While some reflexively blame Sidney Crosby for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ inability to close out the New York Rangers in their second-round series and question any number of other factors, few ask: “What if Pascal Dupuis was in the lineup?” Season-ending surgery cut his 2013-14 campaign short, but the good news is that Dupuis told the team’s website that he’s confident he’ll be ready for the beginning of the 2014-15 season.
In fact, when asked if he’d be ready to start, the 35-year-old winger said he has “no doubt at all” that could happen.
Dupuis’ season-ending procedure happened in February, with a successful surgery prompting an estimated window of recovery at six-to-eight months. He said he’s feeling great about three months into that process.
With that window falling somewhere between August and October, that season-opening goal seems reasonable enough. In fact, he’s not dismissing the possibility of suiting up in training camp, either.
“Obviously it’s a long process, but it’s feeling great,” Dupuis said. “Aiming for six (months). The way it’s feeling right now, it feels great. I’m right on schedule, so it looks good for camp.”
In a way, adding Dupuis back into the mix is almost like acquiring a solid free agent, at least if you’re assessing the Penguins team that lost in the playoffs. Giving Crosby his usual wingers can allow other players to slide into more comfortable spots and possibly improve the team from within.
That doesn’t mean other tweaks aren’t needed, yet it’s an “upgrade” many might overlook.
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.