Montreal Canadiens: Ryan Poehling’s Season Start Goes From Bad to Worse

Montreal Canadiens centre Ryan Poehling was expected by many to start the season with the Habs, after signing a two-year extension in the offseason.

He played all of last season with the Laval Rocket and led the team in scoring with 25 points in 28 games played. He was terrific at both ends of the ice for the Rocket and looked ready to take the step to the next level.

The Canadiens losing Phillip Danault, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Eric Staal to free agency appeared to open a large gap for him down the middle of the depth chart.

However, a mediocre training camp, and the acquisition of Christian Dvorak, Cedric Paquette and Adam Brooks at centre ice pushed Poehling back down the Rocket to begin the season. It is not the end of the world when a young centre starts the season in the AHL, but it was expected that he would push a little harder for a job at training camp.

Still, not a big deal and if he just plays this season like he did last year with the Rocket, he will force the team to call him up before long anyway.

It looked like he was headed in that direction when he scored a nice goal in the Rocket’s season opener on Friday night.

He looked to be picking up where he left off after a great 2020-21 season, but that came to a crashing halt in game two of the season.

Poehling was battling for a puck behind the net when a teammate of his pushed an opponent towards Poehling. That opponent’s elbow would smack Poehling in the back of the head, causing him to drop to the ice where he stayed for a short period of time.

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It doesn’t make a lot of sense to guess when it comes to injuries, but it sure looks like Poehling could have suffered a concussion on the play. It is an odd play as well as it looks like he might get hit twice in a row with elbows, but they don’t really look intentional as the player gets pushed into Poehling and it also trying to dig for the puck in the scrum.

There was still no update on Poehling as of this morning, but he did not return to play the remainder of Saturday night’s game after leaving early in the first period.

While being sent down to the AHL wasn’t ideal, getting injured would be a huge setback for Poehling as he tries to cement his role in the Canadiens organization.