Player: Brian Dumoulin
Born: September 6, 1991 (31 years old)
Height: 6’ 4
Weight: 207 pounds
Hometown: Biddeford, Maine, USA
Draft: Drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the Second Round (No. 51 overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft
2022-23 Statistics: 82 games played, one goal, 24 assists, 25 total points, 16 penalty minutes
Contract Status: Dumoulin is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Fun fact: Inspired by Anthony Bourdain, Brian Dumoulin loves to cook. Like, a lot.
Hidden Stat: Over the final three months of the season he had 12 points in 29 games, which would average out to a 34-point over 82 games. That would match his career high.
It was a strange season for Dumoulin offensively because he started off playing some pretty lousy hockey across the board. Any hope for a rebound was quickly thrown out the window. But over the final two months of the season he started to actually show some offensive punch to his game with 12 points over the Penguins’ final 29 games of the season. Even peak Brian Dumoulin never played at that level offensively.
Story of the Season
Even if it was not completely realistic, there was always hope that Dumoulin would be able to rebound from a disappointing — and injury-filled — 2021-22 season and bounce back with a fresh start.
That never happened.
It not only never happened, he actually got worse, further confirming that his days as a top-pairing defenseman were in the rear-view mirror.
Just about every time something bad happened for the Penguins, he seemed to be at the center of it. Missing an assignment. Getting beat to the front of the net. Losing a battle for a loose puck. A bad clear or a failed clear. He always seemed to be the common denominator, no matter who his defense partner was or which forward line was on the ice.
It was a brutal year from start to finish and it never seemed to get better in terms of his overall play.
The most frustrating stat of them all: When he was on the ice with Jeff Carter, the Penguins were outscored by a 5-23 margin. Think that made a difference for a team that missed the playoffs by a single point in the standings?
Regular season 5v5 advanced stats
Data via Natural Stat Trick. The ranking is out of eight defensemen who qualified by playing at least 150 minutes.
Corsi For%: 51.73 (7th)
Goals For%: 42.6 (8th)
xGF%: 51.41 (8th)
Scoring Chance %: 51.1 (7th)
High Danger Scoring Chance%: 51.77 (7th)
5v5 on-ice shooting%: 6.92 (6th)
On-ice save%: 90.2 (8th)
Goals/60: 0.04 (8th)
Assist/60: 0.77 (4th)
Points/60: 0.81 (4th)
In terms of producing points and assists Dumoulin actually didn’t do terribly during 5-on-5 play, which is the most stunning development out of this whole situation. The one thing he never actually had in his career is the one thing that actually improved this season.
Everything else, though, was among the worst on the team. Especially when it came to being on the ice for scoring chances, expected goals, shot attempts, and, unfortunately, actual goals.
The only player that saved him from being worst in most of those on-ice categories was Jan Rutta.
This was one of those times where it seemed like everything was going to be alright for the Penguins this season. A huge win over a Stanley Cup contender and even Brian Dumoulin getting into the goal scoring act.
Brian Dumoulin has been a great Penguins for a long time and played a huge role in the team winning back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2015-16 and 2016-17. But those days are long gone. He didn’t really have a step to lose, and he seemed to have lost two of them this season.
None of that should take away what he did for the team at his peak and in his prime, but he unfortunately became quite a liability on the ice the past two seasons and especially this season.
It sucks to watch and you hate to see it, but father team remains undefeated. Great career in Pittsburgh, but it should not continue into next season.
He needs a significantly smaller role on a loaded team that does not need him to be more than a sixth or seventh defenseman. Somebody that can be called on to play limited minutes, kill some penalties when needed, and not be asked to play top-pairing minutes.
Honestly, what he needs is a Jack Johnson-type role on a team like Colorado.
He can still probably offer something in that type of situation. Anybody that expects more than that is going to get what the Penguins got the past two seasons.
How would you grade Brian Dumoulin’s 2022-23 season?
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