Last season couldn’t have started much worse.
After a promising first couple of games, things dramatically turned for the worse. By the end of November, the Blue Jackets found themselves with a record of 6-15-2. No matter what the team tried to do, nothing worked.
The locker room lacked something. The normal energy that was in the room wasn’t there. As the losses mounted, the room became a somber place. Players were sick of answering injury questions. The Blue Jackets were frustrated.
Then finally, the month of December came. With that came a change of fortune.
The Blue Jackets finished December a franchise best 10-1-1. The early disappointments started to fade away. The team finally discovered the swagger that they are known to have.
But what happened? How did the team go from losing 15 of 17 games, to getting points in 11 of 12 games?
The answer is simple. Brandon Dubinsky, their most important player, returned in early December. With his return came the return of the energy and passion that the Blue Jackets didn’t have.
Dubinsky doesn’t get nearly enough credit for all the things he does.
Measuring Dubinsky’s Impact
You can see Dubinsky’s impact both on and off the ice. On the ice, he is one of the best two-way forwards in the game. He plays the game with a level of intensity and competitiveness that not many players can match. He lays it all on the line every shift, every game.
Dubinsky is usually found playing against the best players from the other team. More often than not, he is getting the better of that matchup. He finished this past season with 36 points in 47 games, while finishing as a plus player. His defensive game makes the Blue Jackets better. His offensive game makes them a threat.
Off the ice, Dubinsky is just as passionate as he is on the ice. He brings an energy that rubs off on his teammates. The room was somber while Dubinsky was out. As soon as he came back, the room was electric. There are not many players in the league that have this kind of impact to the locker room.
Dubinsky is also refreshingly honest. Whether you ask him a question, or he shares an opinion, he holds nothing back. Check out what he did to Rob Mixer last week.
— Brandon Dubinsky (@BDubi17) August 1, 2015
Dubinsky loves to have fun as seen above. But what many fans might not know about him is how caring he really is. Check out this tweet he sent to a fan who was about to have surgery.
@ATB614 thoughts are with you bud!!
— Brandon Dubinsky (@BDubi17) July 20, 2015
This is fantastic. Dubinsky’s heart and passion is a perfect representation of what the city of Columbus and the Blue Jackets are all about. Some say that he goes over the line with what he says. I don’t agree with that. He is refreshingly honest. There are not enough Dubinsky’s in the league today.
Players are ultimately measured by winning. Last season puts this in perspective. Dubinsky played in 47 games. The Blue Jackets record in those 47 games was 27-17-3. This pace puts the Blue Jackets right on a 100-point pace over a whole season.
Dubinsky is truly the straw that stirs the Blue Jackets’ drink. He gives the team an energy and confidence that very few can. He is one of the major reasons why the Blue Jackets are primed for a Stanley Cup run.
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See you next week!
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2021-22 season will mark eight seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager.