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Bobrovsky on returning Dubinsky: ‘He drives us’

Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 15: Brandon Dubinsky #17 of the Columbus Blue Jackets knocks over a pile of pucks as he makes his way onto the ice for pre game warmups prior to the start of the game against the Montreal Canadiens on November 15, 2013 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brandon Dubinsky

Kirk Irwin

As mentioned yesterday, the Columbus Blue Jackets expect Brandon Dubinsky to return to the lineup tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers. The team didn’t discount how much of a difference-maker he can be, as the Columbus Dispatch reports.

“Dubi, he’s our leader,” Sergei Bobrovsky said. “He drives us, the whole team. It’s a big thing that he is back.”

Dubinsky also “drives” play, as you can see from his strong possession numbers, even in heavy-lifting situations. Not many players can score in decent bunches, play a physical game and do the little things to move the puck in the right direction quite like the 28-year-old forward.

Columbus is 9-15-2 for 20 points without him, tying the Buffalo Sabres for the second-worst standings total in the league (although they do hold a game in hand). It’s possible that the Blue Jackets dug too deep a hole in the 26 games without Dubinsky to make a charge for the playoffs, but if it isn’t too late, Dubinsky can make a significiant difference.

The Blue Jackets are currently on a three-game winning streak, so things are looking up in general.