WILMINGTON, Mass. – After his first informal skate with his Bruins teammates today, former Montreal forward Benoit Pouliot was asked about making amends to Boston center David Krejci, who Pouliot pounded in a fight during last season.
A better question might’ve been about whether Krejci should buy lunch in order to prevent another beatdown. However, there shouldn’t be any fisticuffs between the two now that they’re on the same side trying to defend Boston’s Stanley Cup title from a season ago.
“I talked to him earlier,” Pouliot said of Krejci after the skate at Ristuccia Arena. “I’m on the team now. Things like that happen. When I was in Montreal, guys I’d gotten in fights before and stuff [were there], and they were best friends. I’m not looking to come here and try to screw up everything that’s going on down here. I’m just looking to try to find a spot and get along with the guys as much as I can.”
If Pouliot’s performance on the ice can even half match the potential that Minnesota once saw in him (he was the Wild’s first-round pick, fourth overall in 2005), fitting in won’t be a problem. The Canadiens acquired Pouliot during the 2009-10 season and thought the fresh start might work out. He put up just 30 points 79 games during the regular season last year, and by the playoffs he was scratched for four of the seven games against the Bruins.
“I think there was maybe a lack of trust between me and the coach,” said Pouliot about Habs coach Jacques Martin. “At first when I got there, I think he played me 17, 18 minutes a game. Things went well, and then it kind of went downhill after that. But last year I had a good year on the third line, fourth line all year long, and it was more positives than negative stuff when I was Montreal.”
So now Pouliot has his second fresh start in as many years. The Canadiens, Pouliot said, didn’t show any interest in retaining him and the feeling was mutual. The Bruins were the first team to contact him when free agency opened in July.
He’s already used to looking forward to Habs-Bruins tilts, so it shouldn’t be difficult for him to get extra amped for those showdowns. What role he’ll have in those games, how much he’ll play overall and what role he’ll have will be up to him to determine over the course of training camp, which opens Friday.
“Coming to a new team, you’ve got to show them what you can do, and try to get the trust of the coaches, the players, and do your own thing, do what you’re capable of. That’s what I’ll try to do,” he said.