Questions about Benoit Pouliot
's adjustment to Boston have been frequent over the first five games of 2011-12 and when subject was broached again on Tuesday morning, B's Head Coach Claude Julien said, "I think you guys want that answer quicker than we do."
To be fair, however, there were only so many open spots on the club after the departure of Mark Recchi, Michael Ryder and Tomas Kaberle and finding one's place on a nearly-intact Stanely Cup Championship roster can be a daunting project.
"Just system-wise. It’s a little different," he said prior to the B's game versus the Carolina Hurricanes. "It’s just...a little different from Montreal -- what I was used to -- but that’s why we watch video and that’s why we practice.
"It’s going to be good. It’s going to be fine."
Julien echoed those sentiments and, again, preached patience.
"You know, we've only played five games and certainly when you look at other players that have come in, they've had obviously some time to adapt - a lot more than five games," said Julien. "What I see is basically a guy getting more comfortable and his work ethic is there, you see him working hard, and we keep working with him as far as making sure he's adjusting to what we expect from him and what our system's all about.
"He's very receptive and you can see him working at that. So I think, again, you have to give him some time and you can give him some time as long as you see improvement and there is some."
And Pouliot himself says that his teammates are helping his adjustment.
"I feel pretty good," said Benoit. "I play with [Chris Kelly
] and [Jordan Caron
] right now and things are going pretty well.
"Kells is...an easy player to play with. He always does the right thing and we’ve just got to be open —- me and Jordy —- and on the wing use our speed."
Pouliot said he's also feeling "pretty comfortable out there.
"I feel there’s still [some] things I need to learn or get used to, but at the same time we’re only four or five games in, so we’ve got plenty of time for that."
There's no time like the present, however. And with the B's return match with the Hurricanes on tonight's docket, Pouliot expects a more complete effort from the B's.
"It wasn’t easy going to Carolina," admitted Pouliot. "Obviously, it was our first road game, but now they’re coming here. It’s a little different now, here, for us especially.
"We’ll be ready. We know what they can do and they probably know what we can do."
What the B's can do is hand a powerful Chicago Blackhawks club their first OT-loss of the season and Pouliot pointed to last Saturday's win over the 2010 Stanley CUp champs as evidence that things are turning around for the defending Cup champions.
"Yeah. We needed that win," said Pouliot. "Obviously, we don’t want to start the season on the bad side, but that win was huge.
"It doesn’t really matter if they got a point in overtime, they’re in the other division, so we’ve just got to worry about our two points and that’s what we did.
"We took care of business at the end there and we’ve got a long week ahead and it’s going to be good at home."