CRANBERRY — Brian Dumoulin has had some memorable seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
That list does not include 2021-22.
Not for any reason he cares to recall, anyway.
For even though he finished the regular season with a team-best plus-minus rating of +24, Dumoulin often seemed to show the effects of several injuries incurred in recent years.
He wasn’t quite as mobile as he had been previously, and he was guilty of occasionally making poor decisions with the puck, something unheard-of for most of his career.
And what had been a subpar season for him bottomed out during Game 1 of the Penguins’ first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers, when Dumoulin suffered a torn medial collateral ligament that forced him to sit out the rest of the series.
For a guy who assesses his performance through the prism of the team’s success — or lack thereof — the Pittsburgh Penguins’ fourth consecutive postseason appearance to end in Round 1 was predictably unpleasant.