Saturday, September 24, 2011
Pouliot making solid impression
By Brendan Hall
BOSTON -- When he signed with the Bruins for a one-year deal last July, Benoit Pouliot was thought to be a player that can move up and down the lineup, similar to guys like Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron.
Through two weeks of training camp, he’s proven as much, finishing plus-one Wednesday at Ottawa on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and Jamie Tardiff. Last night in the 6-3 win over the Islanders, Pouliot skated on the fourth line with Alexander Khochlachev and Lane McDermid and once again finished plus-one, taking two shots but losing 66 percent of his faceoffs. Pouliot was also one of five Bruins to play in a second straight preseason game.
The left-shooting, big-bodied Pouliot has left a favorable impression on head coach Claude Julien so far.
“I think it’s hard for me to really say ‘this is what he is’,” Julien said. “But as I mentioned yesterday, I think this is a guy that’s going through what [Chris] Kelly and [Rich] Peverley went through a little bit. He’s finding his way with the team, and what I’ve liked about his game so far is he’s gotten a little better every game he’s played, so that’s going to be the interesting part -- to see how he fares by the end of camp.
“I know that his skill level is there. I know that his skating is there. I know that his size is there. It’s about putting that package together -- certainly one of those guys that’s been up and down lineups on other teams whether he’s playing on the top line -- sometimes you have an injury. Peverley was a great example of that last year really helped us out in the playoffs. And I think Pouliot, if he finds his game and plays a way we think he can, he can also be that player.”