Even on a night when a trade is the Columbus Blue Jackets’ biggest story, they still suffer from the theme of this season, as Brandon Dubinsky is once again injured.
He appeared to suffer the issue (labeled an upper-body injury) following a collision with Tom Gilbert right after scoring a goal. Dubinsky won’t return to tonight’s contest against the Montreal Canadiens, the Columbus Dispatch’s Shawn Mitchell reports.
Here’s that painful moment following his tally:
Dubinsky’s season has already been limited by injury issues, so this has to be frustrating for the versatile forward and his remarkably unlucky team.
Don Cherry has taken issue with the amount of fights NHL super stars are getting into these days, using the latest case of Sidney Crosby scrapping with Brandon Dubinsky as his example.
Crosby and Dubinsky dropped the gloves in a spirited but quick bout after getting tangled up together in the corner during a game between the Penguins and Blue Jackets this week.
“Crosby should never have to put up with stuff like this. This has been going on, he’s had concussions. He shouldn’t fight,” said Cherry during his Coach’s Corner segment on Saturday.
(Interesting to note that while Cherry brought up Crosby’s concussion history as a reason why Pittsburgh’s star shouldn’t fight, he later turned around and basically dismissed concussions and the connection they have to fighting in hockey.)
Cherry’s main issue was the lack of “protection” stars have now compared to the days of Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy during the 1980s. He then showed several clips of stars like Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, Rick Nash and others in fights.
“They should be protected all the time,” said Cherry. “That’s why they get injured all the time. They should never, ever be fighting.”
Pittsburgh had the best record in the Eastern Conference two months ago. After suffering a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night, the Penguins have fallen to the point where they just have a Wild Card spot.
Pittsburgh has found the back of the net just once in each of its last three contests and part of that recent drought is tied to Sidney Crosby, who has been held off the scoresheet in five of his last six games. His frustrations seemed to reach a boiling point tonight when he engaged Columbus’ Brandon Dubinsky in a sparring match:
If Crosby was hoping to spark his team, it didn’t work as it was Dubinsky that was ultimately the hero tonight by netting the game-winning goal:
Pittsburgh’s scoring woes are just the latest in a long line of issues. The Penguins have a 10-11-5 record since Dec. 20, which has allowed the rest of the league to catch up with them. The latest example is the Washington Capitals, which earned a 5-1 victory over Winnipeg tonight to leapfrog the Penguins in the Metropolitan Division race.
The silver lining for the Penguins is that the damage is not yet irreversible. While they’re now in fourth place in their division, they still only trail the first place New York Islanders by six points.
Meanwhile, Columbus kept its faint playoff hopes alive with its fifth victory in seven games. The Blue Jackets are 26-27-3 this season.
Sidney Crosby has endured a bit of a cold streak — at least by his high standards — so he tried to help his team out in a less conventional way tonight.
He dropped the gloves and had a spirited fight against the Blue Jackets’ Brandon Dubinsky, which you can watch below:
Crosby has now engaged in six fights over 604 career games.
This came after Crosby was denied by goaltender Curtis McElhinney on a golden opportunity earlier in the period:
The Penguins captain has been held off the scoresheet in two straight contests and Pittsburgh has lost both games. That by itself isn’t too big of an issue, but Pittsburgh is just 10-10-5 following its tremendous 26-6-4 start to the 2014-15 campaign. The Penguins have a particularly troubling 7-10-4 record in games against their Metropolitan rivals.
Pittsburgh and Columbus were tied at one through 40 minutes.
The Columbus Blue Jackets had a two-goal lead, and were looking in good shape against the Montreal Canadiens, one of the contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Then, the Blue Jackets went on a parade to the penalty box. Suddenly, that two-goal lead evaporated. They were no longer looking in good shape. In fact, quite the opposite.
The Canadiens scored three power plays in a span of less than four minutes late in the third period to defeat the Blue Jackets by a final score of 3-2 on a historic night for Columbus defenseman Kevin Connauton.
The winning goal came from Max Pacioretty – his second of the evening to hit the 20-goal mark this season – with under five minutes remaining in regulation. He scored just 22 seconds after Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky was whistled for a boarding penalty.
The 28-year-old Dubinsky, a veteran of 513 NHL games, was critical of himself afterward.
“I’ve got to know better. I’m a veteran and looked at to be a leader in here. It was just a dumbass play. I’ve got to make sure I hold myself accountable and be better,” said Dubinsky, as per the Columbus Dispatch.