Pouliot pumped up to face Canadiens


Pouliot pumped up to face Canadiens

BOSTON -- Benoit Pouliot left Montreal with a bad taste in his mouth.

He was a healthy scratch -- and an unhappy one -- for the end of last year's playoff series against the Bruins after attempting to throw an elbow at Johnny Boychuk's head. When the season ended, he wasn't even tendered a contract offer by the Canadiens. That's how he wound up in Boston, via the free-agent route.

And he's not trying to hide the fact that, starting tonight, when the B's and Habs play the first of their six regular-season meetings, he'll be trying to make the Canadiens see what a mistake they made.

Its not a big secret that when a player plays against his old team for the first time, he really wants to do well, said Bruins coach Claude Julien. Its about making sure he channels his emotions in the right way. You help him through it a bit with a few words, but I think he also knows that hes motivated for this game.

Pouliot has been through this before, when he played his first game against the Minnesota Wild -- his original team -- as a member of the Canadiens. He did well that night, with three assists and a plus-4 rating in Montreal 's 8-1 win.

Everyone would agree that when you face your old team, you want to show them, Well, you didnt want to keep me, then Ill show you, " said Pouliot. "It pumps you up even more.

Tonight is the first game against Montreal , obviously, but weve got plenty of games against them all year long. I see this as a little boost, but at the same time I want to play the way Ive been playing and rack up some points.

Pouliot is a nondescript minus-2 with four penalty minutes in seven games for the Bruins this season thus far, but he's hustled and been energetic and has drawn some penalties that have led to power-play goals. A good revenge effort tonight against the hated Habs -- on a night when the struggling Bruins badly need a win -- could go a long way toward cementing his reputation in Boston .

Its different, obviously, but its good," he said of his time with the Bruins. "With the way things were in Montreal , I needed a change and Boston has been very good so far.

We havent had the start weve wanted to, but besides that the guys have made it easy for me to jump in and do what Im capable of. If we work hard things will fall into the right places.

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.