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Wolf Pack vs. River Rats: Dubinsky shines!

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01-11-2007, 12:02 PM
  #1
alkurtz
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Wolf Pack vs. River Rats: Dubinsky shines!

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.

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01-11-2007, 12:23 PM
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Larry Melnyk
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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.
Good to hear on Dubinsky..Clearly the Rangers best C prospect (at least near term)..He needed time in the AHL but if he cosnsitently plays like you mention, a recall won't be out of the question and could be a guy to give offense to the bottom two lines..

No Callahan? Was he on his way to NY?

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01-11-2007, 12:29 PM
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Good to hear on Dubinsky..Clearly the Rangers best C prospect (at least near term)..He needed time in the AHL but if he cosnsitently plays like you mention, a recall won't be out of the question and could be a guy to give offense to the bottom two lines..

No Callahan? Was he on his way to NY?

Shoulder injury..out for a few days

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01-11-2007, 12:58 PM
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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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01-11-2007, 01:04 PM
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Isbister...

took a real stupid penalty in the offensive zone late in the third.

I only saw the third, OT and the shootout, but Barnaka was pretty solid. Did a nice job standing a couple guys up at the blueline; smoothly stole the puck a couple times; and carried the puck well out of the zone.

On a Dubi call-up...he still has a ways to go. I mentioned this a couple weeks ago, but I'll say it again, and that is his confidence has noticeably increased from preseason and earlier in the AHL season (increased even from December). Hopefully this kid is on a fast trajectory because that would be nice. He still needs to use his size a bit more. He's too finesse out there and really is best when skating, and only OK when cycling (admittedly, I missed both his goals last night, so I don't know how they came about). He did cycle well 4-on-4, however, but I think that has a lot to do with his above average skating.

Still some work needed, but coming along very nicely.

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01-11-2007, 01:08 PM
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Agreed, ola...

that was also confidence. Dubi started the season ahead of most condition-wise (even NHLers) as a result of the games he played prior to the preseason - and credit him for taking full advantage. Around the second or third game you could almost see others catching up and he started to regress. It's great seeing the trend reverse a bit now. I also think that he's helped by playing with better linemates now than earlier in the season. He seemed to be the third or fourth centerman out there too often. Sending Dawes back to the AHL helped increase the depth at wing which also helped the centermen out, even though Dawes isn't the same guy as last season, but he provides balance on the wing and softens the blow when Callahan went down. Still pissed this organization rather have seen Dawes sit in the pressbox instead of helping out its farm team earlier, as some os what we're seeing now could've possibly have started sooner.

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01-11-2007, 01:38 PM
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ah, good, a specific thread.. i'll toss in my lost commentary here then as well..

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01-11-2007, 01:39 PM
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i saw the Hartford game tonight,

thoughts:

-Dubinsky looked good, scored 2 G's, on the verge of a hattrick. He seemed to fight hard, was upset when coming to the bench and didn't have his best shift (has heart), and seemed to talk with the coach often. Looks like he's really trying to learn and win. Got the First Star.
-The puck seemed to bounce a lot.(see first and second goals). didn't seem to be frozen enough.
-Montoya gave up a super flukey first goal when the RR (riverrats) tried banking the puck in off the boards, he went to play it around the back of the net, and it bounced straight in off on ODD bounce; first part of the first period, 2nd "SOG".. 2nd goal was odd as well, a player was behind the net, comes around to the right, and even though Monty was pasted to the post it went in (haven't seen replays). Made 1 or 2 poor puckhandling decisions, one was more of a pass to the opposition. seemed shaky, but got his game going in the third, good sign?
-two good fights, both by Liffiton.
-the AHL is interestingi feel like albany is completely empty and it was cold wednesday night, so it may not very representative of the overall situation but i don't know how they stay solvent. attendance says 2997, but i felt like it couln't have been more than 500. kind of creepy. i heard Juniors games in Canada are fun to watch. felt bad for the kids playing that they were in that ratty (well named) arena.
-Isbister- interesting, very interesting. Scored one SHG in which he hustled his *** off, and very nearly got a second SHG when he also hustled, made a breakaway but was stopped by good goaltending. I noticed he had a decent shot, and when in the corners goes around as though he was much smaller. Seems like he knows what he's doing out there, but maybe is more due to experience and being a veteran AHLer, rather than skill and talent. (maybe that seemingly intangible difference is what separates talent/prospects and experienced players. our guys need "seasoning". 2nd Star of the Game.
-No Callahan Unfortunately i did not get to see him. seemed his addition of some offense and top line power was clearly missing.
-nice to see prospects liveIt's more entertaining and satisfying being at a game being able to see their progression. You get to see/focus on the little things that you can't read about or even see on TV.
-Girardi seems very solid, not too spectacular, but maybe it was him relatively good compared to others, Baranka, etc. +2 on the night. anyone think he might have a future with us? what number rank?
-Korpikoski seems solid, can handle the puck well and out of reach of others. kind of like Hossa (ours) when he plays to his max.. using his body and stick length to keep skating out of arms reach. has body to hit, saw a great pass threaded through to the front of the net. i don't have much experience with this "prospect watching" but i feel like this is what a raw-but-skilled, B+/A- prospect looks like.
-Lessard not badSkated well, muuuch better than Orr. Made some good plays and well defensively. Unlike Orr he didn't look to goon it up every moment with controversy so the coach would see. I heard he fights too, so why keep Orr?
-Moore eh, chipped in good efforts. big kid, got a penalty but i think got an assist?
-The Team now, its nice to see. they do seem very raw. good talent, good skill, but sometimes mistakes are glaring and good effort but plays/moves/etc don't work out. later, going to be fun to see them, more experience, more higher-end players.

