|Forensics: Pascal Dupuis||Tweet|
|Written by Michael Amato|
|Thursday, 16 August 2012 15:37|
When you start to bounce around from team to team and head into journeyman status, it is hard to finally find a place where you seem to fit in and become part of a team’s long-term plans. Pascal Dupuis has seems to have embraced that challenge head on and looks to be a key contributor on the Penguins for the foreseeable future.
Dupuis broke into the National Hockey League during the 2000-01 season with the Minnesota Wild and has had stops with the Rangers and Thrashers as well. In fact he played for all three of the aforementioned teams in the 2006-07 campaign alone. In 2008 he was shipped to Pittsburgh from Atlanta almost as a throw-in player in the deal that brought Marian Hossa to the Penguins. While Hossa’s stay may have been short, Dupuis has steadily improved during his four-plus seasons with the team.
In 2011-12 Dupuis had a career year offensively and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Penguins with all the injuries they were forced to deal with up front. He had 25 goals and 59 points on the year and it was his highest total since the 2002-03 season. He was also a plus-18 which tied for the second on the squad and posted 214 shots.
Dupuis was one of the Pens most consistent players in 2011-12 as well. He recorded points in 58.5% of his games played and ranked third on the team with at least one point in 48 games.
What makes Dupuis’ production unique is that he did it all with virtually no power play time. He only averaged 24 seconds of power play time per contest last year and didn’t record a single goal with the man advantage. In fact, the last time he recorded a power play marker was in 2006-07. Where he does excel, however, is playing shorthanded. He tied for the team lead with three shorties in 2011-12 and has seven shorthanded goals in the past two seasons. Not to mention, he has 18 game winning goals in the past four campaigns.
Not only are the Penguins receiving a lot of unexpected offensive production from Dupuis, but they are getting it for cheap. He ranks first on the squad when it comes to cap hit per point. In a salary cap world anytime you can get that kind of quality at that price you are going to have a huge advantage over the rest of the league.
Now it would be remiss if we didn’t address some potential concerns for Dupuis going forward. The first thing is his PIM dropped from 59 in 2010-11 to 34 in 2011-12. I mean doesn’t he realize he has thousands of poolies counting on his PIM in their leagues? Then he had to go and ruin that by focusing on scoring. Selfish.
Penalty minutes aside, there is another more pressing issue at hand for Dupuis owners. Although many people feel that Sidney Crosby has had a major effect on Dupuis’ scoring, and perhaps he has, but the departure of Jordan Staal could be more telling. Dupuis actually recorded 22 of his points last season playing with Staal which counted for over a third of his total production.
It should also be noted though that he did record 15 points while on the ice with Crosby in just 22 games. One would think that a healthy Crosby playing in a full season would only make those numbers go up, but the chemistry Dupuis had with Staal still shouldn’t be overlooked.
Dupuis’ offensive abundance in 2011-12 could have just been a blip on the radar, or it very well could have been the start of something special. Expectations will be high for him this season and Penguins fans as well as poolies will be hoping he can live up to them.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 19 August 2012 23:48|