Last season, Brassard blossomed with the Rangers as their third line center between Benoit Pouliot and Mats Zuccarello. He scored 18 goals and had 45 points in the regular season and had six goals and six assists in the Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup Final. Just ask the Pittsburgh Penguins what they thought of that line in the Eastern Conference Semifinal.
In seven seasons with the Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets, Brassard has 81 goals and 225 points. In New York, however, he’s emerged as an important offensive threat and will likely head into next season as the team’s No. 2 center. While he’s battled injury throughout his career, when he’s been healthy he’s been a very good player – just as the Rangers saw last season.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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