Putting up a three-point game is an impressive feat – even if it comes against a struggling Buffalo Sabres team.
So when Columbus Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois was able to do so on Sunday night at KeyBank Center in a big game for his team, it was an exciting development consider where his game has been of late.
Dubois started the year strong, and had multiple moments where he looked like the No. 1 center that he projects to be. Playing with Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin will help you look the part, of course, but as that line began to wane, Dubois' dominance wasn't where it once was.
Now as Matt Duchene has stepped into the role between Atkinson and Panarin, it looked like Dubois could get lost in the mix. Putting up points and finding a role is what he needed to do against the Sabres. While not much can be gleaned from a game against a bad team, Dubois was hoping to find a rhythm.
"I think another line got going tonight," head coach John Tortorella said in his post-game media scrum. "I think (Dubois') line struggled the last game but played very well tonight. We'll just take it one game at a time."
It was light praise from Tortorella, but listening to him, you know from reading between the lines he was happy with the young center's play.
"He (Dubois) was stronger on the puck," Tortorella said. "He was more of a power forward. When an offensive guy with the numbers that he has, when he's in a little bit of a struggle there, you tend to try and make too many plays. You try to be too cute. He is a power forward that has a lot of skill. I think that's a key for him understanding how you have to play."
A sophomore slump didn't come for Dubois, but the growing pains have. It's easy to see why there is much to be excited about with him, but finding that ongoing consistency is critical.
If he can get back into the groove before the playoffs and center a that's tough line to play against (and can supply some secondary offense), then Dubois is going to make the coaching staff and fans happy.
H/T SpecmenceCBJ for the video
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