Haggerty: Pouliot seeks revenge against Habs


Haggerty: Pouliot seeks revenge against Habs

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
MONTREAL Benoit Pouliot wont play in the Bell Centre tonight against the Canadiens, and he hasnt circled any dates on the hockey calendar.

But theres little doubt that the rangy 6-foot-3 forward wants a piece of the Habs after player and hockey club suffered through a messy breakup at the end of last season. Pouliot was scratched for the final handful of games in Montreals playoff series against the Bruins, and there wasnt even a whiff of interest from his Habs employer before he signed a deal with the Bruins.

Thats left a distinct impression on a player in Pouliot who seems to up his game when he feels like hes got something to prove. He knows that hell be playing the Canadiens six times during the regular season, and there exist plenty of chances to right the wrongs in his mind.

When you get let go by a team, you want to prove to them that they shouldnt have, said Pouliot, who looked comfortable in Sunday nights game in Halifax skating with Zach Hamill and Brad Marchand. Hopefully well be playing them enough this year so I can make sure that I do that. So we should be good.

Pouliot has been lauded by Claude Julien for providing a physical element to the forward lines, and has consistently remarked that the Bs coaches felt he was the most consistently physical winger among the Habs forwards they faced last season. Just ask Johnny Boychuk, who was hit with the flying elbow off the top turnbuckle that launched NESNs Jack Edwards into his chump tirade.

Pouliot, Jordan Caron and Chris Clark appear to be in competition for two spots on the Bs final roster, but the ex-Habs and ex-Wild forward seems to have at least an inside track on one of those two jobs. How he will fit into the Bs roster puzzle remains largely unknown, but it should be interesting watching Pouliot try to put it all together as a 24-year-old with all the talent and tools in the world.

Pouliot is doing and saying all the right things, and hoping to stay out of the coachs dog house that seemed to be his permanent residence with Jacques Martin at the Bell Centre. The Bs are hoping to tap into his underachieving tendencies as they did with Nathan Horton last season, and perhaps reap more than the 15 goals scored hes averaged over the last two years with the Habs.

Its always a little different when youre on the other side. But, hey, Im a Bruin now and Im very happy. You know what? Ive worked hard all summer, Im having a good camp and done everything that the coaches want me to do, said Pouliot. Obviously its a big rivalry and I heard about it all summer after signing in Boston because I live in Montreal during the summer.

Pouliot is hoping to be able to return the chirping favor to his friends and neighbors in Montreal next summer. More importantly, hes hoping to get his career back on track just as Horton did during a career-altering season with the Bruins.

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

Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient


Still looking for first point, Heinen stays patient

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It may be strictly due to injuries or because Ryan Spooner is being moved back to third line center full-time, but Danton Heinen is going to get another top-six look on the wing. The 21-year-old Bruins prospect will be skating on the left wing with David Krejci and Matt Beleskey in Tuesday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild after serving as a healthy scratch last weekend against the Montreal Canadiens.

Heinen has only two shots on goal in the four games leading up to the scratch, and has been quiet offensively after leading the Bruins in goal-scoring during the preseason. Clearly there’s an adjustment to be made there, and it looked like the playmaking rookie winger was starting to develop a little more confidence trying to make plays while skating with Krejci and David Backes in last week’s win over the New Jersey Devils.

Heinen actually looked reminiscent of Krejci on a couple of plays, pulling back the puck after entering the zone and catching a trailing B’s teammate with a perfectly executed lead pass on the offensive rush. That effort plus a trip to the ninth floor press box last weekend seemed to reinforce just how much time he has to make plays, and that should be a benefit for both Heinen and his linemates.

Sometimes getting that first NHL point is the hardest part when a player breaks into the league, and it’s been that way for the young winger through his first four games.

“[Krejci] is such a good player, and I just try to complement him any way I can,” said Heinen. “You never want to be up in the press box, but it gives you a different perspective on the game. It’s a different angle. From up there it looks like you’ve got way more time. I definitely think I can be more patient with the puck, and make some smarter plays.”

Heinen started to do that in his best NHL game to date prior to being scratched against New Jersey, and it resulted in greater offensive possession and a couple of potential scoring plays getting created for the B’s second line. Unfortunately it didn’t lead to actual goals, and Heinen knows that’s what needs to happen through him if a player like him, with an offense-minded reputation from his University of Denver days, is going to stick top-6 in Boston.

“You can’t rely on the [top] guys every night,” said Heinen, who watched the Habs beat the Bruins on Saturday night while essentially shutting down Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. “When we’ve been out there we’ve kind of been getting some chances, but we’ve got to bear down.

“[Krejci] likes to play with the puck a lot, so you just get him the puck, go in hard on the forecheck and try to get open because he’s a good distributor.”

It sounds like a simple plan that might be a very good thing for young Heinen, who needs to start breaking through offensively if he wants to stick around in Boston for the long haul. 

Khudobin out three weeks as Bruins turn to Malcolm Subban


Khudobin out three weeks as Bruins turn to Malcolm Subban

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It could get a little dicey for the Bruins over the next couple of days.

Both Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin were missing from Tuesday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena, and instead rookie Malcolm Subban will get the start for the Black and Gold against the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden.

Rask hasn’t been on the ice since last Thursday’s win over the New Jersey Devils when he re-aggravated a lower body injury and Khudobin will be out three weeks with an upper-body injury suffered at Monday’s practice. It appeared the B’s backup suffered a right hand/wrist injury in the early moments of the practice, and Subban was left as the lone goaltender until Boston brought up Zane McIntyre on emergency recall Tuesday morning.

Julien said the Bruins have confidence in Subban’s ability to play a great game for them, but he’s struggled so far in Providence while getting yanked from two of his four AHL starts this season.

“I just want [Subban] to go in tonight and play a really solid game because we know that he can. He’s a good goaltender, so just because he had a bit of a rough outing [in the AHL] doesn’t mean he has to have one tonight. This is an opportunity for him to play well, and to demonstrate that he’s ready to play in the NHL,” said Julien. “We have bad games and we tell our players ‘Let’s not live in the past, let’s think about what we have to do to rectify it and play better in the next game.’ So I think our goaltender is in the same situation.

“Our game plan is about playing good defense with Tuukka or without Tuukka. That doesn’t change. We understand that some of the teams that we’ve played lately (Montreal and New Jersey) are very stingy, so we have to give up the least amount of goals we can because we’re not going to score a ton against those teams. When you put a system together you believe in it, and you go out and play your game. You don’t adjust your game for other teams, and adjusting for injuries isn’t quite what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a solid performance from our team, and that will trump any injury that we have.”

Oh by the way, the Bruins also have a road game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday in a back-to-back situation that’s less than ideal with injuries piling up. In addition a Subban/McIntyre tandem in goal, the Bruins will also be without David Backes with what Claude Julien termed “a minor issue” that also has him day-to-day.

In the good news department, Adam McQuaid will make his season debut after missing the first five games of the season with an upper body injury. Rob O’Gara was sent to the Providence Bruins to make room for him coming off injured reserve. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for tonight’s game vs. the Wild with Joe Morrow as the healthy scratch on the back end:







Liles-C. Miller