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07-09-2008, 01:49 PM
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Dubinsky had a stellar first year, and got into some hot stretches. If he can duplicate that in his sophomore season, then i would say he is underrated. As of right now, he has overachieved IMO, a credit to him and the season he had. He is a solid player but i wouldnt say for a second he is underrated.

He won the MVP for the young stars game, he was playing with Jagr and got plenty of accolades to go along with it. He is noticed. His game tailed off a bit towards the end of the year, but like i said, lets see him do it the second time around with new linemates before we crown this guy the next coming of Messier. I love the kid. His work ethic is what got him here. But by no means is he underrated.

Dawes isnt either. He might be a tad overrated. He's hung in there and took his lumps. Was sent down and up and then down and up again. The kid persevered just like Dubi, Cally and Prucha have in their tenures here. The hard work and effort is what these kids all have in common and thats whats getting them here. Its not like they are underrated world class talent. They've made the most of their shot. thats whats encouraging about these players the Rangers have, Girardi included.

Let's talk about the kids game for a second... slippery skater, still learning how to play along the boards at the NHL level. He has little size but he plays big. Not explosively fast by any means, but good hockey sense, yes and a very dangerous shot. The one thing i would say is underrated about Dawes is his passing. He impressed the hell out of me last season on a few occasions with some very precise passes to set up Drury for goals. I'd love to see them back together, because i feel they work very well together and began to really recognize each other out there towards the end of last season. But again, the kid makes the best of what tools he has, and despite his progression in the area, he still needs to tighten up his defensive zone play and play away from the puck.

Staal - if theres one guy you want to say is underrated its him. I know some of us here might not think that. But this kids for real if you play close attention to his play. Its not easy to jump from Juniors to the NHL, and before long this kid went straight to the first pair - and on DEFENSE. Thats almost unheard of in the NHL. He makes subtle plays that go unnoticed during the game. Hes incredibly shifty for a defensman. He can skate, pass and shoot. He can hit, hard. He's got one of the best sticks in the conference.

But the thing that impresses me the most about this kid is his head. He did a fantastic job of playing within himself last season. He knew his boundaries and to tread lightly the first 20 or so games and not do so much. He took the lessons he learned each game and APPLIED them. He had a stellar career in juniors and put up some very good numbers offensively, but you didnt see him try and rush that into his game. Hes only going to get better in that regard and i believe that. For a young kid, he also has a quiet, anchoring leadership about him - and his solid upbringing and character are intangibles you cannot ignore. Take that all into account and i think this kid is going to have a fantastic career, God willing.

So yeah, we need these guys to show up - they are very important to next season. But i dont think a majority of the fans or the team thinks these guys are underrated by any means.

Last edited by HockeyBasedNYC: 07-09-2008 at 01:54 PM.
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