Brandon Dubinsky Needs A Goal
Before the season began we noted how important it was going to be for the New York Rangers to get secondary scoring from players not named Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.
Thus far Gaborik (nine goals and 15 points in 14 games) and Brad Richards (10 points in 14 games) have held up their end of the bargain. Although you might want to see more point production out of Richards, he's still learning the system and is currently on a line with the Rangers' most struggling player, Brandon Dubinsky.
Artem Anisimov (10 points) and Derek Stepan (10 points) have both stepped up to fill the secondary scoring role well, with some help from six Ryan Callahan goals.
But what about Dubinsky?
Join me after the jump to find out.
Dubinsky has no goals so far this year, but does have six assists. That's not for a lack of chances either, but Dubinsky hasn't been able to buy a goal this season. He admitted to the media that he's frustrated, but knows he needs to continue playing his game and eventually the goals will come.
In other words, as soon as he scores a goal, all the pressure will be lifted off his shoulders and he can get back to playing his game.
There have been some noticeable drop offs in his game through the first 14 games of the year. The biggest one being the amount of shots he has taken. Dubinsky has only taken 21 shots, which comes out to an average of 1.5 shots a game. That's an entire figure down from the 2.6 shots a game Dubinsky averaged last year.
He's also playing more passive in the offensive zone, looking to pass the puck to open teammates despite having shooting lanes of his own. While that's normal for a player who's slumping, it also won't help him get out of his slump.
The good news? Dubinsky is a very talented player, who simply needs to find the back of the net once, and then everything should get back to normal.
And like Dubinsky said, his whole game isn't in the toilet. He's played the same brand of "hit everything I see" Dubinsky hockey, and has had his chances in the offensive zone, he's just been unlucky.
The best way to change that? Getting a goal.