Oh Dubi. I’ve yelled at you for being an idiot on the ice but that was when you took a stupid penalty for hooking or holding. Or iced the puck when you shouldn’t have. Or went offsides which you always liked to do while on an odd man rush. Not because you took a five-minute major that led to a phone call with Brendan Shanahan the next day. But that’s what you did last night and well as the video shows:
Surprise! I didn’t die from a plague. The good news keeps on rolling as we’re celebrating the spirit of the season with today’s Hawt Trophy.
Hockey players are excellent sports. We’re reminded of this every year around Christmas time and now you will be too.
This week we are focusing on problems caused by the lockout for our favorite NHL players. The best part? These “problems” come along with pictures too!
First up, we have Nashville’s cutest couple in Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood. (Yes we realize Carrie Underwood isn’t an NHL player but work with us for a second.) A couple of weeks ago, Fisher attended the American Music Awards with his wife Underwood and got handed her purse as she went up on stage to accept an award. His look was priceless and led to this tweet from his wife:
More good news Columbus Blue Jackets fans – Brandon Dubinsky was named player of the week!
For playing in Alaska.
In the ECHL.
And the signings of NHL players with random leagues continues. Last week Nate Thompson, Scott Gomez and Joey Crabb signed tryout contracts with the ECHL Alaska Aces.
Add Columbus forward Brandon Dubinsky to that list. Earlier today it was announced that Dubinsky signed a PTO (professional tryout) with the Aces which allows him to practice with the team but not play in any games. I’m not sure if this is a PTO that could eventually lead to a contract or Dubinsky is just looking for ice to skate on as he made this comment a few weeks ago:
“I don’t have a plan,” said Dubinsky, who married over the summer. “I’m here, I’m skating. It was a chance to come home and visit my family.”
Mostly, he’s disappointed.
“You work so hard your whole life to make it to the NHL, and you work so hard to earn the NHL contract you earned,” Dubinsky said. “To have them threaten you with pay cuts and lost time is bulls–t.”
He doesn’t see the lockout ending soon.
“I’m not a prophet, but I think (owners) will wait until we miss a paycheck or two — middle of November — and see if we’ll stay strong,” Dubinsky said.
This week we’re going to do something a little different and bring you a couple of tweets from various people involved with the NHL. We’ve got a current player, a past player and an official team feed. Why? Because you are NOT going to believe what any of them said! So here we go.
April 29th is a very important day for the current Rangers squad, as on this day two members of our core entered the world.
In 1984, we said hello to this man:
And in 1986, this man was born:
Don’t think the Rangers would be where they are today without them. Happy Birthday Dan Girardi and Brandon Dubinsky!!!!
While the Flyers and Blues had at least a week to rest and recuperate before the beginning of round two, the Rangers get all of 41 hours before they need to be back on the ice. Yes, this is the downfall to going seven games in a series but it’s still a shorter than usual turnaround time. We can sit here and debate who got the better deal but the fact is, it is what it is so I’m choosing just to accept it. Today at practice, Torts talked about being able to keep momentum since there was no break. Works for me. At least the Caps have a similar short turnaround time.
There was good news and bad news out in Westchester as the Rangers held their one and only practice before starting their series with the Caps.
First here’s the full schedule for the series:
Game 1: Saturday, April 28, 2012 3:00 PM ET Washington at New York. NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 2: Monday, April 30, 2012 7:30PM ET Washington at New York. NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Game 3: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 7:30PM ET New York at Washington NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Game 4: Saturday, May 5, 2012 12:00PM ET New York at Washington NBC, CBC, RDS
*Game 5: Monday, May 7, 2012 7:30PM ET Washington at New York NBCSN, CBC, RDS
*Game 6: Wednesday May 9, 2012 TBD New York at Washington TBD, CBC, RDS
*Game 7: Saturday, May 12, 2012 TBD Washington at New York. TBD, CBC, RDSI
And now for the good news – first round hero Brian Boyle was back on the ice. While it was his first time on the ice since he was knocked out by Chris Neil in Game Five, I can’t help but think this is a fantastic sign for Boyler. He spoke of what it meant to see his teammates and friends stand up for him. From the Daily News:
“That means a lot to me. The teammate thing and the whole code and all that, it’s great. And the friendship thing. But our team, how close we are … You want to do well for that guy next to you … Me and Prusty are close. Michael (Del Zotto) had a big hit on him, he responded. That meant a lot to me, and I made sure to tell them. They were texting me, I felt really good and blessed and loved … That was pretty awesome.”
Can this team get anymore adorable???? Anyway, hopefully he continues to improve and we see him in a game real soon.
There was also word that Mats Zuccarello has been skating on his own. After watching our power play last night, the little Norwegian can’t get back soon enough!!!
But as is always the case with good news, there is also some bad news. Brandon Dubinsky did not practice after missing the second half of the third period last night. MSG showed video of him falling awkwardly during the game so most are assuming he twisted his knee or ankle. Yes Dubi hasn’t had the best season, but losing him for any length of time would be a huge loss. Plus if anyone loves to play against Ovechkin and the Caps, it’s Brandon Dubinsky. Let’s just hope today was a maintenance day and he’s on the ice tomorrow afternoon.
As for this series, I expect an extremely close series where goaltending will be key. If someone told me I would write that sentence about the Caps a year ago, I would’ve laughed but as I’ve said before, this is a different Caps team. It’s going to be close and it’s going to be a battle. But that’s playoff hockey and the style of hockey the Rangers thrive in. If the Caps think we will just sit back and let them win again, they are in for a big surprise. I can guarantee the Rangers want this series more than just for the fact it will get them to the east finals. Time for some revenge. I’m ready….and I expect the Rangers to be as well cause in less than 24 hours, round two begins. Bring on the Caps!