i don't have much experience with this "prospect watching" but i feel like this is what a raw-but-skilled, B+/A- prospect looks like. Excited for the Rangers to draft more of this type. Definitely worth the $10 tickets to sit 3rd row behind the Wolfpack bench.. any more questions, i'd be happy to rack my brain for answers, its just a bit late.

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01-11-2007, 02:18 PM
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No way the attendance was 2997. At some point in the game I started to do a mental count......I thought the attendance was about 1000 with many NYR fans. The building was very quiet.
I know its hard for any minor league teams to draw mid week and I've only seen AHL games in Hartford and Albany but it would to me that if you want to see minor league games where the crowds are intense, you need to go to the low minors (I have seen about two dozen UHL games). Perhaps its because the rinks are smaller and more intimate. Perhaps its because fans feel more ownership of their teams at that level and that they won't lose their best players to callups (even though UHL players are occasionally called up to the AHL). Perhaps its simply that the rinks in Hartford and Albany can hold many more people than would ever show up for a game and the crowd is spread out.....One of the great things about seeing the UHL Danbury Trashers play was the nuttiness and intensity of their fans.

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01-11-2007, 03:26 PM
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Jarkko Immonen
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Dudinsky is nasty

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01-11-2007, 06:47 PM
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Definitely worth the $10 tickets to sit 3rd row behind the Wolfpack bench.. any more questions, i'd be happy to rack my brain for answers, its just a bit late.
Did you were a baseballhat and a ranger Jersey, and picked up a puck that went over the boards?

Remember thinking that "that could be dank" when I saw someone there with a ranger jersey about 3 rows behind the bench, right at the end of it!

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01-11-2007, 07:01 PM
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Dudinsky is nasty
He plays dirty as heck at times! I've seen him try to run someone into a open bench door, and a few but ends at times. He doesn't hit much, but its like if he smells blood, he'll defenitly take advantage of it. He handles himself well physically too. He can get ran at and still come away fine.

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that was also confidence. Dubi started the season ahead of most condition-wise (even NHLers) as a result of the games he played prior to the preseason - and credit him for taking full advantage. Around the second or third game you could almost see others catching up and he started to regress. It's great seeing the trend reverse a bit now. I also think that he's helped by playing with better linemates now than earlier in the season. He seemed to be the third or fourth centerman out there too often. Sending Dawes back to the AHL helped increase the depth at wing which also helped the centermen out, even though Dawes isn't the same guy as last season, but he provides balance on the wing and softens the blow when Callahan went down. Still pissed this organization rather have seen Dawes sit in the pressbox instead of helping out its farm team earlier, as some os what we're seeing now could've possibly have started sooner.
Good point. That defenitly makes some sense, never thought about it.

Dubi is kind of a hard case, since he is very talented, and not just that, he gets the job done. Like he reads and reacts well. Someguy just have the skill, but can't apply it. Dubi defenitly aren't like that. But he looks so unpolished at times. Exactly like a great younger prospect. Someone who haven't grown into his body.

Dubinsky could go either way in that deparment, either he just is a late bloomer and will catch up, and if he does he could even have 1st line potential -- kind of like "Jason Allison in Boston" type of impact. Or he kind of have maxed out which could mean that he gets trouble making it all together.

