Deryk Engelland dressing vs the Edmonton Oilers was a head scratcher on a lot of fronts.
For one, the Oilers had little toughness in their lineup and are a very fast and skilled team. It’s a roster you don’t dress a Deryk Engelland when you don’t have to.
Engelland surprisingly played over Robert Bortuzzo for the second straight game and logged 11:41 of ice time and was a minus-1. Engelland dressed vs Tampa Bay for the main reason of just getting into a game but tonight all signs pointed to Bortuzzo playing especially in the morning skate when Engelland skated with the scratches.
With Bortuzzo widely the better player, the only reasoning could be the Penguins potentially showcasing Engelland to Oilers management who were on hand tonight.
Edmonton seeking a tough minded third pairing defenseman have been among the teams to check in on the availability of Engelland, league sources have said, as teams anticipate Engelland being moved if the Penguins keep Olli Maatta.
No decision on Maatta has been made but this morning one source put the odds at about 60-40 in Maatta going back to juniors.
That said, I’m hearing the coaching staff strongly feels Maatta can be a true difference maker by the end of the season and going into the playoffs. We could eventually have a situation where management prefers Maatta to go back and the coaching staff prefers to keep Maatta. Bylsma usually wins out on personnel decisions but we’ll see on this one.