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Dubinsky Describes His Game-Winning Move

Brandon Dubinsky's game-winner last night (see above, but turn the sound down) prompted a depressing debate among Caps fans: who was more to blame, Jeff Schultz or Jose Theodore. Schultz, you'll recall, saw the puck go through his legs and then fell to the ice, while Dubinsky earned's Game Changer award for Wednesday's action after beating Theodore. I asked the 22-year old, who had 13 goals in 82 regular-season games, to describe his winning move.

"I got the puck, and I was gonna go wide there," Dubinsky said. "And I just kind of saw [Schultz] cutting over, so I tried to put it between his legs. It's one of those plays where it doesn't happen very often. And fortunately enough for me, I got pretty lucky and found a way to get through, and found a way to score."

Why lucky?

"Because defensemen in this league are too good," Dubinsky said. "They don't get beat one-on-one, I mean, ever. So in order for them to get beat one-on-one, you've got to generally get a little bit of luck with the move you decide to make....It all happens quick. You generally decide to make a move and then you stick with it, and like I said, most of the time a move like that not's gonna happen. But once in a while you get fortunate enough, and that was one of those times. So it was good timing for it, I guess. "

As you'd expect, Dubinsky said he took no personal pride in turning in a highlight-reel goal, nor in seeing Schultz fall down in his wake. After today's Rangers practice at Verizon Center, Dubinsky said he hadn't even seen a replay of the goal yet.

"It's just about winning, it's about finding ways to win and get chances and capitalize on those chances at opportune times," he said.

"This is the NHL; you get beat one-on-one and allow the guy to have a breakaway, you can't hide from that," Bruce Boudreau said last night. "That's not an error in anything other than he didn't get the job done on that play."

Rangers blue-liner Marc Staal was trailing on the play, planning on looking for a rebound, so he got a pretty good look at Dubinsky's move and goal. I asked him about what happened to Schultz.

"It happens; it's happened to me a few times," Staal said. "Obviously we wanted to score, and if you have to do that to another d-man to score, I'm all for it. But you know what it's like as a defenseman when something like that happens. It's happened to all of us. As a d-man, I think it's probably the worst, getting beat one-on-one for a goal. Never a good feeling."

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 16, 2009; 3:29 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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But, but, he sucks, he doesn't hit people!

/typical CI reaction

Posted by: Section117 | April 16, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I thought Schultz screwed the pooch there. His body is pointed straight at the boards, there is no help behind him, he should have pivoted and played it chest to chest. Skate backwards towards Josie and provide defensive coverage. Not just try to take him into the boards.
Loss of game/situational awareness I thought.
That said, Theodore sucks!!

Posted by: sobugged1 | April 16, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

The thing about Schultz is that the nature of his game makes is so mistakes - like this one - are impossible to miss and all the little things he does well every game - getting passing lanes, getting in front of guys and forcing them to dump the puck, being on the ice a lot more when the Capitals score than when they're scored against, turning the puck over less often than his teammates, etc - are easy to miss. Because of that, there are always going to be people who think he isn't any good because they aren't noticing him when he's playing well.

It's pretty much a fact I've come to accept at this point. People who recognize how difficult it is to play defense in the NHL and recognize what Schultz does well most game will appreciate him; people who only recognize and remember highlight reel moments will continue to hate on him.

Posted by: capsbluelinedotcom | April 16, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"People who recognize how difficult it is to play defense in the NHL and recognize what Schultz does well most game will appreciate him; people who only recognize and remember highlight reel moments will continue to hate on him."

So your take is to insult the people who hate on Jeff Schultz as ignorant of how difficult it is to play defense in the NHL and unable to recognize all of his little contributions (basically that we don't understand the nuances of hockey)? Wow. Nice. But most of us don't need to be lectured from you, Blueline about how we don't recognize the difficulty of playing defense in the NHL.

I'm at 40+ games a year and recognize the little things Schultz does well, and the fact that other defenseman (such as Erskine) make mistakes and have problems. The vast majority of us who hate on Jeff Schultz do so for 1 main reason, which is that Jeff Schultz is a huge pansy who refuses to play physical. I recognize he is a young defenseman and is going to make mistakes. He probably makes fewer mistakes than some of the others, like Erskine. But he's a coward, plain and simple, which is why I will continue to boo him. If we didn't have Pothier sitting out, it might be different. BP isn't perfect and he may not even be (as some argue) an improvement over Schultz, but at least I know he has some heart.

Posted by: wahoo_Mike | April 17, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for proving my point. Go back to the CI or team boards, where your hysteria and warped way of thinking is both welcome and commonplace.

Posted by: Section117 | April 17, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Shultz is so young. We might not like the play under the circumstances. Lets hope he bounces back and makes some good plays.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 17, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Nobody wants to talk about Green's equal share of the fault for the goal, do they?

Posted by: FFSEnough | April 17, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

If Green didn't score goals, there would be fake Twitter pages and hate groups on Facebook for him too, I'm sure.

Posted by: Section117 | April 17, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse


Shultz is a coward... wow, that's a lot of keyboard courage. Shultz made a big mistake, just like when Calle Johansson accidently deflected a puck past Kolzig in a playoff series against the Pens (1999 - 2000 season I think). It happens, but based on his age and the minutes that he plays, Shultz could develop into a solid Caps d-man (#3-#4) for a long time. Let's not "Larry Murphy" him out of town just yet.

Posted by: brihobbs | April 17, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

When it mattered, Schultz fell down and watched the Game Winning Goal get scored. talk about the "little things he does" all you want, but at the end of the day he got worked by someone who had never scored a post season goal before.

The proof is in the pudding, but please, continue to call everyone who disagrees with you "ignorant."

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 17, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

The proof is in the pudding, but please, continue to call everyone who disagrees with you "ignorant."

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 17, 2009 9:18 AM

Yeah, the proof is that he rarely got sat during the Pothier rotation, he gets assignments against teams' top scorers frequently and normally does a solid job.

Did he make a bad play, sure. But he'll bounce back, just like any other member of the team does. If you don't think a 23 year old player can learn from something, then please, go back to calling him soft just because he doesn't "play his size."

Posted by: Section117 | April 17, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"soft just because he doesn't "play his size.""

I never said this. I said he got schooled, fell on his butt, and let the GWG past when it counted.

But, by all means, please continue to pretend like that doesn't matter. Schultz doesn't have this reputation for nothing. it's just that *everyone* is "ignorant" by your standards.

I'll give you credit, no one gets spun around and falls quite like he does! It's the little things in the way he gets worked on game-winning playoff goals.

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 17, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Um, maybe you should read my post again. I'm not discounting the play, but the fact that people seem to think that he won't learn from this is, yes, ignorant.

As far as playing his size, I'm simply repeating a meme that many people seem to label him with. A meme that happens to be ignorant. If you're in either of those camps, then please, continue to take offense.

Posted by: Section117 | April 17, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Look at where the goalie is, practically inside the net. Theo said it himself, he wasn't challenging enough and this video is a clear example of that. I know the Caps can play even better, mistakes will happen, but they put up a lot of wins this year - they will put in 4 more in the next week or so.

Posted by: theshawn | April 17, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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