During last year’s postseason, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defenseman Brian Dumouliin registered eight points in 15 games, good enough for sixth overall among blueliners.
Dumoulin is at it again.
Through four games in the first round of this year’s playoffs, Dumoulin has already totaled five points, which is the second-highest total among AHL defensemen.
The second-year blueliner’s success doesn’t surprise. Penguins head coach John Hynes said Dumoulin has a track record of stepping up in playoff games dating back to his college days.
“Things are clicking for him and he’s plugged in,” Hynes said. “It’s that combination that makes him very productive.”
Dumoulin is quick to point out that his postseason success has little to do with himself and is more the result of the play of his teammates. When things are going well for the Penguins, individual players benefit as well, he said.
“With the playoffs, everyone rises and with team success comes individual success,” Dumoulin said. “Sure, I’ve been getting some bounces and shooting the puck more, but as a team we’ve done well and that’s helped me.”
With their second round series against the Providence Bruins kicking off this Friday, the Penguins are hoping Dumoulin can replicate the success he had during last year’s playoff matchup against the same opponent.
Dumoulin scored five points, including a game-winning goal that came during a three-point night in last year’s postseason series against Providence. That was when the Penguins dropped the first three games and came back to clinch with four straight wins.
Dumoulin cautioned, however, that last year’s matchup has nothing to do with today.
“It’s good to be confident from that, but now it’s a whole different series,” he said. “We have different teams and it’s important to not get too high and just play the game that got you here.”
Still, the Penguins wouldn’t mind if that game meant more points from their blueliner. Even Dumoulin admitted that success in the playoffs can help build a career.
“Everybody says it’s important to just get in the playoffs and after that anything can happen,” he said. “The more playoff experience you can get now, it will only help you later in your career.”
- Coming into the postseason as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, it didn’t seem likely that the Penguins would have home ice advantage if they made it to the second round. But after the top three seeds lost in the first round, the Penguins find themselves with home ice against Providence. “Going into the playoffs we weren’t sure,” Hynes said. “It’s odd a little bit, that all three of the top seeds have been knocked out, but it shows you the depth of the conference. It’s an extremely competitive field.”
- With an assist in Friday’s game against Binghamton, Tom Kostopoulos tied the Penguin’s all-time mark for assists in the playoffs, set by defenseman Alex Goligoski (29). Kostopoulos stands as the Penguins’ all-time leader with 41 playoff points.