Pierre-Olivier Joseph Replaced On The Third Line


Pierre-Olivier Joseph Replaced On The Third Line

Pierre-Olivier Joseph was just changed during their last practice before their upcoming game with the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. Olivier Joseph was replaced by Ryan Shea on the third defensive line pairing. Olivier Joseph is now practicing on the fourth line with John Ludvig also meaning he will most likely be a healthy scratch against the Blues. If Shea, plays this will be his NHL debut.

Rough Start To The Season

Pittsburgh Penguins fans had high hopes Olivier Joseph would have a career season this season, however it has gone off to a very slow start. Following career-highs in points (21) and +/- (8) he has not looked like that player so far this season. It is still very early and he has time to rewrite the ship but in four games, he has no points and has a -3 +/-. In the 6-3 loss against the Detroit Red Wings, he was on the ice for all three of their goals during 5v5.

Head coach Mike Sullivan deserves some praise for shaping up the defensive pairings in order to try and make a spark and get back in the win column. However, a player who is also struggling who should have been scratched is Chad Ruhwedel. Ruhwedel has been with the Penguins since the 2016-17 season and he has also looked awful this season with no points and a +/- of -2.

Inconsistent Play

On Saturday June 29, 2019, the Penguins traded veteran forward Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes for salary cap reasons. In return, they got Alex Galchenyuk and prospect Olivier Joseph. Olivier Joseph was the main focal point of the return as he is a young defensive prospect who the Penguins desperately needed.

As mentioned earlier, this past season was the best of his career. However, he has been very inconsistent. In some games, he looks like one of our best defenseman and in other games he does not handle the puck well or misses assignments on defense leading to goals. He is still 24 years old and this is just his second season playing consistently, but with aging veteran defenseman such as Kris Letang and Erik Karlsson, he and the Penguins need him to step up.

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