Kubalik Earning His Stripes
Going into this season, there wasn’t many expectations surrounding Dominik Kubalik. General Manager Steve Yzerman signed Kubalik this past off-season to a two year – $2.5 million dollar contract. In what was ultimately a prove it contract, Kubalik has certainly shown his worth through 6 games. Dominik now has four straight multi-point games along with being Detroit’s first skater to reach 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists)
Kubalik made his first appearance on Detroit’s top line alongside Tuesday night. He continued to show his value offensively, contributing to both goals in their 6-2 loss against the Devils.
Apart from his fantastic shot, Dominik’s playmaking along with his ability to find the open spot on the ice has been essential for Detroit’s power-play success thus far. Kubalik has recorded a point in 4 out of 5 of Detroit’s successful power-plays.
The Red Wings starting 3-1-2 despite not playing the best even strength hockey have found light in a dark room. No one could’ve predicted going into this season, despite all the hype surrounding the off-season additions, that he would’ve had the best start of the group. Although we cannot expect Kubalik to keep up this pace for 82 games, he has stepped up and taken advantage of the opportunity in front of him.
Next Man Up Mentality
In contrast to the Red Wings opening night lineup, Detroit has had multiple different line combinations through six games. With Tyler Bertuzzi along with Jakub Vrana missing time, there were question marks on who would step into that top six role moving forward.
Coach Lalonde just three games in had huge voids to fill in the lineup. In addition to past years, this Red Wings’ roster, although still battling injuries that carried over from last season, have depth at the forward position. Along with Dominik, Filip Zadina has also been called upon after being healthy scratched. Zadina being in a similar situation as Kubalik has an opportunity to step up and show his worth to Lalonde.
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