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Expectations for Dubinsky?

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10-06-2013, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by PK Pilot 76 View Post
Posting in this thread because I love Dubi, but I just thought I'd introduce myself to the CBJ board. I'm a lifetime Rangers fan whose grown a bit disenchanted with our own section of the forums and at the same time has taken up a keen interest in the Jackets. I actually have paid attention to the Jackets for a while, having a couple of older cousins, whom I grew up playing hockey with, that moved to Ohio after going to OSU for college. I actually have a CBJ Vermette jersey that I'll probably have made into a Dubi jersey this year. Anyhow, with you guys acquiring a good crop of former Rangers (Dubi, Arty, Tyutin, Erixon, Gabby) and joining the conference, I've taken up an even greater interest (actually started with pulling for you guys to sneak in last season) and feel that you guys are my #2 team from here on. I went to the NYI game tonight, just to see you guys and I'm going to visit my cousins in Columbus next month and hope to catch two games while I'm there. Figured I'd introduce myself as it's very likely you'll start to see me in your GDTs as I'll be watching a lot of Jackets' games. Besides my former Rangers, I'm keen to see Jenner and Murray and really like Calvert, Johnson, Savard and Bob.

As for the OP, so as not to be completely off-topic, I will say this: Dubinsky still has untapped potential that I think he has a greater chance of reaching in Columus. He looks to be on pace to fulfill it since joining you. I believe he was on pace for about 55 points last year, he looked very strong in pre-season this year, and he has a point in each game so far. I think Dubi can be a 60 point player, if healthy, while providing an acknowledged but underrated degree of leadership, a really nice physical game and strong two-way dependability. I like that you guys have him back at C, as I think he's stronger as a puck carrier and distributor than he was on the wing where Torts wanted him. Honestly, the guy plays with so much passion and fire that even if he only puts up 45 points a year, he's still a guy who should always be a fan favorite. I'm excited to see what kind of year he has and what kind of year the Jackets have overall.
Thanks for coming over. What do you think happened with Dubi in New York? Was it the fact he lost out on the Captaincy to Callahan? Was it the fact that they forced him to the wing instead of his natural position?

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10-06-2013, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by alphafox View Post
Thanks for coming over. What do you think happened with Dubi in New York? Was it the fact he lost out on the Captaincy to Callahan? Was it the fact that they forced him to the wing instead of his natural position?
I think there were a few factors at play. I honestly don't think losing out on the captaincy is the kind of thing that would sour a guy like Dubi, who was such a good team guy, but I think not even receiving an A was a bit disappointing to him. Rangers fans either still mourn Dubi's loss or have really turned on him; few are in between. Most of the fan base seems to have forgotten that there was a time when Dubi/Cally were viewed as nearly identical in terms of value and leadership - they were like the heart and soul, fire and ice kind of duo. So I think seeing Callahan elevated to captain without receiving any acknowledgement may have actually rattled him slightly, but I doubt that was the real cause of the dip in production.

I think that Torts wanting Dubi on the wing was a huge mistake. Rangers fans ate it up at the time, trusting Torts and saying "Dubi's not a center anymore, he makes a much better LW". If that were true, however, than why did his production dip to a career low (20 points from the prior season) in the same season that his total faceoffs taken dipped by 476? He was .525 in the dot the season before, on 875 faceoffs, and he scored 24 goals and 54 points (continuing a trend of more points EVERY season of his career). By what logic did it seem like he would be better off as a winger? By the way, Rangers fans will now tell you that Dubinsky has never scored 20 goals in his career and is an overpaid fringe 2nd liner whose time in NY was over glorified and that he was nowhere near as good as Callahan, ever. The reality is that he scored 20 goals in back to back seasons, before the 34 point year that led to his trade and, despite being one full year younger than Callahan, he's played in 19 more games in his career and has 6 more points. They're both physical and very strong defensively, though Callahan is superior there, but not by such a margin that Dubinsky should be considered a fringe 2nd liner while Callahan is now the NYR #1 sweetheart behind Lundqvist (don't get me wrong; I love Cally - I just don't care for our fanbase's skewed perception of history).

After pushing Dubi to the wing, Torts juggled the lines so much that Dubi couldn't find chemistry from his new position with anyone, while still trying to acclimate to it. As a center, he had more consistent wingers because centers, especially ones who are +50% in the dot, see more ice time in general, and he was at his natural position. As a winger, he struggled to adjust to a shooters game and couldn't find his natural playmaking and distribution game. Torts, also notorious for quickly putting players in the doghouse, kept rotating Dubi with less and less favorable linemates as a result of his lack of production. Dubi still finished 7th on the team in points but averaged 1:46 per game of PP time while Callahan received 3:42.

And, there's also the fact that, with adjusting to a new position and not receiving a letter and getting much less PP time, etc. there's still just the possibility that a player had a bad year. Didn't perform to expectations. It happens from time to time. It doesn't completely negate the rest of their career unless you have a strictly "what have you done for me lately" attitude, which NYers tend to.

Here's the funny thing: the year before Dubi's off-year, he'd had 24 goals and 54 points. To this day, Ryan Callahan's best season is 29 goals and 54 points. It came during Dubi's off-year and sealed the deal for Rangers fans; Dubi had one bad season and was now an overpaid, dime a dozen, fringe 2nd line bum. Callahan was the captain, the hero, the sweetheart and the MVP. Callahan still has less points in his career than Dubi, despite the down year that got Dubi traded, and while Callahan has phenomenal intangibles, Dubinsky is certainly the farthest thing from a one dimensional player himself. As a center, an arguably more important position, Dubi is also a very serviceable two-way forward and physical presence. I also feel that, personally, Dubi's style of leadership is more effective. Rangers fans came to call Chris Drury "captain quaalude" towards the end of his tenure here, for the fact that he rarely seemed to get fired up or angry or have much emotion at all. In Callahan, I see a more physical Drury, and the exact same style of captain. The guy leads by example, by sacrificing his body to block shots, PK, and do whatever it takes. But he's not a strong vocal leader. In Dubinsky, I see a lot of the same physical willingness to sacrifice, but I see a bit of a tiger as well. A guy who will actually, verbally, get his teammates riled up. And a guy who will drop the gloves just to get a pulse.

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