Pouliot takes a step forward

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Pouliot takes a step forward

BOSTON -- Benoit Pouliot was anxious to get back into the mix for the Bruins after he missed the last three games with an illness. Jordan Caron had stepped into his spot while improving with each game that he played in, but the door was opened again for Pouliot when Rich Peverley needed a rest Monday night due to a minor undisclosed injury."

So Peverley sat, and Pouliot managed to open the game with his first career goal as a member of the Bruins and helped open things for a 5-2 victory over the Islanders at the Garden. Pouliot went hard to the net on the first shift of the game and crashed down toward the net as Caron tossed a puck that was hiding in Evgeni Nabokovs skates.

Pouliot sped to the front of the net and pushed the loose puck into the back of the net to give Boston a quick advantage, and give the Bruins some production from their free agent signee out of Montreal. Pouliot finished with 8:39 of ice time, the one shot on net, and a takeaway, giving further evidence that things are getting incrementally better in a Black and Gold uniform.

Pouliot is still fighting to get noticed for the right reasons, but at least the frenetic energy and production met for a meaningful performance in Boston. It doesnt mean Pouliot is going to suddenly realize his vast potential with the Bruins, but at least there was a little something.
The Bruins coaching staff wants Pouliot to use his 6-foot-3 lanky frame as a potential screen and shot-changer camped in front of the net. That position along with his linemates led to lighting the lamp.

It was nice to see, and Pouliot was in the right place. He was right there, put on the breaks, and banged it in. In the second period we almost had another identical one, with Jordan Caron throwing it across the crease, said Julien. Pouliot is a guy thats working hard, hes trying to find his way on this hockey club, trying to adapt.

His work ethic and compete level is there, so, again, weve just got to keep working with him and see how far we can go.

It remains to be seen if Peverley can return to the lineup. Also, Daniel Paille could miss time with a suspected broken nose after taking a Steve Staios slapper straight to the face in the third period. But in a world where some of the bottom six Bs forwards are getting a little banged up, Pouliot might get a few more chances to string together some meaningful performances.

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that. 

 

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara said he is “feeling better” after going through a full practice with the Bruins, but the captain won’t be making the one game road trip to Buffalo for Saturday afternoon’s matinee game vs. the Sabres. 

Chara was going through line rushes and battle drills with the rest of his teammates while practicing for the second day in a row, but made it clear that his lower body injury hasn’t been cleared for game action yet. 

“It’s day-to-day. It feels better…yeah. But it’s still day-to-day,” said a rather laconic Chara when it came to questions about his injury. “It would feel much better [to play] than it feels [not playing].”

Claude Julien said his 39-year-old defenseman has moved into true “day-to-day” status as he nears a return after missing what will be his sixth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but that he isn’t quite ready to go just yet.

“[Chara] and [Noel] Acciari won’t be on the trip,” said Julien. “I think [Chara] is getting pretty close. When you see him at practice things are going pretty well for him. I think that the term day-to-day is fitting for him right now. A lot of times when we say day-to-day we don’t know whether it’s going to be two days, three days or even a week. But in his case I would say that day-to-day is really day-to-day now with him.” 

One thing the Bruins can be heartened by is that they’ve managed to survive without Chara: the B’s have gone 2-2-1 and allowed just nine goals in the five games since their No. 1 defenseman went down. They have been able to continue collecting points in sometimes ugly, workmanlike fashion. 

That gives the Bruins the luxury of not rushing their D-man along before he’s ready and gives some of their other defensemen added confidence that they can effectively do the job with or without their 6-foot-9 stopper.