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Season Review: Mike Rupp

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
Over the past two seasons forward Mike Rupp has been a familiar face in the Penguins lineup, appearing in 162 of a possible 164 games for Pittsburgh.


Despite seeing limited ice time on the fourth line (9:33 average minutes per game), Rupp has excelled in the Penguins’ system. Rupp has set new single-season career highs in each season with Pittsburgh.

In 2009-10, he recorded personal bests in games played (81), goals (13), points (19), a plus-5 rating and shots (87). Last year, Rupp once again hit 81 games played while setting new marks in assists (8) and penalty minutes (124).

“I thought it was good,” Rupp said of his 2010-11 season. “I felt like you knew what you were going to get each night from me and I think that is a thing that is important from your fourth line, is to play a particular way every night, and I feel that we did that.”

But Rupp hasn’t only become a staple on the ice for the Penguins, he’s become one off the ice with his community work in the Pittsburgh region. Rupp’s efforts even earned him the Penguins 2010-11 “Community Service” Award. Most notably was the fundraiser Rupp and his wife, Christi, personally organized for Nicole Cleland, who struggled with medical payments after being involved in a car accident with a drunk driver. Nearly $16,000 was raised in the effort.

"I don’t think you need to be a parent to kind of think of what they’ve gone through,” Rupp said. “I have three kids, and I can’t fathom it. So if this is something that can help alleviate a little bit of pressure in some areas so they can focus on doing what needs to be done and be there for one another, so be it. We just want to try to help any way we can."

Related Article: Rupps Reach Out to Family in Need >>

The bond Rupp has with the city of Pittsburgh has grown over the past two years. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound forward is an unrestricted free agent this summer and would love to keep that bond going as the warm weather fades. 

“Well, Pittsburgh’s quickly become home for my family and I,” Rupp said. “Regardless of where the hockey side of things takes me, it’s home. So we’re digging in and plan on – we’ve developed relationships here where we just love the area, and we’d love to be back here.”













2011 PLAYOFFS:
Recorded two points (1+1) and a team-leading plus-4 rating in seven games ... Placed fifth (tied) on team with 19 hits ... Went 18-15 in faceoff circle for a 54.6 winning percentage ... Scored first playoff goal as a Penguin in Game 5 ... Added 15 shots on goal.

2010-11 REGULAR SEASON: Posted 17 points (9+8) and 124 penalty minutes in his second season in Pittsburgh ... Appeared in 81 games ... Physical forward finished third on team and second among forwards with 181 hits ... Broke 100 hits for the fifth straight season ... Won the Penguins' "Good Guy" Award, for cooperation with the media, and "Community Service" Award.







GP G A P PIM +/- PP SH Hits
81 9 8 17 124 -4 0 0 181




GP G A P PIM +/- PP SH Hits
7 1 1 2 4 4 0 0 19













Photos courtesy of Getty Images

  Click here to view the full photo gallery of Mike Rupp during the 2010-11 season!





Below is a transcript of Mike Rupp's chat with the media on the Penguins' locker cleanout day on April 29.

On the season:
We didn't think too much about where we’d be at the end of the year, and we’ve got to like that. On the other side of it, we were up 3-1 in a series we should have won and we didn't do it. With that said, you just have to learn from your wins and learn from your losses. That’s two years now we’ve had opportunities to close teams out.

On how he feels about free agency and what his future holds:
Well, Pittsburgh’s quickly become home for my family and I. Regardless of where the hockey side of things takes me, it’s home. So we’re digging in and plan on – we’ve developed relationships here where we just love the area, and we’d love to be back here.

On how he would assess his season individually:
I thought it was good. I felt like you knew what you were going to get each night from me and I think that is a thing that is important from your fourth line, is to play a particular way every night, and I feel that we did that.


Author: Sam Kasan

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