An opening weekend without Samuel Poulin?
The longer the days go by, the more likely it is to see the Phoenix start the season with his captain. Two days before the opening weekend at the Palais des Sports, Samuel Poulin still seems very far from Sherbrooke.
Bonne news for the young striker … and bad news for Sherbrooke organization: the Pittsburgh Penguins are very satisfied with the delivery of their first-round pick in training camp.
“The development director Tom Kostopoulos had only good words for me,” said Samuel Poulin, joined by La Tribune on Tuesday as he enjoyed a rare day off in Pittsburgh. He told me that he liked my calm and continue to play without stress and without putting unnecessary pressure on my shoulders. Sincerely, I’m happy with my camp so far. ”
With the Phoenix playing their first season game this Friday at the Palais des Sports against the Chicoutimi Saguenéens, time is running out for the organization, which will probably be without its best asset.
Poulin played his first pre-season game in the NHL on Monday night against the Buffalo Sabers. In a loss of 5 to 4 in overtime, Poulin was playing on the third line with his good friend Nathan Légaré. He finished the match with a +1 differential and two minutes of punishment.
“The Sabers played at home and bet on a much better alignment than us. I think they had about fifteen veterans. We managed to force the extension even though our club was dominated throughout the game. ”
Jack Eichel ended the debate. And the captain of the Sabers was indeed well surrounded: Jeff Skinner and Rasmus Dahlin, to name only those, took part in the game while the Penguins did not bet on any leading veteran.
“When you play against such talented players, you can not afford to be deconcentrated for a single second, otherwise they will make you pay. You have to be constantly on, “admits Poulin.
Another game on the road is scheduled for Thursday in Nashville and Samuel Poulin is still waiting to know if he will find himself once again in the lineup.
“I enjoyed playing with Nathan and I hope to face the Predators on Thursday. On the other hand, it was not easy for two 18-year-old players to face the big names of the Sabers. I still had some time on the power play and I had some 3-3 overtime appearances. We made some mistakes. Especially because we have much less time to react on the ice and especially, less space than in the major junior. ”
The adaptation is over
After participating in the rookie camp, Samuel Poulin admits that the adaptation to the level of play of the NHL is already behind him.
“I really saw a big gap between the junior major and the rookie camp,” says Poulin. The pace was not at all the same and I had to adapt quickly. I found it more difficult in my first rookie match than in my first qualifying game. ”
In the coming days, Samuel Poulin will finally know the fate that the Penguins have for him.
“I do not want to worry about that. I go from day to day trying to be better each time, “he summarizes.