Dec 23, 2013; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Pascal Dupuis (9) is injured after colliding with center Sidney Crosby (87) in the first period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins Worried About Pascal Dupuis' Speed?

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Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Pascal Dupuis suffered a torn ACL on Dec. 23 in a game against the Ottawa Senators, and underwent surgery on Feb. 12.

Given a timetable of six-to-eight months for recovery, Dupuis skated for the first time since his operation on Jul. 16, and has said all along that he expects to be ready for the start of next season.

However, while he could certainly be at full-health by the start of October, the 35-year-old’s ability is a question mark to the Penguins.

According to Dejan Kovacevic of DK on Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh is reportedly concerned that Dupuis may not have his full speed back. Now, Kovacevic elaborated and said that this worry was contrived months ago, but that as we get closer to the season, it could become a larger issue.

Dupuis, who was playing on the top-line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz before going down with the ailment, is viewed by many to possibly reclaim those same duties, due to the right wing vacancy. Yet, if there’s any iffy feelings about Dupuis’ speed, could he really be effective in that pairing?

Personally, I fully expect Dupuis to be game-ready when Oct. 9 rolls around, but he is older, and there’ll be significant rust on his tires when he finally does play. Coming off a major knee injury, it’s extremely possible Dupuis could never be as productive as he was before. And that’s why I think Pittsburgh’s concerned.

Kovacevic states Dupuis needs his speed to be effective, and he couldn’t be anymore spot on. Dupuis is not blessed with tremendous goal-scoring ability, or a playmaking mind, but he brings an added jolt with his speed; something that’s unmatched by a handful of the other Pens’ players. Dupuis does a great job going to the net and getting shots on goal, but will he be timid to go to the cage, and will he be more passive?

I guess, we can’t assess Dupuis’ status until preseason commences, and then see him in action – if he’s healthy by then. But, considering how old he is and the surgery he’s coming off, his performance level is slightly concerning.

And Pittsburgh’s well aware of his situation.

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