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01-11-2007, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by alkurtz View Post
Saw the Wolf Pack play in Albany last night. Trailing 3-0, the Pack rallied to tie and win on a Nigel Dawes shootout goal. The only player who really stood out was Brandon Dubinsky. Things happen when he is one the ice: he has a "hockey intelligence" that is hard to teach, he always seems aware and involved. He also seems to have the perfect hockey body, wide at the hips that gives him good balance. He was first star and scored goals 2 and 3. All in all, the things that impressed me about him in training camp, impressed me last night. IMO opinion he should be up with the big club and given a shot at the #3 center position.
Sad to say, but the second best player out there was Brad Isbister. The top line, which included Immonen and Dawes, really didn't do much and by the 3rd period, the line of Dubinsky, Moore, and Byers were getting more minutes. Didn't see much from Korpikoski or Baranka. Liffiton had two fights. Graham looked better than when I saw him in Charlotte earlier this seaon. Montoya gave up two soft goals and looked as if he was fighting the puck. Though they did win and overcome a poor start to outshoot the River Rats by a considerable margin, I came away disappointed with the performance by the Pack. I know its only one game...but I was hoping to see more.
In the cathegorys you describe as his strength, I defenitly belives he is strong NHL caliber.

I think he had one big problem in camp though, and that were taking the puck up ice through the neutral zone. You need to be able to do that safe, with speed, and experience, as a center. He failed a few times with that in the preseason, and then actually looked scrared to go down behind his net and get the puck from the D standing there waiting for him. I remember one sequence were he turned away and Dawes had to come back.

Though he is skating better now in the AHL then he did a few month ago, and seemed to have picked up more confidence in that department, at the same time its not nearly the challenge to do it in the AHL as it is in the NHL.

Anyway, I don't think he should have been in the NHL from the start, but I would be pretty excited if he were called up right now. I am not sure if he can handle it or not, kind of 50/50, but if he did he could be exactly what this team needs. I defenitly think he could get some offense gooing on a line with for example Hossa and Ward.

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