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It took a lot longer than anyone expected, but New York Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky has finally tallied his first goal of the season. The level of relief on the face of Dubinsky immediately following the puck hitting the back of the net showed just how much the drought was weighing on the 25-year-old forward. As he said postgame
“Picture’s worth a thousand words, isn’t that the phrase? If you take a still shot of me with my head back, my arms up, it was just like ‘mercy, finally, thank God. Something gave.’ That’s what you need,” Dubinsky said. “Puck going off my butt or something, it was pretty dang close with a puck on my stick and an empty net in front of me 15 feet away.”
For some the tally will validate Dubinsky’s effort on the evening, but for those who understand the way the team needs him to play the Rangers fourth goal was even better. Dubinsky’s work along the way fighting off multiple defenders, drawing a penalty and then getting the puck to the front of the net in what was eventually Ryan Callahan’s goal off a scramble was pure Dubinsky at his best. That is the kind of work that Dubinsky has been doing for much of the early season, but the focus has been on the zero he had in the goal department. Now that he has broken the seal, look for Dubinsky to go on a run here as he has always been streaky when it comes to goal scoring.
There is no denying that the Rangers need Dubinsky to be a part of the goal scoring if they are to maintain their current level in the standings, but they need him to play the way he has even more. Goals will come and go as you will get lucky on a few and lose some you certainly deserve, but the effort is what makes Dubinsky the player he is; the vital part of the Rangers core.
His position in the core of the team was stunningly evident with the pure joy of everyone else on the ice the moment he scored and as they continued to mob him along the wall afterwards. The crowd joined in providing arguably the loudest cheer of the season to let the forward know the love never left even if his goal scoring did to start the season.