Bruins preaching patience with Pouliot

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Bruins preaching patience with Pouliot

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- One prediction came out loud and clear this weekend from the mouths of people who watched Benoit Pouliot up in Montreal over the last couple of years: The forward has all the talent in the world, but hell be slow to adjust to Claude Juliens defensive system and need for discipline.

Pouliot, 24, has been handed a clean slate here in Boston, and will be given a chance to work himself out of the doldrums that dogged him with the Habs. Pouliot has been slow to make a distinctive impression after appearing in a handful of preseason games, but Julien said the Bs will take their time evaluating the gifted 6-foot-3 enigma.

Both Julien and Peter Chiarelli have compared Pouliot favorably with Nathan Horton as an impoverished hockey prospect getting rescued from a bad situation, and there is no doubting Horton blossomed once he arrived in Boston.

But theres a world of difference between a high first-round pick averaging 60 points a season in a pitiful hockey market, and an underachieving player whos washed out of two good organizations while straining to score more than 15 goals in the NHL.

Its a pretty easy guess which one of those players is Horton, and which one is Pouliot but the Bruins want to get Pouliot ingratiated into their way of doing things before a judgment is made one way or the other.

He's a guy coming into our organization with a different kind of game that he's maybe used to . . . just like Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley," Julien said. "You know we all said before the playoffs started that when we got those two guys they didn't bring that much in the regular season. They were just other bodies, but when they got into the playoffs they were pretty good players. So sometimes you need patience.

I know Pouliot can skate. I know he can shoot. The rest is going to be up to him to show us that he's adapting and that he's going to be a better player. We have to allow him that opportunity. When that opportunity is given and we feel he's had enough time, then we make those decisions.

So the Bruins are preaching patience with Pouliot after that had run out with the Canadiens and the Wild, and that isnt likely to be changing anytime soon for a guy with plenty still to prove. The Bruins are banking hell be able to tap into that talent with them.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic.