Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Forget praying; bring energy instead

courtesy New York Rangers
This might not be the most popular of suggestions, but give me a 50% Brandon Dubinsky in a New York Ranger lineup over some of the performances other players have been showing against the New Jersey Devils.

Yes I'm well aware that Brandon had a down season and that many of you would like to see Dubi traded. I also don't hide the fact that I call Brandon's dad a friend and I think the world of Dubinsky to begin with.

What gets me more than anything else is that there is no other player on the New York Ranger roster who wants to be a New York Ranger more than Brandon Dubinsky. Of all the prospects that I've interviewed over the years Brandon is the only one who said that the Rangers were his favorite team growing up.

Yes Brandon Dubinsky has always been one of my favorite prospects because he was the one who got me hooked on covering the Ranger prospects. He is also the same person who shamed me into remaining a Ranger fan during the NHL lockout with his own obsession with the Rangers.

You can't tell me what being a Ranger means to Dubinsky when he comes back from a training camp and the first thing he says to me was that he got to paint the Ranger logo on Madison Square Garden ice.

Not that he got to play with Jaromir Jagr or his first goal but stepping out onto that sheet of ice with a paintbrush meant so much to him. Any New York Ranger fan would kill for the opportunity to put on that jersey and step out onto that ice as Dubinsky did.

You don't have to tell me how angry you are about Dubinsky getting the contract that he did and did not produce. I know one person who is more upset about his not living up to the contract than any of you and his name is Brandon Dubinsky.

That's part of the reason I put Dubinsky (and Mats Zuccarello) out on the ice because I know how badly Dubinsky wants to make up for this past season. Right now the Rangers need somebody who is angry and full of energy to get back on that ice.

Forget praying because even the man upstairs might be tired of a Ranger team that doesn't give a full 60 minutes worth of effort. If Dubinsky as well as Mats Zuccarello are ready to play then get them in the lineup and sit down Anisimov and Mitchell.

Anisimov is the poster child of this current Ranger team because when they want to play; nobody can beat them but they don't always show up ready to play. That is also exactly how Anisimov has played during this playoff run.

No more kidding, no more joking around as the margin of error is gone and this current Ranger team needs a kick in the butt. Dubinsky is not any kind of savior but what he will bring is some badly needed energy.

I want Mats Zuccarello back in the Ranger lineup because the one thing the hobbit will bring is that he can set up anyone on the Ranger team. Last year he wound up setting up 9 different Rangers for goals and right now I would settle for Mats Zuccarello to set up 2 to 3.

There is no excuse or reason in the world why this series is winding up going 6-7 games as the Rangers should have been ending this series on Wednesday night. They have given away 2 games just like they've given away games throughout this playoff season and that must end.

Lose Wednesday night and don't expect a repeat of 1994 on Friday night. Unlike the Rangers, if you give the Devils a chance to finish the team off they will take it.

And then the Rangers won't even have a prayer.


Wednesday night starts the sudden death portion of my 2011-2012 prospect season after the OHL champion London Knights spanked Michael St. Croix's Edmonton Oil Kings 4-1 at the Memorial Cup.

How many times has somebody said "the score does not tell the story of this game" when talking about a close loss? In this case, the score does not tell the story of how the London Knights dominated the Edmonton Oil Kings.

John Tortorella said the team did not look at the video of game 4; he should show the team the video of this game because London played the Tortorella defense to perfection.

London smothered Edmonton, yes Edmonton had 21 shots on goal but at best had 5 maybe 6 scoring chances in that bunch. London didn't give Edmonton any room to breathe or think, or even pass gas.

It's funny how nobody likes the tight checking, shot blocking, defensive mindset game of hockey because it's ugly to watch. Yet if you're London you're not gonna care; as long as on Sunday night you're hoisting up the Memorial Cup.

Michael St Croix found out the hard way what it's like to become a non-factor as London's style of defense just shut his line down cold. You can't blame St Croix because, as hard as he tried there was nothing he could do to get past the London defense.

So now London has put themselves in a good spot where depending on the outcome of Wednesday's game. They will either be in the finals or the home team in the semi finals.

Edmonton on the other hand knows that for them to win the Memorial Cup. They will have to do it coming from the tiebreaker game on Thursday.

It's kind of funny but there's a good chance that Thursday night either a New York Ranger or New York Islander prospect (Kirill Kabanov of Shawinigan) could see his season come to an end.

Wednesday will be the battle of the QMJHL teams as league champ Saint John takes on a host team Shawinigan. The winner gets a day off while the loser doesn't.


I'm the first to admit that I don't know everything, so I like to read as many blogs/articles that deal with the prospects I cover as I can in order to get as many different views as possible.

There are some times when you just have to laugh at one of the articles that you read. In this case (This is not safe to read at work don't say I didn't warn you) this one just left me shaking my head because I would kill off to see this actually happened.

So I send you over to go read Goon and this gem of an article at Goon's World. I will guarantee that anyone that reads this will find themselves doing exactly as I found myself doing which is trying to picture this happening so many different ways.

Don't say I did not warn you.

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