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Practice Report: Dubinsky frustrated; Stralman sits tomorrow

At this point last season, Brandon Dubinsky had 10 goals. Through 14 games this year, zero. I asked him after practice if it was the most frustrating stretch of his career when healthy... 

 

"I think so. I’m only human…it’s been tough mentally a little bit not getting those points and not contributing offensively on a consistent basis. That being said, I think I’ve matured as a player and a professional, I’ve gotta try and continue focusing on the other parts of my game; it’s not like my game is completely in the toilet and I’m turning pucks over and I’m on the ice for a lot of goals against, so I’ve just got to stay confident and believe in myself."

"It would definitely feel a lot worse if we weren’t winning hockey games, different guys are stepping up every night, obviously I feel the pressure and I understand that I’ve got to step up and contribute and be that guy. For me, it’s not a matter of work ethic, it’s about hopefully trying to get a bounce, try to get something lucky to happen for me, have one go in off my butt or something like that. Hopefully that will relieve some of the pressure because sometimes when you’re fighting a little bit, you overtry, you oversqueeze, so for me I’ve got to try to take a step back and relax." 

Dubinsky was moved to the third line during the Ottawa game, and could start there tomorrow night against the Canes.

"Those guys are good puck-possession type guys, they kinda play my style. I don’t know what the lines are going to be tomorrow night, but if I’m with those guys, hopefully it’ll give me an opportunity to get open and let them do some of the grinding underneath the hashmarks and try to find me in scoring position. They’re both capable of making great plays and scoring goals too...Obviously Step’s line’s going to stay the same....

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After his first practice with the team, which did not always simulate game situations, D Anton Stralman told me it "would be hard" for him to play tomorrow...

"Today was more just get back on the ice, get some conditioning in near the end, try to catch the pace a little bit. It’s a little different practicing with a Division One team (in Sweden) and an NHL team, but I’m sure it’ll take a couple practices to get used to it, obviously there’s a lot to learn system-wise, get the timing back, but hopefully it won’t take that long. It’s more getting to know the guys and getting to know the system. (Playing) tomorrow, it would be hard, I know a little bit of theory, I'll probably watch some video.”

More in a bit....

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