Brian Dumoulin has been the perfect on-ice companion for the adventurous Kris Letang. Where others failed to keep pace and failed miserably, Dumoulin provides a steady presence. He also thoughtfully tries to build some chemistry in the Pittsburgh Penguins room.
Dumoulin is also the locker room DJ, and a lighthearted question from PHN quickly turned into a serious, reflective answer about music tastes for different teammates…and a little poke at new Penguins center Brian Boyle for being old.
At least, I think it was a poke. Dumoulin didn’t break stride even though a few of us started laughing.
“I’m always trying to find some new songs and stuff, and some of it’s old, some of it’s new–always new playlist every year and stuff,” Dumoulin said. “But I just kind of (get a) feel in the room and the vibe in the room and stuff. I know Brian Boyle is an older guy, so maybe some older music for him and songs that he knows…”
Dumoulin was dead serious as he said it–like a clinical technician, just as he plays on the ice. In fairness, Dumoulin’s defense partner, Letang, is 34-years-old and Boyle is a sprightly 36.
And yes, we older folks over 35 are unaware of you youngsters and your YouTune and JuJu dancing on Tic-Tac or MySpace or whatever. It helps to make us feel at home by playing some Hootie and the Blowfish. Maybe some Spin Doctors or Sugar Ray.
If you’re really feelin’ generous, maybe feed us geezers some Nirvana or Green Day.
The Pittsburgh Penguins do have a lot of new faces in the lineup. Dominik Simon returned, Brian Boyle made the team on PTO, Drew O’Connor asserted himself with a standout camp, Brock McGinn and Danton Heinen were free agent pick-ups.
It can be hard to build chemistry with so many new faces.
“…Other guys that we’ve had that are new in Brock and Danton, and obviously Dom and played with us before. So those guys are easygoing guys, and they’ve really jelled with their group already,” the defenseman said. “When you have a full new team, it can be hard to create some chemistry early on, but guys have done a good job to be welcoming in our group. I mean, we’ve had a few team dinners already, too, so that always helps and try to make them feel as comfortable as they can within our group.”
No word on their music tastes, however.
Pittsburgh Penguins Leadership
Leadership takes many forms. Letang heaped praise on “Big” Jeff Carter for being a crucial part of the locker room fabric and helping the team jell, too.
Carter is wearing the “A” in Evgeni Malkin’s absence.
“Guys are following his footsteps right now, and he’s a really great guy,” Letang said of Carter. “Guys want to be around him off the ice, you know, like at dinners or when we’re just hanging out, they want to be around him–Listen to the stories and stuff like that. He’s a great teammate.”
Dumoulin’s music. Carter’s stories.
We’d like to hear the playlist. We’d love to hear the stories. Carter has enjoyed his NHL career, which includes 400 goals, and we’ll leave it at that.
The Pittsburgh Penguins chemistry has been a prominent bonus feature at the start of the season. The PHN+ report card from Saturday night was full of praise for the easy puck support, short passes, and quick transition game. Those elements require trust and knowing where teammates will be.
Boyle and O’Connor have quickly forged it. So, too, has Carter and Heinen.
Perhaps Dumoulin plays on Boyle’s love of cars? Maybe Radar Love? Low Rider?
It was clear, just like Dumoulin’s careful approach to balancing Letang on the ice, he puts thought into balancing the room with the tunes. Maybe one day, he’ll be the old guy jamming to music that was groovy way back in, like, 2015.