‘I got back to my game’ in Laval, says Poehling of call to Canadiens

The first-round pick in 2017 had totals of 3-3-6 in seven games with the Rocket and has not played with the Canadiens since the 2019-20 season.

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Ryan Poehling was excited when he learned after Laval Rocket’s 3-0 win over the Belleville Senators on Wednesday night that he would be called up to the Canadiens.


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However, there was a problem.

“I’ve been taking the subway to Laval for games since I live downtown,” Poehling said after participating in Thursday’s optional morning skating with the Canadiens at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. “The first thing, I thought: I don’t know how I’m going to get back to the subway with my whole team.”

Rocket’s teammate Josh Brooks offered to drive Poehling home.

“That was nice of him,” said Poehling, who takes the subway to Rocket games to avoid brutal traffic on the way to Laval.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was at Wednesday’s game, in which Poehling scored a goal, and was then waiting in head coach Jean-François Houle’s office to break the good news to Poehling.

Poehling was 3-3-6 totals in seven games with the Rocket and has not played for the Canadiens since the 2019-20 season, when he was 1-1-2 in 27 games. The Canadiens selected the 6-foot-2, 196-pound center in the first round (25 overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft.


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“I think I went back to my game and played well,” Poehling said of his time at Laval. “My preseason (with the Canadiens) was not exactly how I wanted and I thought I deserved it (to be sent). I had a good talk with (Bergevin) and the coaching staff, and I think I went down there and I did exactly what they asked me and that’s why I got the call again. “

Poehling will be in the Canadiens’ lineup Thursday at the Bell Center against the Calgary Flames. (7 pm, TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) in the center of the fourth line between Michael Pezzetta and Alex Belzile.


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Poehling made his NHL debut in the final game of the 2018-19 season, scoring three goals and adding another in a shootout as the Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5 at the Bell Center. Poehling suffered a concussion during a preseason game before the start of next season and ended up being sent to Laval.

The 22-year-old admits he didn’t handle himself as well and offered 20-year-old Cole Caufield some advice after he was sent to Laval this month.

“Cole is a great kid,” Poehling said. “He came there and obviously he wasn’t thrilled about it, but I think he had a good attitude towards it. I called him right after it happened. I’ve been through something similar. Obviously, I didn’t participate in an NHL race and I did all these great things. But to him, I just said, ‘Hey look, from my perspective I went there and I didn’t have the best attitude, I admit it, and I was sorry.’ So for him to come there and get a little familiar and be a part of the team and learn from people and bring a good attitude is a great thing to see. He’s a good boy and he’s going to have a long career ”.

Caufield is 0-2-2 in three games with the Rocket.

“That was probably two and a half years ago when they first sent me and it was a huge surprise to me,” Poehling said. “I was very young, it was the first time I had moved from home. So, two and a half years later, I have grown a lot and have realized that it is not the end of the world (to be sent). So my attitude has definitely changed enormously. “

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