Pouliot impressive in Bruins' debut


Pouliot impressive in Bruins' debut

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- On Friday, Benoit Pouliot predicted it wouldnt be long before he got into the lineup. Twenty-four hours later, he made his debut for the Boston Bruins.

The 24-year-old winger slotted into the left wing spot on the third line alongside Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin, and paid immediate dividends skating around with something to prove in Bostons 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Everybody seemed to like him tonight for the amount of ice he got, said coach Claude Julien, who opted to scratch Jordan Caron in favor of Pouliot after an ineffective first game from his 20-year-old winger. I thought Pouliot's energy was good, he competed hard, he made some good things happen, and I like the direction he took tonight.

Hes certainly continuing to show us that as he gets more comfortable, he seems to be bringing a little bit more. We all seemed to be happy with his game tonight.

Pouliot doesnt participate in the power play or penalty kill for the Bruins, so there wasnt much in the way of consistent ice time for the former Habs skater. But the newest Bs forward still managed to pack plenty into his 7 minutes and 309 seconds after opening his Bruins career with a punishing body check on Brett Clark behind the Tampa Bay net. The hit immediately pushed Pouliot into the game, and led to some golden offensive chances as well.

The first was when Pouliot found himself out on the ice with the fourth line, and Shawn Thorntons work behind the net led to a wild Pouliot backhander that bounced off Chris Kelly before Mathieu Garon could smother the puck.

The second scoring chance for Pouliot arrived after a Tyler Seguin wraparound move got the Tampa Bay defense scrambling, and the 19-year-old puck wunderkind shoveled a pass to Pouliot waiting all alone in front. Pouliot hammered a one-timer from the doorstep that Garon managed to get a glove on, and his best scoring chance with the Bruins was dashed.

But the winger who managed to wear out his welcome in Minnesota and Montreal looked perfectly effective in his role Saturday night, and gave a glimpse of what he can do once he gets truly comfortable with the systems and the personnel.

My game is speed and using my size, said Pouliot. I went to the net hard, created a couple chances there and could have had a couple. But it's the first game, there's a lot left for the rest of the season. I'm excited for the rest of the year.

I should have had the one-timer, but I think Seguin brought it in front a couple times and Kelly too. It's just a matter of bearing down and capitalizing on those chances. But we'll get a lot of chances. We'll get a lot all year long. You get used to it after a while and start putting them in the net.

Its only one game thus far, but Pouliot showed just how impactful he can be if hes property utilized this season.

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

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.