Kubalik, 27, has recorded a tournament-leading eight goals and 12 points over six games for team Czechia. Czechia teammate Roman Cervenka sits second in scoring with three goals and nine points. After scoring his seventh goal, Kubalik had set a new record for Team Czechia. It’s the fewest games a Czechia player had scored seven goals in a single tournament. Kubalik would later add his eighth. The Detroit Red Wings product mentioned that he’d appreciate the feat later.
“It’s nice, but I’ll appreciate it later,” Kubalik said when informed of his milestone after Czechia’s 2-0 win. “I hope I’m not done and I continue to do well. I’m not going to change anything and I hope it continues for me and the others.”
Sunday was a special day for Kubalik as he was able to score on his wife’s birthday. He mentioned that he was happy to be able to give her a present. Other members of Kubalik’s family were also at the game.
“I wanted to give her a present. I think the goal and the win did it,” he said. About having family present in Riga, he said: “It’s great to have those closest to you around. I don’t want to be alone. I like to put hockey out of my head, go to a cafe and talk about something else with them. I’m glad we could win for them.”
Hopefully, Dominik Kubalik’s recent success carries over to next season with the Detroit Red Wings.
Last summer, the 27-year-old forward had been a low-risk, high-reward type of signing for Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman. The Red Wings signed him to a two-year deal that averages just $2.5 million annually. Kubalik became available after the Chicago Blackhawks chose not to tender him an offer as a restricted free agent following three seasons.
With the Hawks, Kubalik produced a 30-goal rookie season, but his goal-scoring tailed off considerably in years two and three, where he totaled 17 and 15, respectfully. In his first season with the Detroit Red Wings, Kubalik bounced back, recording 20 goals and 45 points, just one point fewer than his career high of 46 he amassed as a rookie.
Over the past handful of years, the Detroit Red Wings have had a glaring need for secondary scoring, and more recently, they’ve also had a serious need for top-end scoring. This past summer, Yzerman identified the Czechia winger as a player that could fill a support scoring role, and as he often is, he was correct. Kubalik played up and down Detroit’s lineup, sometimes needing to fill in on the top unit alongside captain Dylan Larkin; other times, head coach Derek Lalonde plugged him in on the fourth line and even made him a healthy scratch once.
As you likely suspect, Kubalik is playing on the top line for Czechia and the top power-play unit.
Detroit took a big step forward last season, and they are expected to take another one after the upcoming offseason. There is a lot of potential here left untapped, and I expect Kubalik to continue to improve, especially if the Detroit Red Wings can continue to improve their roster this summer. The more talent littered through the lineup will help elevate everyone’s personal statistics.