He just turned 34 years old a month ago.
He has played for four different NHL teams.
And now, Pascal “The Rascal” Dupuis leads the Stanley Cup Playoffs in goals.
Considered by many in 2008 as a “throw-in” player in the deal that sent Marian Hossa to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Colby Armstrong and then-prospect Angelo Esposito, “Super Duper” (yes he has quite a few nicknames) has certainly found a home here in the Steel City.
Add to that the fact that the Penguins continue to search for Duper’s replacement, and I’d say that it’s been a pretty pleasant experience for him in terms of proving people wrong about his skill.
When asked about his short-handed goal, his sixth goal (first short-handed) of these playoffs, in the third period of the Pens 4-1 Game One victory last night, Dupuis replied “Yeah it’s nice to surprise people.” And he’s been doing it since arriving on the scene here in 2008.
Dupuis has gone from being a 4th line winger, to Sidney Crosby’s most trusted confidant on the ice. Before Crosby missed nearly two seasons with concussion symptoms, Dupuis played next to the captain during his 27-game point streak in the fall of 2010.
The Proof is in the Pudding, err… Stats
In his career with the Penguins, Dupuis has 94 goals and 212 points. His most productive season, ironically enough, came without Crosby in the lineup, in 2011-12, where he posted career highs in goals (25) and assists (34, and obviously total points as well 59). What is amazing about his goal total from that season is that not one came on the power play. Coincidentally, he led the entire NHL in even strength goals.
However, take his points per game average from this past, lockout-shortened season (.79. 38 points in 48 games played), and this year would have been a career year for him with 64 points. He also had 20 goals in 48 games. Stretch that out over a full 82 games, and Dupuis would have lit the lamp a career high 34 times.
To further cater to Dupuis’ ego, he also led the NHL in plus/minus this season.
(Thanks to TSN.com for the numbers)
Kill it Off
Duper is also one of the Penguins primary penalty killers. Last night alone, he was on the ice for 4:17 of a possible ten minutes total that the Senators spent on the power play.
And he not only kills penalties, but he has added 8 short-handed goals over the six seasons he has spent here in Pittsburgh. And last night, he tallied one, his first “shorty” in the his playoff career.
Life in Pittsburgh
Dupuis is a big fan of the City of Bridges. He and his wife Carole-Lyne are raising their four children here. After the 2011 season, Dupuis re-signed with the Penguins for two years and $1.5 million per season. It’s worth mentioning that Dupuis took the deal before July 1, the opening of the NHL’s free agency period. In other words, he wanted to stay in Pittsburgh.
He’s due to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. And my gut tells me that he’ll be sticking around a bit longer.
He’s one of the straws that stirs the Pittsburgh Penguins’ drink. He never takes a shift off, does all the dirty work, and is now contributing on the score sheet as well. He’s a family man, gracious in the locker room with the media, and even likes to mix it up with ROOT Sports Penguins’ beat reporter Dan Potash:
This article was a lot of fun for me, as Duper is one of my favorite players on this team. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. Thanks as always!!
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I enjoy quoting it, so here ya go:
“Its a great day for hockey!!”
Pittsburgh, Pa. Class of 2000 graduate from Robert Morris University with a B.A. in Mass Communications. Full-time objective sports fan.