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.