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Rangers may have Dubinsky and Zuccarello available tonight

May 23, 2012, 8:48 AM EDT

Brandon Dubinsky

Plenty’s been said about the Rangers need for more offense in the playoffs and they just might have some on the way back to the lineup as soon as tonight.

Both Brandon Dubinsky and Mats Zuccarello have been practicing with the team lately and Steve Zipay of New York Newsday reports both of them could be back tonight. While lineup decisions are a closely guarded secret for John Tortorella, Dubinsky tells Zipay he’s feeling good.

“I’m feeling better and we’ll see how it feels tomorrow again,” Dubinsky said. “Every day with an injury, it gets better with treatment as you go, so we’re certainly on the right path. It’s just a matter of time. I want to play each and every game, especially here in the playoffs, but again, I have to make sure I’m at a point where I’m going to help the team, not hurt the team.”

The Rangers have some forwards who are going through a rough spell in the conference finals. All right so most of them are having a tough time, but guys like Carl Hagelin in particular are really struggling (no points against New Jersey, three assists in playoffs). The Rangers could stand to have some new blood to spice up their attack, but now it’s just up to Dubinsky and Zuccarello to be healthy enough to go. Will tonight be the night?

  1. cruuuzcontrol - May 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    These two would never be categorized as saviors… But adding them and subtracting maybe a Fedotenko here or a Bickel there and adding Dubs or Zucc will provide a little pop into the Rangers 3rd an 4th line. I don’t think the Rangers’ 3 & 4s have necessarily been bad… But look at what Gionta and Carter are doing for the Devils and you can see an edge that these guys may add for the Rangers that can help. Dubs had an awful season, but I do kinda miss him.

  2. jkay1818 - May 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    thats a tough call because hagelin adds a lot of energy, grinds and creates chances. Should be interesting who sits. dubinsky is really needed for his forecheck, PK and hustle and zuccarello is really good on the PP.

  3. tone279 - May 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    You’re crazy if you think Feds or Hags is sitting. If he is 100% Dubi will come in for one of Bickel or Eminger. Maybe they add some life to the PP with Zucc and sit Boyle who is nowhere near 75% anyway but that is a long shot.

    • jkay1818 - May 23, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      thats 2 guys on D though. The only reason both were in the lineup was because they used bickel as a fwd with prust suspended. My guess is dubinsky will be back and theyll wait for zuccarello. Mitchell is the easy choice because dubinsky can play center, but mitchell has actually been good.

    • jkay1818 - May 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      eh, they pretty much go with 5 guys on D anyway, sit both eminger and bickel and get those two in there.

      • challer9 - May 23, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        I don’t really think Bickel has played that bad, I’d like to see him in there. Eminger could def sit but it might get a little chippy tonight and that’s right up Bickel’s alley.

      • bdfools - May 23, 2012 at 11:26 AM

        While they mostly play only 5 defensemen, I can’t see dressing only 5. If one gets hurt early, you’d be down to 4 and screwed.

        Eminger has looked solid while Bickel has made a few costly mistakes. Fedotenko did finally score last game (a meaningless goal, but still) and has played decent lately in terms of board battles and defensively. Torts trusts him, so I doubt he sits.

        I’d say Prust back in for Bickel and Dubi in for Boyle (who is CLEARLY not close to 100% right now).

  4. stakex - May 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Lets not forget that Prust needs a spot as well… so in the event both Dubinski and Zuccarello are coming back tonight, three players would be sitting from the last game.

    My guess is that Prust will get his spot back from Bickel, and Dubinski (if ready) will get Hagelins spot. Sure Hagelin brings a lot of speed and energy, but right now its all about finding the net… and hes isn’t getting it done. As for Zuccarello, John Mitchell might end up sitting. He is a +/- -2 with just one assist in the playoffs… so hes clearly not helping the offense starved Rangers right now. I also really wouldn’t be shocked to see Rupp, Boyle, or even Prust end up sitting for the game. They have all played solid at times, but again… its about goals right now, and none of them have anything close to a hot stick at this point.

    Of course it is a huge risk throwing two guys who haven’t played in a long time into the lineup. They might have some extra jump, but they might also have some rust… and one bad game at this point could be the season. Should be very very interesting to see what Torts does.

    • jkay1818 - May 23, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      everyone already considered Prust in the lineup. There is no way theyd bench him. He hustles, hes an excellent penalty killer and plays the body. They missed him in game 4. Hagelin hit a post the other night and also had the deflection that almost went in towards the end of the 3rd. He provides a spark for the NYR when NJ has them pinned deep with their forecheck, he also does a great job grinding behind the net and forcing turnovers. Cant really go by what the writers on this site say, half the time it seems like they just watch highlights or bits and pieces of each game. Mitchell as i said earlier seems like an easy choice, but he has been playing well. He has won numerous faceoffs in big spots and has done a really good job at carrying the puck into the zone and keeping it in there for a good 30 seconds, similar to what he did in game 3. Anisimov might be a choice, i dont know why, he’s a good player but hasnt been getting minutes out there.

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