Ryan Poehling’s Response to His First NHL Game

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I’m a hockey fan. A Montréal Canadiens fan, to be exact. Now, before all you Hab haters stop reading, give me a chance. What I’m about to share really has nothing to do with my unwavering commitment to the Canadiens, and everything to do with a rookie’s view of a highly successful first game in the NHL. The game may have meant very little to 2018-2019 season; however, in my opinion, it meant EVERYTHING to the start of Ryan Poehling’s NHL career.

Ryan Poehling's Reponse

First Game; Four Goals

It’s not very often when a player scores four goals in their first NHL game. Let alone against a top NHL team (yes, I said it – the Leafs are playing pretty well this season). But that aside, four goals are impressive regardless.

Poehling had just clued up a tournament with his St. Cloud State Huskies after losing against the American International College. After landing an entry-level contract with the Canadiens, Ryan was given the chance to play his first game to close out the NHL season, on April 6, 2019. No one expected it, but Poehling scored a hat-trick and scored the winning shoot-out goal, to give the Canadiens a 6-5 win over the Maple Leafs.

His Response After the Game

As per usual, the media interviewed some key players of the game. Of course, his response was – “I just tried to go out there and play my game…it’s a surreal moment…It feels like a dream.” But that’s not all he said. One reporter concluded Poehling’s comments with this:

“If we ended up winning that game [the NCAA Regional game] I probably wouldn’t be here today. Kind of putting all of that into perspective, it’s pretty special what God can do in your life, so you’ve just got to give it to Him.”

Ryan Poehling1

I can’t comment on his views of God in their entirety, but his response here clearly tells everyone what his default view is. He could have taken the credit himself, or at least tied it to hard work. Instead, he gave God the credit for lining it all up – “You’ve just got to give it to [God].”

What a way to turn to God, on one of the best days of your career!

We Need to Turn to God as Well

It doesn’t matter if it’s during the good times, or bad times, we need to turn to Jesus and let him be the center of what’s going on. But it’s not always easy or natural to do so. In fact, sometimes it’s just as difficult to turn to God during the good moments, then the bad ones. We sometimes give ourselves undue credit when we experience success, and blame God when we experience failure.

God wants us to do someone different – turn to Him, no matter what.

James simply wrote it this way:

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray…”

James 5:13-14 (NIV)

It’s pretty simple, really. Whatever the situation, turn to God. Are you in need? Pray. Are you experiencing joy? Sing praise. Are you sick? Pray with each other.

I love how this 20-year-old NHL rookie can experience a game like no other, and simply give God the credit for why it all happened. That’s something special – we could all learn from that.  


Your turn:

How do you turn to God? What’s easier – turning to God in the good times, or bad times?

Share with us in the comment section below (or on social media). You never know how you may encourage someone else!

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Andrew currently lives in Paradise, Newfoundland with his wife, Deidre, and two children (Rae and Pierson), where they are life group pastors of an independent church called True Life. He is a graduate of both Memorial University (BBA) and Tyndale Seminary (MTS). His passion is to help people become true disciples of Jesus.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.