One of the biggest headlines from the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins game was the decision by head coach Dan Bylsma to get Deryk Engelland into the lineup, as the team’s fourth-line right winger.
Engelland fought his way into the NHL, taking down the likes of Colton Orr and Jody Shelley to become one of the league most respected enforcers. Last year saw him expand his game into becoming a formable last defensive pair defender, but this year it has been hard to crack the lineup with the emergence of Olli Maatta and the continued progression of Robert Bortuzzo.
With the Penguins playing their struggling archrival, along with the quickly thinning of forward depth, Bylsma decided to shake things up and go with ‘Engo’ up front. The former defender didn’t disappoint, playing a solid, unspectacular, game in only 7:23 of ice-time.
With plenty of room to grow, and with the Penguins dealing with a handful of injuries, Engelland provides an interesting option for Bylsma should he need another winger.
Obviously, so many years as a defensive there will be some adjusting, and letting go of the position he played. It will be hard, as he said in an interview.
Still would rather be a D-Man
But as you would expect out of any player who made it in this league with his fist, he showed his ultimate ‘team first mentality’,
In the long run, if that’s something they need me to do
In the end, the Harry Zolnierczyk, Joe Vitale and Engelland line played some solid hockey, and as long as Beau Bennett is out, Engelland could get a shot to play. He will have to hurry, as with the Penguins calling up Chris Conner, his time could be running out to have a spot on this team.
Anthony Murphy is contributing for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter, @AMurphyTFC.