2013-14 Season In Review: Pascal Dupuis

USA TODAY Sports

We continue our series looking back on the individual performances of each of the Pittsburgh Penguins players. Next up: Pascal Dupuis.

Age: 35 (April 7, 1979)

Contract Status: Signed through 2016-17; $3,750,000 cap hit; modified NTC

Buyout Status: Not eligible for compliance buyout

2013-14 Stats

GP

TOI/GP

Goals

Assists

Points

39

17:41

7

13

20

Corsi For %

Corsi Rel %

Quality of Comp. (TOI%)

Zone Start %

PDO

53.6% (4)

+4.7% (7)

30.0% (1)

47.0% (10)

100.2% (12)

(Numbers in parentheses indicate descending rank among regular Penguins forwards.)

The Versatile Vet

Next to Jussi Jokinen and his eventual replacement Lee Stempniak, Pascal Dupuis continued to show why he was one of the most versatile forwards on the team. While his steady spot - for now - is on the top line, he could skate anywhere and frequently shifted down to third line following power plays.

Immediately prior to Dupuis getting injured, during a stretch from late November to mid-December, the Pens were playing their best hockey of the season while also having the most starters missing from the lineup with injuries. Even though his offensive output wasn't too high, it was his speed, cycling the puck at even-strength and his steady PK work that were most sorely missed in the second half of the season.

If Offense Stutters, Defense Never Does

In his 39 games played this past season, Pascal Dupuis didn't exactly set the ice on fire. He went through some cold stretches in regards to the score sheet, but his two-way play was always there. His 20 points still rank 7th among all forwards on the team, even in half a season's work. He posted the second highest CF% and CF%rel of his career, trailing his 2012/13 numbers only slightly. One stat that did come back to Earth was his Sh%, down to 7.2% from 14.3% and 18.2% in the previous two seasons.

GIF of the Year

Good Moment (November 15, 2013): The James NealTM play. The subtle touch pass from Matt D'Agostini (remember him?) was enough to free up some space for Duper to beat Mazanec.

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Bad Moment (December 23, 2013): Ottawa. Keeping up with Crosby can be bad for your health. Marc Methot with a hip check on Crosby, who is launched onto oncoming Dupuis, and ... there goes the season.

Preseason Expectations

I think it's fair to say the expectations were high. He came off a stellar albeit shortened 2013 campaign that earned him a new 4-year deal. Everyone expected him to play at a high level for at least a year or two, until presumably Bennett or another younger player moved up to skate with Crosby while Dupuis moved down to the third line for a more checking role. I don't think anyone reasonably expected a 75-point season, but somewhere in the range of 50-60 points was where most people expected to see Dupuis end up after a full season.

Verdict

While his shooting percentage dropped, Dupuis continued to be a relentless and positive influencer of possession play for the Pens. His speed and ability to read off of Crosby and Kunitz created  opportunities for his linemates. Sid saw quite a few guys on his right wing, including Malkin toward the end, and every time an offensive play broke down and the play went the other way we were reminded Duper wasn't there. Of the many good things he brings to a team, if I had to pick one factor that was missing the most was his ability to sustain the offensive cycle. His defensively responsible play, leadership on and off the ice, his incredible work ethic, and his jovial personality were missed as well. I, for one, can't wait for the preseason to roll around so that I can hear that familiar voice yell "Thanks Daaaaaan".

***

Feel free to vote in the poll below to grade Pascal Dupuis’ season on a scale from 1 to 10. Vote based on your expectations for him coming into the season -- i.e., 1 being "he was incredibly disappointing and I want him out now", 10 being "he was outstanding even beyond my craziest expectations".

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