Player Spotlight: Benoit Pouliot

Ask Bruins fan about how they feel when it comes to Benoit Pouliot and you’ll get a mixed response. Some like him, some aren’t sure and some fans absolutely hate him. When it comes to the Bruins fan base and probably any fan base really, there is always one person that can do no right in the eyes of the fans. It would seem that regardless of all the things Benoit Pouliot does right, it only takes one mistake before people start calling for him to be benched. Fortunately, all of us lovely ladies at CrashingTheNet are supporters of Pouliot. That is why the spotlight belongs on him right now, he’s earned it.

Pouliot certainly hasn’t had the easiest time in the NHL. Being the fourth overall pick in the 2005 Entry Draft, a lot was expected of the young winger. For whatever reason, Pouliot couldn’t live up to these expectations. Drafted by the Minnesota Wild, he spent four seasons with the club. In those four seasons, he bounced between the NHL and AHL teams and only played in 65 games for the Wild in total. Pouliot was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in 2009 and played in 39 games with 24 points. The following year he dressed for 79 games, and posted 30 points. Bruins fans most likely remember Pouliot for fighting both David Krejci and Andrew Ference, and nothing else. Pouliot wasn’t well received in Montreal for a variety of reasons. He was horribly inconsistent, took stupid penalties and apparently didn’t have his priorities in order. To sum it up, he had some growing up to do. When Montreal opted out of signing him the following summer, Boston swooped right in. Peter Chiarelli saw something in the 25 year old winger, something others didn’t see. Now here we are, a full season has gone and going to Boston was probably the best thing that could have happened to Pouliot.

Pouliot has done some serious growing as a player and as a person since his arrival in Boston. The fans and media haven’t made it easy on him mind you, Jack Edwards having once said that Pouliot was “one of the biggest disappointments in the National Hockey League history”. Originally a healthy scratch during the beginning of the season, Pouliot’s first shining moment came when he scored the lone shootout goal against the Sabres on November 23rd. And who could forget that absolutely filthy highlight reel goal he scored against the Panthers. With the help of his veteran line mate Chris Kelly, Pouliot went from being a healthy scratch to a consistent, hard working player. He finished his year 16-16-32, surprising everyone.  During the current playoff series, Pouliot is one of the only ones who has showed up every game ready to battle it out. He had a hand in the GWG scored by Chris Kelly in Game 1, and his drive allowed him a goal in Game Two.

Despite all of that, all it took was a two minute penalty during Saturday’s game that led to a goal against the Bruins  for people to start saying he should be benched and that he was useless. Its horrifying how quickly people forget that we wouldn’t still be in this series if it wasn’t for his skill. Has the madness of the playoffs made people forget that this a TEAM sport and a TEAM effort to kill penalties. I’m so sick of this fan base not willing to give new players a chance. So lets get this straight now. Pouliot has been an important member of this Bruins team all year and has been playing out of his mind during the series with the Caps. He has made such an incredible transformation and has unreal amounts of chemistry with his line mates Kelly and Rolston. When that line is rolling, when they’re making a drive to the net, Pouliot is always there to make a sweet pass or crash the net. Hopefully he’ll be resigned during the summer, its obvious he belongs here in Boston. One stupid penalty shouldn’t negate the fact that he’s playing with 100% heart and soul. Give credit where credit is warranted.

Also he has sweet hair so shut up, all of you.


1 Response to “Player Spotlight: Benoit Pouliot”

  1. 1 Absinthe O'Malice April 24, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    It has never been a question of skill or potential with Pouliot, rather intangibles like drive and maturity. He is only 25, and is coachable, thriving under Julien’s patient, calm system (confidence building and clear discipline) and with two veteran line mates. Not to go all Freudian, but it may have to do with the early loss of his father. The Martin style in Montreal was too mercurial for him. His effort in Boston has been solid, and he shows those elusive flashes of brilliance. He’s a bargain- for the money, his price per goal/point is second only to Peverly and Paille. Check this analysis:
    I’d like to see him re-signed, and see him redeem himself and reach his potential in Boston, even if it is as a 3rd or 4th line grinding winger with upside.

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