Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Mike Sullivan provided a positive update today in regard to forward Ryan Poehling. The 24-year-old, who came over in a trade with Montreal this summer, hasn’t played since February 11th in the Penguins’ 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
Ryan Poehling will not play in tonight’s game against Montreal, but it sounds like his return isn’t too far away. After being a full participant in the Penguins’ morning skate, Head Coach Mike Sullivan said, “He’s a whole lot closer,” per the Penguins’ social media. This is a significant sign after the Penguins forward suffered a setback just before the trade deadline.
This season the 24-year-old forward has five goals and six assists for eleven points in thirty-eight games. Although the points aren’t necessarily eye-catching, there’s no denying how big of a boost Poehling’s return would be for the Penguins. Predominantly playing in a bottom-six role this season, the 24-year-old has been one of the few surprising bright spots in the Penguins’ depth.
The Pittsburgh Penguins’ bottom-six struggles have really held the team back this season. With the team trading Teddy Blueger to the Vegas Golden Knights and Brock McGinn to the Anaheim Ducks, Ryan Poehling’s return will be heavily relied upon. It’s no secret both management and the coaching staff have confidence in Ryan’s ability, shaping up for a pretty exciting return.
Regardless of what you think about Ryan Poehling’s style of play, one thing is for sure, the 24-year-old brings speed. With the Penguins roster being one of the oldest in a long time, it’ll be nice to add that quickness back into the lineup. With the impressive play from Drew O’Connor recently, and the acquisition of Mikael Granlund and Rickard Rakell now on the third line, this team’s bottom six finally looks deep enough to compete with the best.
It’ll be fun to see where Ryan Poehling is deployed once he returns. Likely in a defensive role to replace Teddy Blueger and current injured Penguin Nick Bonino. Regardless of where the 24-year-old plays, his return will be significant as the Penguins’ race for the playoffs continues in full swing!
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