|Questions remain regarding statuses of Adam McQuaid, Jordan Caron, Benoit Pouliot||10.06.11 at 12:21 pm ET|
Adam McQuaid participated in the Bruins’ morning skate Thursday, taking the ice for the first time since Tuesday. The second-year defenseman had been under the weather, causing him to leave Tuesday’s practice early and miss Wednesday’s altogether.
Claude Julien expressed some optimism after the skate but said the Bruins will make a decision “closer to the game” regarding whether McQuaid will play. If McQuaid can’t go, Matt Bartkowski will play in his place.
Then there’s the question of who will be the healthy scratch among forwards. One would imagine it would be down to third-line wingers Jordan Caron and Benoit Pouliot. Julien did not reveal who would end up watching from the press, saying “we told everybody to be ready for tonight.”
Just a hunch, but the feeling here is that the Bruins pull a bit of a surprise and make Pouliot the scratch.
|Benoit Pouliot not assuming his lineup spot is safe||10.05.11 at 2:49 pm ET|
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 Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Rich Peverley
Benoit Pouliot – Chris Kelly – Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn 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.
|Why Benoit Pouliot prepared for the season with a UFC trainer||09.17.11 at 8:00 am ET|
Ask any of the Bruins to describe their summer, and you’ll hear a lot of guys saying it was the best summer of their lives. The returning members got to celebrate winning the Stanley Cup and got to show off the trophy to their family and friends. As a result, they have had nothing but good things to say about the offseason.
Benoit Pouliot is singing a different tune.
“It was awful,” the newcomer said of his summer as training camp opened.
No, Pouliot wasn’t talking about being non tendered by the Canadiens or anything of that sort. What made it such a terrible summer — in a good way — was his new training program.
Pouliot spent the offseason with Jonathan Chaimberg, a UFC trainer, and it paid off. The 6-foot-3 forward gained weight (he said he was at 208 or 209 pounds at one point — the most he’s ever weighed) and weighed in at 203 on Friday, which is five pounds more than he weighed when playing for the Canadiens last year.
The training program was unorthodox for Pouliot and the other NHL players in attendance, but it did the trick.
“There were some things I’ve never done,” Pouliot said. “There were ladder things. You walk up a ladder for cardio, or push a sled with like 600 or 700 pounds on it. I’m telling you, you don’t want to do it. That was the worst thing ever, but hey I pulled through it. The trainer was so good to me and pushed me so hard that right now I feel great.”
So why did Pouliot seek the help of a UFC trainer?
“I wanted to get bigger,” he said. “Everyone’s been, ‘Hey, you’re not big enough. You’re not big enough. You’re tall, but you’re not [big],’ so I tried to do that as much as I can and now I feel good.”
|Benoit Pouliot ignores ‘bust’ tag, says there was ‘lack of trust’ with Jacques Martin||09.14.11 at 1:15 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — When the Bruins signed forward Benoit Pouliot on July 1, any hockey fan with access to YouTube probably couldn’t stop laughing at the irony. The guy whom the fans hated and was even referred to as “one of the greatest disappointments of talent in National Hockey League history” by Jack Edwards was going to call TD Garden his home.
Now, you won’t find a more pro-Jack Edwards guy on the planet than me (UNH pride), but I’m not just defending Jack when I say he wasn’t the first to call Pouliot a bust. Pouliot was the fourth overall pick of the 2005 draft, and though his skill is undeniable, he hasn’t shown up enough on the scoring sheet. Last year, he had 13 goals in his fifth professional season, so it’s natural for people to wonder whether it’s a case of the 24-year-old not reaching his potential yet or a case of him being, as Jack said, a disappointment. He met the media Wednesday and shared his thoughts on that tag.
“I didn’t see it, but I heard about it,” Pouliot said of Edwards’ call. “I don’t really think about it. I don’t really listen to that kind of stuff. It’s their opinion, it’s the way people put it out there, but at the same time, in Montreal I had some good, good, good things happen to me. Playing on the third and fourth line helped me with my game a lot, defensively and the way I play in my own zone. It’s mostly good stuff.”
Pouliot had a rough go of it late in his tenure with the Canadiens. Game 3 — the game in which Edwards made his famous comments (“he’s a really high draft pick, but he’s never done anything with his talent.”) — would be the last of his Montreal career. Coach Jacques Martin cut him the rest of the way, so Pouliot was forced to watch the remainder of the series after playing 79 regular-season games.
