SB Nation’s newest theme week kicked off earlier this week, with Underdog Week. Along with examining those who have fit the mold of an underdog in a Penguins uniform, we can also talk about certain players that may not receive the proper respect they deserve(d). And when looking at the current crop of Penguins players, no one fits the bill of “under the radar” or “underappreciated player” more than Brian Dumoulin.
Maybe the main reason “Dumo” doesn’t seem to be talked about more in hockey circles is because of his defensive partner, Kris Letang. Letang and his offensive prowess have long drawn the elation (and ire) from the fans. And to be blunt, Dumoulin isn’t exactly known for lighting the lamp.
Yet, for being paired with one of the top defenders in the NHL (oh, I said it), Dumoulin quietly goes about his business and has become one of the most steady shutdown blueliners over the last several seasons. A nice yin to Letang’s yang, if you will.
Since joining the lineup full-time in 2015-16, Dumoulin’s logged at least 1,400 minutes and has been a positive possession player with at least a 50% CF% and FF% in each of his last five seasons. And for the old school fan, add in the hits and blocked shots as seen above, and you have a player that can do a little bit of everything.
All of these statistics plus two Stanley Cup championships as a top-2 defender. Not bad for the “throwaway” player in the Jordan Staal trade.
What are your thoughts on Brian Dumoulin being the Penguins’ unsung hero? Who are some other players that could fit the bill? Let me know down below!