At the same time, while he aren't nearly as developed and polished as someone like Callahan or Korpikoski, I think Dubinsky still might not be that far away. He is very good offensivly, and I think that if he were put on a line in the NHL with all the excitement and all he could fill a role beeing physical and finnishing, for example on a 3rd line with Hossa and Ward. Which is a pretty good enviorment.

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01-11-2007, 08:40 PM
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ola...

I just say he's a kid. He's 20 years old. He came up last year and did excellent points-wise in the playoffs in the AHL. Started out slow, but has come on (but again, coaches need to put players in positions to succeed; without depth at wing, it was tough for all the centermen to get the quality wingers to properly complement them). I'm hoping to catch a couple games this weekend - I hope to see continued improvement. I think he's this team's best shot at a second line centerman in the system. Cross your fingers.

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01-11-2007, 10:24 PM
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hey Ola, nope, wasn't wearing anything Rangers unfortunately. I was wearing a brown blazer and a Union College hat with paint splattered all over it. haha. it was really great seeing the kids/guys (they're younger than me! i'm 22) in person. when Dubinsky got the 1st star i ran over to the tunnel and yelled, "See you in New York Brandon!" and got a high-five.

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01-12-2007, 08:38 AM
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Ranger management seems to have a different attitude than almost any other organization. They expect their young players to come up from the minors fully developed and ready to perform at the NHl level immediately. Other teams seem to be willing to have the NHL serve as the final "finishing school," and to let talented youth make mistakes and grow while playing against superior players.
Which is better? The NYR attitude seems to be a through back to the old days when there were less teams, less job openings, and players seemed to spend more time in the minors and would come up furthur along in their development. But with salary cap limitations and the talent spread thin, most teams opt to use their players now. We see this in baseball also.
I need to repeat what Bob Hartley said: "when you play old players they just get older, when you play young players they just get better."

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01-12-2007, 11:34 AM
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Call up Liffiton?

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01-12-2007, 12:35 PM
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Ranger management seems to have a different attitude than almost any other organization. They expect their young players to come up from the minors fully developed and ready to perform at the NHl level immediately. Other teams seem to be willing to have the NHL serve as the final "finishing school," and to let talented youth make mistakes and grow while playing against superior players.
Which is better? The NYR attitude seems to be a through back to the old days when there were less teams, less job openings, and players seemed to spend more time in the minors and would come up furthur along in their development. But with salary cap limitations and the talent spread thin, most teams opt to use their players now. We see this in baseball also.
I need to repeat what Bob Hartley said: "when you play old players they just get older, when you play young players they just get better."
There are exceptions, most players making it to NJ have gone through several years in the AHL. Detroit have waited the longest for their kids of any organizations, I think the avg age of their kids brought up to the NHL have been 22-23 y/o. Theyd left Datsyuk in Russia till he were 24 for example.

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01-12-2007, 12:44 PM
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Why call up Liffiton?

He seems to be about the third or fourth best defenseman down in Hartford right now, definitely after Girardi and Baranka.

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01-12-2007, 01:02 PM
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He seems to be about the third or fourth best defenseman down in Hartford right now, definitely after Girardi and Baranka.
You're preaching to the fight club?

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01-12-2007, 02:30 PM
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Jarkko Immonen
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D-Liff is the Pack's best fighter, no question. Against the Phantom's this year he fought after the team scored a goal. It was all out fighting too, just throwing shots back and forth soooo fast.

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01-12-2007, 05:52 PM
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D-Liff is the Pack's best fighter, no question. Against the Phantom's this year he fought after the team scored a goal. It was all out fighting too, just throwing shots back and forth soooo fast.
That's why. Right now I want as tough a dman as I can get

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01-12-2007, 05:59 PM
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That's why. Right now I want as tough a dman as I can get
He won't look so tough while guys are skating around him scoring.

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01-12-2007, 06:11 PM
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He won't look so tough while guys are skating around him scoring.
D-Liff can't skate? I always thought he was a very solid dman. Nevermind then

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01-12-2007, 06:57 PM
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He seems to be about the third or fourth best defenseman down in Hartford right now, definitely after Girardi and Baranka.
come don't you know by now...if a guy can throw a punch it doesnt' matter if he can play....

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01-12-2007, 07:12 PM
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come don't you know by now...if a guy can throw a punch it doesnt' matter if he can play....
Never thought of him as much of a pure fighter, don't need to bash a point after I just apologized in my last post.

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