June 24, 2024

Defenseman P.O. Joseph of the Pittsburgh Penguins has had a difficult sophomore campaign.

Joseph has been in and out of the press box throughout his second full NHL season, failing to establish a consistent presence in the lineup. He’s had several opportunities, but he hasn’t taken advantage of them yet.

He began the season with Chad Ruhwedel in the third pairing, which didn’t work out well for either of them. He has returned to the starting lineup on multiple occasions, providing a healthy scratch. Early in November, he was supposed to return to the starting lineup against Carolina, but he pulled out due to an injury.

This season, Joseph, 24, has only appeared in 22 games and has only three assists. Now, facing its greatest opportunity of the year and in a state of desperation, the Penguins defense will turn to Joseph.

He simply needs to play to his abilities, in my opinion. He seems like a really mobile guy to me. He seems to get back to pucks, according to coach Mike Sullivan. “He can move the puck pretty well. He may lead part of the offensive. He jumps right into the rush. He uses his stick efficiently for defense. To me, he simply needs to bring the kind of game that will position him for success. And he’s a really excellent defenseman when he does that.

For the Penguins, Tuesday’s game is as near to a must-win as any during the regular season can get. Their opponent in the postseason race is the New York Islanders; however, neither team can catch up to the Detroit Red Wings for the wild card nor the Philadelphia Flyers for third place. With two games remaining, the Penguins trail the Islanders by three points.
With four games remaining, they trail Philadelphia by 10 points, and with three less games played, they trail Detroit by 9 points.

If they fall short against the Islanders, they will behind too many teams by a significant amount of points.

On Monday, Sullivan blended his delicate lines into a stunning oblivion. On the top pairing, Joseph was paired with his close friend and former roommate, Kris Letang.

This season, Joseph has not been the same reliable defender; he has struggled at times and has seemed to lack conviction or confidence. It’s been a difficult regression.

“I believe I must first demonstrate (my game). Tuesday morning, Joseph uttered the words, “I have to demonstrate to myself and to others that I deserve to be there.” “I’ve spent a lot of time watching Marcus Pettersson play with Letang throughout the years. I am aware of the weight of that obligation. I simply want to play my game and contribute to the team and him at the same time.

Erik Karlsson and Pettersson are back in the “second” pairing, and Ryan Graves’s status in the lineup is in doubt. The most visible result of the team’s overall and season-long deficiencies was the reorganization of the roster.

The Penguins have reverted to their starting lineup, and at least four alterations are anticipated. There are no more opportunities to miss or time to lose. The Penguins must prevail.

And Joseph has been given another opportunity. There won’t be many more, just like the team.

P.O Joseph’s Big Chance to Reclaim Season, Spur Penguins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *