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

Spooner to jump back in for Bruins, knows he 'wasn't good enough'


Spooner to jump back in for Bruins, knows he 'wasn't good enough'

BRIGHTON, Mass. – After serving as a healthy scratch for Thursday night’s home opener, Ryan Spooner will be back in the lineup manning the left wing position alongside David Krejci and David Backes as that line looks for an offensive breakthrough.

Spooner will also be looking to change his early season storyline as it’s clear that Claude Julien is looking for more from a player that looked a little too passive on the puck to start the season.

Spooner wasn’t really utilizing his speed to put pressure on opponents, he wasn’t creating enough on the power play and there were a couple of instances where his mistakes led to directly to goals against. That’s not a good combination from a B’s perspective with a player who has showed plenty of game-breaking talent while posting 13 goals and 49 points last season.

“I have to take [the scratch] as a message that I wasn’t the player that I can be,” said Spooner. “I have to use it as motivation and just go out there and play.”

The speedy, skilled forward had just a single assist in three games to start the season, but to be fair none of the three forwards on his line, Spooner, Krejci or rookie Danton Heinen, looked particularly good once Backes was moved to fill in for the injured Patrice Bergeron.

Instead, it looked like Krejci centering one player skating out of position (Spooner) and another young guy (Heinen) just trying to gain some confidence in the NHL and things looked much better for Krejci and Backes after being reunited on Thursday. Spooner’s speed and playmaking could be an asset there tonight vs. Montreal, and certainly could help a power play that is 1-for-14 through the first four games of the season.

“He just has to be better. That’s why we sat him out. He just wasn’t good enough and he’s capable of doing more,” said Claude Julien. “We expect more out of him. He’s a guy that can produce and can play the full game, and he’s shown that he can do it. It’s nothing something that he has to do, but it’s something that he can do. That’s what we want.”

So, Spooner was scratched for the home opener after totaling an assist and seven shots on net in the first three games, and knows that he needs to be better than he was in the early going.

“I wasn’t moving my feet. I think I was playing too much of a passive game. I need to use my speed a little more when I’m on the wing there,” said Spooner, who still hasn’t played much more than a couple dozen games at the wing over the course of his career. “The first two games I didn’t think I played good at all, and the last game against the Jets was just so-so. I don’t think it was good enough, so it needs to be better.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter which players I was playing with, the game I was playing just wasn’t good enough. That’s on me and I need to change that.”

Spooner will get a big chance to change that conversation when he suits up in a top-six winger role with Krejci and Backes on Saturday night while looking to provide a little more balanced scoring against Montreal. 


Saturday, Oct. 22: Coyotes' growing pains


Saturday, Oct. 22: Coyotes' growing pains

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while suffering from the same “general soreness” as Tuukka Rask.

*The Arizona Coyotes are suffering from growing pains that were extremely evident during a winless road trip.

*Steve Dangle is obviously jacked and pumped about his Maple Leafs, but wondering about the future of Roman Polak. But aren’t we all at this point?

*Old friends Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg both scored the victorious Islanders in a Friday night win.

*Clarke MacArthur isn’t ready to retire even as concussion issues are really starting to impact his ability to stay on the ice.

*Teemu Selanne gives fellow Finn Patrick Laine a thumbs up as he was in town for events with his former Winnipeg Jets.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details on noted Bruins killer Dale Weise getting suspended for three games after some dirty activity with the Philadelphia Flyers.

*For something completely different: Geoff Edgers has been trying to reach Bill Murray for weeks, and here’s what happened when he finally called back.