guys who actually make something happen.

  18. I am going to the game against Carolina on the 21st and will most likely stop by after with my brother, if anyone else is going to be around.

  19. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    SCX – Until more people other than Gabby start scoring consistently I agree, borerline playoffs.

    But A Gross just posted projected lines for tonight from practice:

    Higgins-Dubinsky-Gaborik – This is fine
    Prospal-Drury-Callahan – Remove Drury and its a good line
    Avery-Anisimov-Kotalik – Remove Kotalik and its decent
    Brashear-Boyle-Lisin – Except for Boyle,Why?

    Here again Torts is making ZERO sense

    -Christensen – why did we get him if your not even going to play him or see what he can do with competent wingers?

    -Drury centering the second line? you’ve got to be kidding me. 31 games of showing EVERYONE your not worth second line center minutes and he’s still there? Guess Sather is spiking TOrts’ cofee again

    -Brashear not sitting? Ridiculous, no point in him playing at all tonight. I’d rather see a win than a fight with OLD Donald.

    -Lisin back on the 4th line. Yeah his speed is really going to do alot of damage there.

    This is all Torts fault for not utilizing the people he has properly.

    Is it so hard to put these freaking lines on the ice?:

    Higgins-Dubinsky-Gaborik -same
    Prospal-Anisimov-Cally – AA replaces Drury
    Avery-Christensen-Lisin – see what EC can do
    Drury-Boyle-Kotalik – No Brashit, Drury and Kotalik where they belong with PP and PK time

    Im just sick and tired of Torts trying to get other players to “spark” Drury. It aint happening

  20. I loved the beginning of the year. Went to bed with a huge grin on my face and felt proud. Now I ball up naked in the shower and just cry as the water pounds down on me. It is some sad dark times right about now.

    Ha.

  21. As I’ve said before, all we HAVE is role guys. Too many. In 94 we had a lot of really great role guys but then we had the all-stars who could always be depended on to get it done. Guys like Messier, Leetch, Graves, and even Kovalev could be depended on at ALL times. But then we had the role guys who could go out, shadow a guy, get the crowd going, win some faceoffs, etc. This team is nothing BUT role players sans Gaborik. And when you don’t have the goal scorers the role players are taken out of their roles in order to try and do what the scorers are not doing. This messes everything up. I actually think getting a guy like Vinny Lecavelier would do a lot for this team. He’s not the savior and it would not transform this team into a top tier team but in some cases (like ours) it could dramatically change things like the PP. I think Sather has to really try and make something happen. We need a top Center.

  22. Tony…Drury’s simply not that talented of a hockey player. Which makes Sather even more retarded to have given him the contract that he did based on ONE playoff goal scored against the Rangers. And whoever said it a few days ago was right…who would have thought that one goal would have hurt us so badly.

    The biggest problem I have with Drury is two-fold. One is the ridiculous lengths to which the Rangers’ organization and MSG will go to in an attempt to make his infinitesimal contributions sound like he’s one of the greatest players of our generation.

    Two is the fact that I don’t care how many people say otherwise or how they might have caught him breaking his stick on tv…the man simply DOESN’T CARE. Not to the extent a Captain of a hockey team or a man who’s playing for “The Team I Always Wanted To Play For” should care.

    Drury can’t pass…can’t shoot…Plays smaller than his size…constantly makes poor decisions with and without the puck…and worst of all, often looks like he’s in his own little world on the ice.

    He’s a mercenary who cashed the big paycheck and is now enjoying his retirement knowing the Rangers can’t move him with his ridiculous NTC.

    Worst Rangers Captain Ever? That goes without saying. Worst free-agent signing ever? It’s right up there. And as abysmal as Rozi and Redden have been…at least we don’t have MSG lying to our face telling us they are the greatest D-man pair the Rangers have had since Leetch and Zubov.

    I don’t hate Redden, he’s just useless. I don’t hate Rozi, he’s a cripple who couldn’t crack an AHL lineup.

    But I DO hate Chris Drury.

  23. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    NAsty1 – Hysterical man.
    Crying game over the Rangers!

    Is it jsut through our “fan” eyes that we all see Drury not deserving second line center time?

    I mean does this sort of decision come from The olde Douche BAg himslef? Torts and his accountability?

    I’d have way more respect for him if he did actually put Drury on the 4th line.

    How can they honestly say with a straight face that he is an even DECENT secon dline center?

    How about this question; What other second line center in teh NHL has only two goals?