“I don’t know. I think there was maybe a lack of trust between me and the coach,” he said. “At first when I got there, I think he played me 17, 18 minutes a game. Things went well, and then it kind of went downhill after that, but last year I had a good year on the third line, fourth line all year long, and it was more positives than negative stuff when I was Montreal.”
More to come on Pouliot.
|Benoit Pouliot arrives at veterans’ practice||at 11:08 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins held another veterans’ practice Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena, with Benoit Pouliot making his first appearance in a Bruins’ sweater.
The former Canadiens and Wild winger is wearing No. 67 on his helmet. Anton Khudobin is also here for the first time this preseason. He was the only goaltender on the ice.
|Andrew Ference has inkling he and Joe Corvo have at least one thing in common||07.20.11 at 3:10 pm ET|
When players begin showing up for captains practices and eventually training camp as the summer winds down and the preseason begins, Andrew Ference, like the other returning players from the Stanley Cup champions, will have a couple of new faces to meet.
Ference will have a new fellow blueliner in defenseman Joe Corvo, for whom the B’s traded a fourth-round pick to the Hurricanes the day Tomas Kaberle signed with Carolina. Ference may not know Corvo personally, but he knows they’ll have a good ice-breaker for when they meet.
“I know he’s got a lot of tattoos, so we’ll be able to swap,” Ference said with a laugh.
Ference, the team’s resident tattoo aficionado, flew his tattoo artist in from Calgary so he and his teammates could commemorate their Stanley Cup championship with ink on breakup day. While many players discussed what types of tattoos they were considering that day, the final tally of players to go through with it was a measly seven, including Ference, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin. Ference noted that other teammates simply got them on other days, such as Chris Kelly, whom Ference said was set to get his this week.
While a simple google search will show that Seguin and Marchand (the latter of whom rarely wore a shirt in the week that followed the Cup win) got “Stanley Cup Champions Boston Bruins 6-15-11″ on the side of their ribs, Ference went with a very plain black-and-white spoked B on his right arm.
“Some guys got the writing, and I went with the B,” Ference said. “I don’t know. I left room for more years though.”
Ference will also meet Benoit Pouliot, with whom he’s already had at least one dealing. It was Ference who sparred with Pouliot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals after the then-Canadiens forward attempted to hit Johnny Boychuk high on a dangerous play in the corner. Ference isn’t concerned about having any difficulty befriending who was once the enemy, citing the team’s ability to do it in the past.
“We got along fine with Michael Ryder,” Ference pointed out, as Ryder spent his entire career in the Montreal organization before becoming a popular guy in the Bruins’ dressing room.
While there are similarities between the two situations of Ryder and Pouliot in that both came to the Bruins after playing for the Habs (Ryder signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the B’s back in the summer of 2008), one would generally be far more skeptical of Pouliot today than they were of Ryder in 2008. Ryder was an established scorer in the NHL, while Pouliot, to borrow a bit of logic from Jack Edwards, has been nothing short of a fantastic bust since being drafted fourth overall by the Wild in 2005. For Pouliot to do anything like Ryder on the stat sheet would make the $1.1 million they dropped on the 24-year a sound investment.
|Peter Chiarelli: Benoit Pouliot ‘has to be pushed’||07.01.11 at 5:53 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke to the media Friday to discuss the movement of a couple of former Montreal wingers. The B’s saw Michael Ryder sign with the Stars on the opening day of free agency, and after the former Bruins winger took a two-year, $7 million deal in Dallas, the B’s inked former Habs winger Benoit Pouliot to a one-year, $1.1 million deal. The team also announced the signings of third goaltender Anton Khudobin and center Trent Whitfield, both of whom recieved two-year deals and will almost certainly start the season in Providence.
Pouliot was the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft by Minnesota, but has scored only 35 goals in 183 career games.
“Maybe someone who has underachieved, but has a real good skill package and size package,” Chiarelli said of Pouliot. “He has to be pushed. I think we have a strong group that can push him, and I told Benoit that. He’s only 25, and he’s still relatively young. We hope that he can buy into what we’re selling. I like his size, I like his skating, I like his shot.”
The GM said Pouliot can play different forward positions, but that “he’s got to earn his spot” on the Bruins. Pouliot was a healthy scratch in the last four games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals and the Habs decided against tendering him after the season, allowing him to hit the open market.
“There was due diligence [before signing him],” Chiarelli said. “A lot of due diligence. … I don’t know the circumstances behind [Montreal] not tendering him. He was available. He’s a guy that had showed some promise and that our scouts and myself, I like him as a player. … We were happy with the due diligence we did.”
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