BOSTON -- The Bruins host the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden on Saturday night for the first time since beating them there in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals last spring to advance to the Stanley Cup finals, where they beat the Canucks in seven games. There was plenty of talk Friday after practice about what the Bruins did to beat the Lightning and Lightning head coach Guy Boucher’s unique 1-3-1 system. But while many of the Bruins can discuss playing against Boucher and his system, former Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs winger Benoit Pouliot got a taste of playing in that system when he played three games for the Boucher-coached Bulldogs during the 2009-10 season.
As the Bruins did in their seven-game series with the Lightning, Pouliot learned just how intense Boucher is.
“I had heard a lot about him and the one thing I heard the most was he was intense,” Pouliot said. “First word is intense to describe him for sure. Pretty intense. I think at one point we were leading 3-1 after the second and he just came in the room and gave it to us. He told us we were lucky to be winning because we didn’t do our jobs. But the guys respected him so much in the room and they’d listen a lot. At times when it was time to mess around and have fun he would, but then when it was serious time, he was intense on the guys."
For Pouliot the experience was an eye-opener that taught him a lot about hard work and buying into a team system.
“It was something I had never experienced before I got down there,” Pouliot said. “But after talking to all the guys there and them telling me ‘he’s awesome’ and one of the best coaches they ever had, I saw it and it showed. His system is a lot different and not the same that you see really anywhere. It’s not what hockey players are used to. And hey it worked last year. They got far and I’m not surprised one bit. I saw it only for three games but I learned a lot from him and it was great experience.”
Pouliot was asked if Boucher may alter his system and veer away from the 1-3-1 this season since teams are more prepared for it.
“Nope,” Pouliot answered immediately. “He used it in juniors and he brought it to Hamilton and then to he brought it to Tampa. Everyone got on board with him and, hey, it worked. He got far at every level with that system.”
Julien cited lack of familiarity with the Bruins’ system for him choosing Jordan Caron over Pouliot in the season opener and said it may be a few more games before Pouliot gets into the lineup.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid is still battling the effects of the flu but skated again Friday. As of now, he is a game-time decision Saturday.