Originally written on Blue Seat Blogs  |  Last updated 11/15/14

NEW YORK - JANUARY 19: Jeff Halpern #11 of the Tampa Bay Lightning fights against Brandon Dubinsky #17 of the New York Rangers on January 19, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Everyday on Twitter, I see the beat writers giving answers to the same question: Did Brandon Dubinsky skate? The answer has been ‘no’, and the answer will likely be ‘no’ for the forseeable future. Dubinsky is still using his walking boot and has not skated since the Ottawa series. Prior to that, Dubinsky was alternating between second line duties and third line duties (following the injury to Brian Boyle), although this was before Chris Kreider was inserted into the top six.

With Boyle back, and Kreider showing he deserves his top six minutes, the question about the Rangers missing Dubinsky hasn’t been brought up too often. After all, why question something if the Rangers are winning? John Mitchell is doing just fine on the fourth line, and won a key face off that led to Marc Staal’s overtime winner in Game Five of the Washington series. Mike Rupp is playing very well. Ruslan Fedotenko is too.

So the question becomes: If Dubinsky comes back, who would sit? Does the team even miss him?

Dubinsky may not have been producing offensively, but he has definitely been a great asset to the club defensively and on the penalty kill. Let’s remember that the penalty kill really struggled in the Washington series, although the Caps have some tremendous talent. Was it just coincidence that the kill looked bad when Dubinsky was out? I’m inclined to think no, it was not a coincidence. The club definitely misses him on the kill.

While the Rangers as a whole may miss him in that particular scenario, is it enough to say that they miss him in every scenario? He certainly wasn’t scoring, so there’s no loss on offense. Defensively, the Rangers have done a magnificent job of shutting down the opposition’s best scorers. But the depth appears to be lacking, as it’s the secondary and tertiary scorers that have been breaking through against them (see: Chimera, Jason).

In the hypothetical situation that Dubinsky is to return, and let it be known that John Tortorella will play Dubi if he can go, it’s tough to see who he would really replace. Earlier in the postseason the target was on Fedotenko’s back, but he’s been great this postseason. Then it moved to Mitchell, who hasn’t exactly been playing poorly, but hasn’t been turning heads enough to keep Dubi out of the lineup.

At even strength, there really wouldn’t be too much of a difference between Dubi and Mitchell. Maybe Dubi can turn one of those fourth line grind shifts into a goal, but that’s a big maybe. It’s the added depth on the kill that would really help the Rangers. In the end, the team likely misses Dubi, but not as much as we might think.


Pacquiao knocks down Algieri six times in easy win

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

Eric Decker: It's tough watching Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos


Semaje Perine breaks Melvin Gordon's rushing record

Report: Chip Kelly, Eagles GM not seeing eye-to-eye

Pete Carroll open to playing Richard Sherman at WR

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled for so long'

Red Sox have best offer on table for Pablo Sandoval?

LeBron: Kevin Love will get the ball 'if he demands it'

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

Sager makes first appearance since leukemia diagnosis

Harvard kicker wears glasses

WATCH: Tennessee fans go a little overboard celebrating TD

Dwight Howard out indefinitely after having PRP on knee

Report: Mike Gundy pursuing Florida job

WATCH: Jameis Winston gets away with shoving an official

WATCH: Georgia's Chris Conley makes diving TD catch

WATCH: Nebraska blocks field goal, returns it for TD

Florida DL shows support for Will Muschamp with eye black

WATCH: Javale McGee kisses elderly fan sitting courtside

WATCH: Tim Tebow busts out a brief Steve Spurrier impression

Rangers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Bills-Jets game will be free admission

Pete Carroll: Lynch is 'our guy'

Which NFL team will get the #1 pick?

Game of the week: Patriots vs. Lions

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.