WASHINGTON — Pascal Dupuis has three goals in 22 games.
He remains worth every dollar, all 3,750,000, that count against the Penguins’ salary cap.
After the morning skate on Wednesday, Dupuis waited out second-year winger Beau Bennett, recently promoted to Dupuis’ old spot as Sidney Crosby’s top-line right winger.
Bennett is a fan of taking extra work after practices. Often he is among the last players off the ice. That was the case Wednesday morning at Verizon Center, too.
Upon beginning to remove his gear inside the visitor’s dressing room, Bennett was informed by Dupuis that a person wakes up with 100 percent of his energy. From that moment on for the rest of the day, Dupuis said, energy is lost.
Dupuis did not.
His implication to Bennett was not to waste energy on extra work after a morning skate. A deep reserve of energy, Dupuis pointed out, is a requirement if a player is to help Crosby produce offensively.
Helping Crosby helps the Penguins.
Dupuis talked quietly with Bennett for about two minutes. His point made, Dupuis then headed for post-practice treatment.
Bennett scored his first goal in the Penguins’ 4-0 win over Washington.
“He wasn’t joking about that,” Bennett said of Dupuis’ call for him to better conserve energy.
“I was completely serious,” Dupuis said after the win.
Dupuis is even more serious about his most important role with the Penguins.
It’s not as a top-six winger, which he remains as the left-side guy for Evgeni Malkin. It’s as one of their most trusted leaders.
>> Malkin offered a greeting Wednesday morning.
That might not seem like a big deal, especially since his streak of games without a goal would hit 15 later that night. However, on his way to the Penguins’ bus after their morning practice, Malkin walked past and offered a casual, “Hi, Rossi.”
It had been weeks since one of those from Malkin, who usually makes a habit of at least some playful interaction.
This followed “Hi, Rossi” on Wednesday morning:
Me: “I talked with Alex (Ovechkin).”
Me: “He’s got you for two (goals) tonight.”
That type of interaction is a lot more like the Malkin I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the last eight years.
Think about Malkin’s performance against the Capitals. Didn’t that look more like the Malkin everybody is used to seeing, too?
It’s about to end, and when it does – look out.
>> The Buffalo Sabres have a former Penguins CEO (Ken Sawyer) as a senior advisor and a previous Penguins vice president (Ted Black) as their president. Meanwhile, as of Tuesday night, the Penguins current assistant general manager, Jason Botterill, had not been contacted about the Sabres’ GM opening.
Botterill, 37, is one of the rising starts in NHL management according to, well, NHL managers.
Is it possible his ties to the Penguins is hurting his chances of landing an interview with a Sabres management group perhaps sensitive to the “Pittsburgh via Western New York” jokes?
If so, that is Buffalo’s hockey loss.
Penguins GM Ray Shero will not block Botterill from leaving for a promotion, but he dearly wants to keep him in the fold.
Notable, perhaps, is that Botterill’s likely replacement were he to leave, Tom Fitzgerald, attended the Penguins-Capitals game on Wednesday night. Fitzgerald is the Penguins’ assistant to the general manager – a position created specifically for him.
A look at Thursday’s #TribHKY coverage…
>> Yep, the word Dan Bylsma used to describe his Penguins was “smothering.” Thing is, he’s not really overselling them. THE GAME STORY: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/pensgalleries/5109772-74/penguins-capitals-bylsma
>> Ovechkin and Malkin aren’t tight, but they sure have a lot in common. There’s a draft class, MVPs, scoring titles, and slumps that defy their awesome talents. http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5109767-74/malkin-ovechkin-goals#axzz2lDBY7QWH
>> Bylsma doesn’t see these Capitals as having much in common with the ones the Penguins ousted in 2009. http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5109775-74/penguins-capitals-ovechkin#axzz2lDBY7QWH
>> Josh Yohe with his Top 10 Pens-Caps games: http://blog.triblive.com/chipped-ice/2013/11/21/top-10-penscaps-games-of-all-time/
Speaking of Yohe, he has the hockey club on Thursday before heading to magical Montreal.
You can catch me on the radio Thursday, probably doing hits from the rental car.
>> Penguins Live with Steve Kolbe (3:40 p.m., http://sportstalk.triblive.com)
>> The Mark Madden Show (4:30 p.m., 105.9-FM)
>> On the Ice with David Todd (6:10 p.m., 970-AM)
One of those fellas has to ask me about “Doc” Emrick showing me a 3-point stance on the Verizon Center media level. Strange-but-true story.
Be EXCELLENT to each other,