Todd Reirden is back as an NHL bench boss (sorta) and it only took 444 days for him to claw his way back.
The former Capitals head coach will lead the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers with Mike Sullivan in COVID-19 protocol.
More bad news to report.
Head coach Mike Sullivan will not be available for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers due to COVID-related protocols. Assistant coach Todd Reirden will assume Sullivan’s duties behind the bench tonight in his absence.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 4, 2021
Sullivan joins Sidney Crosby, Brian Dumoulin, Chad Ruhwedel, and Marcus Pettersson who are all inactive due to an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Penguins.
Reirden said before the game that Sullivan is symptomatic.
Todd Reirden says that Mike Sullivan is symptomatic for COVID-19.
— Taylor Haase (@TaylorHaasePGH) November 4, 2021
The last time Reirden was a head coach was on August 20, 2020, when Washington took on the New York Islanders in Game 5 of the 2020 NHL Playoffs. The Isles eliminated the Capitals that night four games to one, marking the second straight season the Capitals were first-rounded since winning the Stanley Cup in 2018.
In 151 games with Reirden as head coach, the Capitals held an impressive regular-season record of 89-46-16 (.64 points percentage) but were dismal in the playoffs (4-8; .33 win/loss).
Reirden replaced Barry Trotz behind the bench for Washington after the ‘stay hydrated’ one left for The Isle during the 2018-19 season. Reirden caught on with the Penguins as an assistant after being fired on August 23, 2020, by Capitals GM Brian MacLellan.
The Penguins have named Todd Reirden and Mike Vellucci assistant coaches.
Reirden, 49, will oversee the team’s defensive group and power-play unit. Vellucci, 54, will work with the team’s forwards and oversee the penalty kill.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) September 2, 2020
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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