PHILADELPHIA - Like the stock market, Brandon Dubinsky has huge swings, game to game, week to week. He'll be ineffective and scoreless for two- or three-game stretches, then will use his speed and grit and put together a multi-point game, as he has in four of the last nine before last night's game here.
"To me it's concentration," John Tortorella said. "He's got a lot of tools that you like in a player: He can skate, he goes to the net, he has the ability to win battles. I think he gets in trouble when it's good to him. He forgets how hard you have to play to keep your game up. Once you lose a little bit and think you've got all the answers, it's hard to keep it there."
During games, Tortorella said, the coaching staff reminds the 23-year-old, who has 11 goals and 17 assists in 37 games, to stay focused. "He's still learning to be a pro,'' he said. "The key is consistency. He's a big piece to the puzzle here, a big part of the core of the hockey club, not only right now but for the future, too."
Callahan heats up
If it ain't broke, don't break it. "I don't know what I'm doing differently," said Ryan Callahan, who had two goals and three assists in the previous two games after going pointless in five. "Points are going to go up and down through the season."
Callahan did credit the new fourth line (Sean Avery, Brian Boyle, Aaron Voros), saying it helps the entire team "if every line's a threat . . . They work hard, take the body, keep it simple and create some momentum for us."
Cutting it close
Once-shaggy Brian Boyle is sporting a close-cropped hairstyle. "It's my semi-annual haircut; every six months and then I let it grow," he said. Russian winger Enver Lisin, asked why he hasn't gone the same route, said: "Can't. I have deal with L'Oreal." . . . Ales Kotalik and Donald Brashear were healthy scratches.