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

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

Bruins don't poll well in latest New England Sports survey

It’s no secret Bruins fans are getting fed up with a hockey team in decline, one that’s missed the playoffs each of the last two years. Now there are numbers to prove it.

Channel Media and Market Research, Inc. came out with its annual New England Sports survey,  tabulating responses from over 14,600 polled, and, according to the numbers, the Bruins are dropping in popularity, fan support and faith in the current management group.

The B’s are holding somewhat steady with 16 percent of voters listing them as their “favorite sports team” behind the Patriots (46 percent) and Red Sox (29 percent) while ahead of the Celtics and Revolution. Claude Julien also ranked ahead of John Farrell among the big four teams in the “coaches/manages most admired” category.

But after sitting at a relative high of ranking at 27 percent for “ownership performance” in 2014 -- they year after their trip to the Cup Finals against the Blackhawks -- the Bruins now rank dead last in that category at 2 percent, behind the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and even the Revolution. Ouch, babe.

Also sitting at a lowly 2 percent is Bruins president Cam Neely in the “leadership performance” category. In "management performance," Neely has dropped from a solid 49 percent in 2014 to just 16 percent in this summer’s survey.

So B’s fans are clearly upset with a team that traded away Tyler Seguin, Johnny Boychuk, Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, and has featured a decimated defense corps for each of the last two seasons. But do the B’s fans think that things are getting any better with prospects coming down the pipeline?

Not really.

In the “which team has done the best job making its product better.” category, the Patriots (35 percent) and Red Sox (31 percent) were resting at the top, with the Celtics (27 percent) a respectable third. The Bruins limped in at just 4 percent with a fan base that very clearly sees that, on paper, this upcoming season’s club doesn’t appear to be much better than last year's.

On top of that, only 13 percent of those surveyed believe the Bruins have gotten better over the last year, and 52 percent believe they’ve just gotten worse. A lowly 3 percent of those surveyed think the Bruins have the best chance of the five teams to bring a world championship back to Boston; the Patriots (79 percent), Red Sox (11 percent) and Celtics (5 percent) all ranked higher.

Finally, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask and Jimmy Hayes were at the top of the list of the Boston athletes “who did not meet expectations” last season. None of that is a surprise, given the state of Boston’s defense along with Hayes’ subpar season.

The good news for the Bruins: They still have a passionate fan base. But they need to start reversing course immediately before they do lasting damage to the B’s brand.

Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath

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Wednesday, August 24: B's dealing with post-Vesey aftermath

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading with the Olympics coming to a close . . .
 
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kirk Luedeke sorts through the aftermath for the Bruins after losing out on Jimmy Vesey

-- Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland gave an interview where he said the Red Wings aren’t Stanley Cup contenders this season. 

-- Related to Holland’s comments, some of the media in Detroit aren’t taking the dose of reality all that well

-- It’s a big season for New Jersey Devils forward Kyle Palmieri, who will be starring for Team USA on the World Cup team. 

 -- PHT writer Cam Tucker says the Buffalo Sabres still have a strong group of forwards even without Jimmy Vesey.

-- Jamie Benn is giving everything to his Dallas Stars team, and that means that the World Cup of Hockey is taking a backseat
 
-- The Colorado Avalanche are nearing the end of their head coaching search as they look for their replacement for Patrick Roy.
 
-- For something completely different: NBC is making the argument that millenials watched the Olympics, but just not on the traditional formats