Here’s what Rangers head coach John Tortorella had to say about maligned forward Brandon Dubinsky prior to tonight’s game against Tampa Bay:
The penalty in question was a two-minute unsportsmanlike call Dubinsky received late in the first period of Thursday’s 3-2 win over Carolina. After some pushing and shoving around the Rangers net, Dubinsky grabbed a ‘Canes stick and hurled it against the glass, which led to Carolina scoring on the ensuing PP…and Tortorella benching Dubinsky for the remainder of the contest.
“I thought it was quite honestly a ridiculous penalty,” Tortorella told the New York Daily News. “At a time of the season when you’ve got 20 games left, that we need to be working on other things as far as details than that nonsense.”
Tortorella then confirmed that, if the Rangers lineup wasn’t depleted by injury (captain Ryan Callahan is out with a bruised foot), Dubinsky would’ve been a healthy scratch.
All told, it’s been a rough year for the 25-year-old. After posting a career-high in goals last season (24) and inking a four-year contract, $16.8 million deal in the summer, much was expected of Dubinsky heading into 2011-12. But he got off to an awful start — one goal over his first 31 games — and had his name thrown around incessantly in the Rick Nash trade rumors.