When Brian Dumoulin, Marcus Pettersson, Mike Matheson, and Juuso Riikola figuratively slipped on the banana peel and simultaneously joined the injured list, the Pittsburgh Penguins had just two healthy left-handed defensemen. No one really expected either of the remainders to play in the NHL this season, but P.O. Joseph has seized his chance.
In 14 games this season, Joseph’s first 14 NHL games, the Penguins 21-year-old defenseman burst into headlines. After his first few games, he and second-year-pro John Marino carried the blue line for two games when defenseman Kris Letang joined the injured list, too.
Marino played 30 minutes, and Joseph played 26 minutes as the Penguins dramatically beat the New York Rangers.
“He’s had glimpses of brilliance, obviously. Everybody sees his potential and what he’s capable of,” Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan responded to PHN on Thursday morning.