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.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.