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Benoit Pouliot not assuming his lineup spot is safe

10.05.11 at 2:49 pm ET
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The Bruins’ made some surprising news Wednesday when word emerged that they would not be signing Chris Clark, but will that be the extent of the surprise in the coming days?

Based on who’s left on the roster (Clark wouldn’t have been in the lineup anyway), it would appear that the lines would now look like this:

Milan LucicDavid KrejciNathan Horton

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronRich Peverley

Benoit Pouliot – Chris KellyTyler Seguin

Daniel PailleGregory CampbellShawn Thornton

Yet with the exit of Clark, who had been skating with the fourth line in practice, the one remaining line to have even an ounce of uncertainty would be the third line. Jordan Caron had been working with the line, and Pouliot said Wednesday that he isn’t assuming he’s sewn up a spot.

“We’ll be battling out there,” Pouliot said. “Whoever plays the best and whoever works the hardest will have that spot. I’ll just try to do that, Claude’s going to notice and I’ll hopefully get in the lineup pretty steady.”

If the Bruins pull a shocking move and play Caron over Pouliot, it wouldn’t be the first time Pouliot’s dealt with healthy scratches. He’s had to watch from the press box before, including last year in Montreal for the final four games of the conference quarterfinals.

His experience with being a healthy scratch doesn’t make it any easier, but Pouliot said Wednesday that if he ever does face such adversity in Boston, he’ll know how to deal with it.

“In the past, I’d usually get down on myself when that would happen, like, ‘Oh man, that’s not good,'” he said “I would be too negative, but I’ve learned throughout the year that there’s injuries, there are players that don’t grow sometimes and they need a boost from someone else. You’ve just got to stay positive, stay confident and you’ll be in the lineup soon.”

Pouliot said that if he is to be scratched at any point, he won’t get caught up in trying to figure out why. That’s something he struggled with in Montreal with Jacques Martin.

“I still wonder why [it happened] in Montreal,” Pouliot said. “It was hard to follow. At the same time, you learn from it. I would get down on myself so much that I would get off my game and not play the way I’m supposed to play. I think I learned from that coming into camp this year and working out this summer. [I've got] no worries, man. It’s a long year. Anything can happen. If you’re in the lineup, you’re in. If you’re not, work harder and you’ll be in. I don’t think it’s a big problem. It’s just a matter of working hard for me.”

Julien seemed a bit irked when asked about Pouliot on Wednesday, but a question about Clark brought the discussion of roster questions full-circle.

“At the end of the day,” Julien said, “there’s going to be some decisions made for a lot of things whether it’s some surprises or deceptions.”

Is there even a decent chance that Caron could play Thursday? One wouldn’t think so, but Pouliot isn’t taking anything as a given. If it happens, he feels he’ll know how to deal with it.

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