    Im goign to go look it up right now

  24. I think more than anything that Drury’s style of play just doesn’t fit in with this team. He’s a guy who gets garbage goals. Sure, many of them over the years have been clutch but in the end they HAVE been garbage goals. He’s never been a skill guy. He has always relied on his wingers to be skill guys who can get the puck to the net. Drury has been an opportune scorer. I guess that’s the best way to put it. As CJP said, “Drury can’t pass…can’t shoot…Plays smaller than his size”. The latter being the key here. He plays like he’s 5’6. at might be a combination of age and consussions catching up with him. I don’t know. All I DO know is that whatever he USED to do he is not doing anymore which makes him pretty useless; and we’re all seeing it, every night. I don’t doubt that there are teams out there that could use him. They may not want to pay his salary, though. That’s the problem. The sure thing is that this Rangers team, who relies on skating and finesse do NOT have a place for him. He is skating his own game out there while everyone else is trying to play a different one. It’s plenty obvious. He sticks out like a sore thumb.

  25. Hello Ranger fans on the heels of the two games, it’s interesting to see how much Drury’s play has changed. Even watching Kotalik, I think it’s more a problem of your team gathering players without regard to a plan of how they envision they want it to be… if that makes sense… it appears you have a lot of parts, but nothing that works together well. As enraged as we were when the Sabres dumped Drury and Briere, the organization appear to have a plan in place that is working so far, in regards to bringing up younger players like Tim Kennedy, Chris Butler, Tyler Myers, etc. Ironically, Mike Grier came back after leaving here po’ed for San Jose a few years back. And of course, Lindy Ruff is the one rock solid that we have. Best of luck.

  26. So Christensen is getting Prucha’d tonight?? Riightt….

    At least Dubi being back will provide some “jam” as Torts likes to say. Too bad he doesn’t play defense.

  27. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    Out the 211 Center Ice men in the NHl this year:

    Chris Drury Ranks #94
    2 goals/7 Assists
    Minus 8 over 26 games played.

    Just as a comparison, Eric Christensen is ranked at #187 with 0 Goals/O Assists in 13 games played this year.

    My point being, a second line center in the NHl has more points than 7, more goals than 2, and would immediatley be scrathed or placed on the 4th line on any other team.

    But of course Captain Crutch gets a pass

    Pathetic.

    Yeah go break another stick and pretend you care.

    Im just on a Anti Drury kick today guys and gals.

    I REALLY beleived Torts was going to send a message to him and demote him for a game or two to see if he had any balls any would step up.

    Disappointed once again.

  28. Maybe Sather will finally get it by realizing NOBODY wants anything to do with his contacts he gave out!

  29. I guess what hurts the most is that if we were a small market team who couldn’t afford top tier players I’d just be happy with effort. We’re an organization that has ALWAYS had the money to sign big name players who tend to fart out. That’s just unacceptable. It just is hard to swallow. Year after year I feel like our team is a joke. Other teams out there with FAR less money to play with somehow assemble a team that at least competes. This, obviously means that it’s a management problem- namely, Sather, which many of us have been saying each and every day. We can blame the players on the ice very easily. And I’m sure I’ll continue to do so but there IS a reason why a Buffalo consistently outperforms us. It’s the GM, the scouts and the coach. Our team is just a patchwork project that never seems to get it done. We need some real hockey guys in here who know how to put together a team. Is Messier that guy? God I hope so. Or else we’ll have to find a way to get JD back in MSG.

  30. 4Generations and only 4Cups on

    I’m calling for Tortorella’s lying head. I thought this was a fitness based, accountability based team? Where are his infamous benchings of star players when they dont work? Rozsival gets more time on the ice than god but the little video I see of him sitting his ass down in the penalty box never gets old on the replay.

    Tortorella needs to go. Have Messier step in for the interim and if he can stay with it do it. This team sucks worse more than a Dyson vacuum, freshly opened Christmas morning.

    If anyone had any idea of what hockey was at all they’d say tank this season, most people have been calling for that. I’m proud of most Ranger fans for finally throwing in the proverbial towel and saying screw it to playoffs this year and a championship the next year.

  31. According to XM radio, the Hurricanes put Aaron Ward on waivers. Anybody else think that Sather will try to claim him? I don’t think he’s the answer to our litany of problems, but he could be useful in some sort of role. Especially if he replaces Rozi (I know, I’m dreaming).

  32. Ward is a scumbag. We already have too many of those on our team.

    This year, is a DISGRACE to this original six organization.

    I for one, am saddend by this. I am 29 years old, and i dont beleive i will be seeing a stanley cup in my lifetime. Hopefully my kids will (when I have some).

  33. Can we trade Drury for Ward and Cullen? Ha. I know we had them, but it would be a two for one deal. And Cullen and Drury, I mean when you think about it, are the same player. Cullen probably adds a few more goals too. ha

  34. We should trade Drury to Hartford for their #2 Center, straight up. Drury would probably have no trouble waiving his no-trade clause to return to his CT home. And the non-existant player we would get in return would be an improvement (0 is better than Clutch’s -8).

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