Pittsburgh Penguins: Takeaways from the postseason roster

The Pittsburgh Penguins postseason roster was announced late Sunday evening. To no surprise, the notification came with some unexpected names add or left off of the list. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins are playing their cross-state rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, so the news would’ve broken eventually, but the team made it clear Sunday night before their trip up north to Toronto. The roster for Pittsburgh includes 31 players, and here they are from back to front.

Goalkeeping

Casey DeSmith, Tristan Jarry, Emil Larmi,  and Matt Murray.

Defenseman

Kevin Czuczman, Brian Dumoulin, Jack Johnson, Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Kris Letang, John Marino, Marcus Pettersson, Juuso Riikola, Chad Ruhwedel, and Justin Schultz.

Forwards

Anthony Angello, Zach Aston-Reese, Teddy Blueger, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist, Adam Johnson, Sam Lafferty, Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Marleau, Jared McCann, Evan Rodrigues, Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary, Brandon Tanev, Phil Varone, and Jason Zucker.

The 3 “black aces” that were a part of the Pittsburgh Penguins training camp, yet left off the playoff roster, were forwards Sam Miletic, Samuel Poulin, and goaltender Alex D’Orio. Out of the list of stay at homers, Poulin’s name stands out the most, and that’s where our first takeaway is born.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Takeaways from the postseason roster

Many were surprised that a player with so little NHL experience would even be added to the list, but Poulin’s attacking presence and hockey knowledge is far beyond his age. We at Pens Labyrinth predicted him to be on the postseason roster, but Mike Sullivan and we had differing opinions.

With everything going on (COVID-19, a different playoff schedule, etc.), it’s not a horrible idea to leave him home and let his experience grow with time, not in a forceful manner. Out of the other black aces that got the invite, they all had one thing in common; they all have experience in the NHL. However, there is a name that is fresh to is all, and that is where our second takeaway led us.

Emil Larmi got the call to go to Toronto with minimal experience in the “big leagues,” but his addition isn’t a vast takeaway; it’s the fact that Coach Sullivan brought along four netminders with him. The leading performers of this position are Murray and Jarry, but why did they decide to not only just bring DeSmith, but add another?

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Maybe in case they fear the injury plague will follow them, or perhaps it’s just for insurance/experience purposes, but either way, that a big haul of gear heading to the Leafs home turf. Other than that, the roster seems to follow the status quo as the Pittsburgh Penguins continue their charge for another Stanley Cup.