There was a scary moment to read on Friday afternoon that Pascal Dupuis would suddenly not be playing that night in Edmonton against the Oilers. Dupuis went to the hospital after not feeling right for tests, and was back in the building by the end of the game. He kept traveling with the team but was again held out Saturday in Calgary, pending more tests back in Pittsburgh today.
"Everything went well this morning," Dupuis said after practice, where he was back in his new normal spot, on the left wing of the Penguins first line with Sidney Crosby.
"It will probably be something that I have to go through a couple times during the season," Dupuis said, who wouldn't expand on exactly what his condition or feeling was, but did point out that after last year he promised to listen to his body and be cautious about continuing to play, in the wake of two separate blood clot incidents in 2013 and 2014.
"Something didn't add up and I spoke out, that's why I didn't play the last two games," Dupuis said. "Better to be safe than sorry."
On one hand, it's absolutely great that Dupuis got checked out and has gotten a full bill of health. That can't be discounted or denied for an older player near the end of his playing days, but certainly shouldn't be near the end of his family days.
For the Penguins, it shows just how delicate and fragile Dupuis' health can be. As he mentioned today, one blocked shot, one cross-check could cause him pain and self-doubt might grow if he just has a bruise or something internally a lot more serious. While it's certainly the best case scenario that it appears Dupuis will be able to play on Wednesday night at home against Montreal in the Pens next game, they probably shouldn't continue to lean on him as such an important member of the team in a first-line role with Crosby. In a year that Crosby is struggling to get on track himself, no less. Dupuis absence meant Eric Fehr (who has never played left-wing) had to jump into that position with Crosby. Unsurprisingly, the line did not score in either game.
Hopefully Dupuis' health continues to stay strong and he's able to finish out his career with no further complications, however as the player admitted today, his health is never really going to be something that he should take for granted. Nor should the team when they consider his role as well.