After playing his rookie season on a line with Jaromir Jagr
, Brandon Dubinsky
has further proven his worth in his second season with the Rangers without Jagr's support.
Minutes after the Rangers clinched a playoff spot with a win against the Flyers in their penultimate game of the regular season, Dubinsky, sporting a bloody gash on his nose, took a few minutes to talk to NHL.com about the upcoming playoffs.
Here are our seven questions with Brandon Dubinsky:
1. NHL.com: The Rangers led the Eastern Conference for the first part of the season, but barely managed to sneak into the playoffs. Does that help build character?
"It's one of those things that you can't dwell on the past; we have to focus on the future. We've changed a lot of things around here and we're feeling good about ourselves. At this point we just wanted to get in and enter the playoffs on a high note and we'll see what happens."
2. NHL.com: The penalty kill is rated among the best in the League while the power play is one of the worst in the League. How do you explain the difference, and how does the power play improve?
"We just have to keep it simple, make sure you get shots, winning faceoffs and do all of the little things correct. As far as our penalty kill, we have to keep doing what we're doing; obviously things are working well so there is no reason to change anything."
How has the team changed since John Tortorella became coach?
"I think it suits us well. We have a good group of guys with speed who are offensive guys. I think we certainly scored more goals under him and we are playing a little bit more offensively."
4. NHL.com: What did you learn last season as a rookie in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
"The intensity in the playoffs steps up big time. It's a lot different game; you have to make sure you're on and there's no such thing as a little mistake in the playoffs. A little mistake could turn into a series-changing mistake or a game-changing mistake. You have to make sure you're focused and you're ready to go each and every shift."
5. NHL.com: With every turnover magnified in the playoffs, is there anything different you do defensively during the playoffs? And what makes you so effective in the faceoff circle?
"You always have to be defensively responsible, whether it's the playoffs or not. You have to take care of your own end and focus on that. That's something that we've been doing well lately. I just have to bear down and try to win each and every (faceoff). You get some help from your wingers and your teammates to try to pull the puck back and you have to stay intense and fast.
6. NHL.com: What is your favorite playoff memory?
"There was a Game 7 I played with the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League. We were down in the series 3-0 and came back to win the series in the seventh game, 4-3 in overtime on the road, and I was pretty excited."
7. NHL.com: How do the Rangers match up against Washington?
"Obviously they have Alex (Ovechkin), who is such a dynamic player; but we have to find a way to shut them down. We have to make sure that we focus on our game and take care of our game and do things that make us successful and not focus so much on them. Obviously, we're aware and have an understanding that we have to take care of them, but we have to focus in on what we have to do."
Contact Adam Schwartz at email@example.com.