March 7, 2012; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: Pittsburgh Penguins wingers Pascal Dupuis (right) and Steve Sullivan (26) celebrate Dupuis scoring a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE
Key Stat: In 24 games against Atlantic division opponents, Pascal Dupuis posted 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists).
Key Stat II: Dupuis got stronger as the games go on: in first period of games he scored 15 points (4g, 11a). In the second periods he scored 17 points (8g, 9a) and in third periods Dupuis put up 27 points (13g, 14a).
Interesting Note: In year 11 of his NHL career, Dupuis bested his previous best season in goals by five and his best career year in points by eleven.
The Good: Quality of competition, Corsi, zone starts. Any way you slice the advanced stats it’ll show that Dupuis had some difficult minutes and not the friendliest of starts, but he did exceptional in driving play, getting shots on net and saw a lot of goals go in the right net. The 62 goals for (at 5v5) while Dupuis was on the ice was fourth best on forwards on the team (predictably, behind only all three members of the top line of Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Chris Kunitz). And consider that the Pens top line started at least 62% in the offensive zone, Dupuis was at 51%. As mentioned, he set new career highs in goals, assists and points and ended the season on a 17 game point streak, longer than any other player in the NHL this season.
The Bad: It’s sort of like counting freckles on a supermodel, but Dupuis did have the highest GA/60 of any of the regular forward penalty killers. And in the 31 games the Penguins lost, Dupuis only scored 3 goals, pointing out that when things were going bad for the team, he wasn’t chipping as much in. Also had a cold stretch of 17 games from December 29th to February 5th where he scored 0 goals and 4 assists.
Moment to Forget: February 16, 2012 against the Buffalo Sabres. Just 4:16 into the game, Dupuis was on the ice when Derek Roy scored to make it (already) a 2-0 Sabre lead. Then early in the second Dupuis took a high-sticking minor penalty. Buffalo wouldn’t score of that PP, but they did make it 3-0 soon after Dupuis stepped back on the ice. The Pens fought back in the 3rd period, but on the next shift after Jordan Staal made it 3-2, Dupuis was on the ice when Drew Stafford beat Brent Johnson to put the game out of reach in what turned into a 6-2 thumping.
Discussion: The joke about Dupuis was he was all heart and hustle and no hands. Well, this season he was capable of producing points and for a stretch was the most consistent and dependable player on the team late in the season. Since he can play wing on any line 1-3, what do you think his role should be for next year? Seems like he’ll be back in the familiar spot on Sidney Crosby’s wing, is that a good idea?