It was an obvious question: Is Benoit Pouliot concerned about switching sides in the Bruins vs. Canadiens rivalry?
|Pouliot scores past Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Brent Johnson during the shootout of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011, in Montreal. The Canadiens won 2-1. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson) |
"Not too worried, actually," said the forward after he signed with the Boston Bruins on Friday. "It’s part of the game, it’s part of the business, it’s what you have to do.
"Now I’m on the Boston Bruins and I’m going to enjoy every moment of it and try to help the team out as much as I can.
"This is my team now," he said.
Pouliot sounded like a man who was ready for a new challenge, but obviously understands that earning time in the lineup of the defending Stanley Cup champions will certainly test him.
"It’s part of why I love Boston," explained Pouliot. "All four lines can roll pretty easily. All the guys are very good there, so it’s something I’m looking forward to
"It’s going to be awesome, it’s going to be fun, and I just can’t wait to show up at camp and prove to [Head Coach Claude] Julien that I can do the job and have his trust."
To do that, the forward is already at work.
"I try to gain weight every summer," said Pouliot. "My thing is to keep my weight up and try to get to camp as big as I can, as in shape as I can
"When I show up at camp I’ll be ready."
And Pouliot knows that Boston will be ready to watch the Bruins work toward a seventh Cup.
"Yeah, the atmosphere’s awesome," he said. "When we played, the first round playoffs [was] awesome and all throughout the year.
"It’s a big rivalry [with] Montreal, but even though I would be on Montreal, just coming to Boston would be fun to play.
"It’s a big sports city and they’ve been a good team for a few years now and I’m looking forward to joining them."
Pouliot also wants to bring his own performance to a new level.
"I can do more," admitted the former Habs forward. "Obviously, this year was a tough year...[but] you just have to keep playing.
"It’s just a thing about being consistent every night [and] playing good, in practice and in games.
"It’s just being able to compete every night and every time you step on the ice," he said.
With Boston, Pouliot sees a huge opportunity with the Black & Gold.
"I’m not looking to the past, I’m looking in the present, and what’s going to happen later on, when the camp starts," he said. "We play Montreal often, which is going to be fun, I’m not going to lie, I’ll love it.
"I’m a Bruin now."