BOSTON -- Prior to the Bruins’ 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, head coach Claude Julien told the media he was impressed with the steady improvement of Bruins winger Benoit Pouliot and that Pouliot would fill in for the suspended Brad Marchand (as he did last Thursday when Marchand missed a game with the flu) on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. Pouliot had three helpers in Thursday's 9-0 win over Calgary, and on Tuesday he delivered again -- skating hard with the speedy Bergeron and Seguin and scoring a power-play goal in the third period to extend the Bruins' lead to 5-3.
“Well, he’s a good skater. He doesn’t always look elegant, I guess, but he can skate, and he’s pretty shifty,” Julien said with a smile when asked how he thought Pouliot kept up with the speedsters on his line. “Maybe because of the way he skates, he’s hard to predict, he really is. But he does a good job, like I keep saying about, on the forecheck. He comes at you, and you don’t know what angle he’s going to be coming at you, and he’s got a good stick. His speed is good, and obviously he scores a goal tonight because he’s in front of the net, and he’s not afraid to go to those areas. He’s got good size, he’s got good speed, and, again, he doesn’t seem to have any fear.”
Pouliot has found that comfort level and confidence, and that's why his play continues to improve.
“The one thing I know is that he feels very comfortable with this group of guys, that he knows everybody’s got everybody’s back, so wherever he has to go, he goes,” Julien pointed out. “I think he’s developed that confidence as we’ve moved on here this year.”
“It is a fast line and I was in that situation with ‘Pev’s’ [Peverley] and ‘Kell’s’ [Kelly] I think, and it’s a different vibe because maybe we play a little more minutes and we’re out there more, but yeah it’s a fast line,” Pouliot said. “I love it because [speed] is part of my game and part of a lot of guys on our team. Once we get that going, we’ll find some goals and get some points. That’s something I’ve worked on every game and practice, and it’s paying off really well because the guys I play with help me out and it’s good.”