He's been inconsistent at times, yes, but as the former Montreal Canadien becomes more comfortable, he's starting to contribute on a more regular basis. On Monday, with his old team in town to take on the Bruins, Pouliot offered the latest proof of that.
Pouliot sparked the B's with a first-period goal at 12:13, his second in as many games, and a goal that must have felt even better considering it came against his old mates.
"It always feels good," Pouliot said of the goal. "Obviously winning is a lot better, it feels great. And putting a goal out there, it feels good."
The goal was important (the Bruins are now 8-0-0 in games in which Pouliot registers a point), but just as important is what it represents: more improvement from a talented player who can bring a lot to the table when playing up to his potential.
It may not have appeared so early in the season, but the Bruins remain confident that bringing in Pouliot is the right fit for their club.
"There was a lot of talent in that young player -– and I say young player because he is a young player in the league, and he was a first-round pick –- and sometimes those guys just need an opportunity, and he got it in certain places where they didn't feel that he fit in," head coach Claude Julien said of Pouliot.
"But we thought that with the type of team that we had, he would be a good fit for a couple of reasons –- good size, good skill, but at the same time, he was a guy that could be physical. Our team is a team that really pushes guys to work hard day in, day out. We have a good group of players, and we felt that if we could get some consistency in this player, he would be a good asset to our hockey club."
Of course, that sometimes elusive consistency has been one of the biggest knocks for the perceived lack of development Pouliot has shown in his career thus far. It's no secret that confidence breeds consistency, and it's clear that Pouliot is starting to play with more confidence as he ups his level of play.
"I think he was trying to get adjusted to the team and find his comfort zone when he first came this season," said Tyler Seguin, "but, you know, you really see how great a player he is as the season's gone on. [Monday] again, he had another solid game and I'm sure it felt nice to score against the old team."
"He's starting to fit in really well. It just seems like he's got some confidence right now," Brad Marchand added. "He's worked very hard and contributing right now. … It's great to see."
Ultimately, Pouliot knows that it all boils down to winning games, something that he and the Bruins are doing a lot of lately.
"Obviously winning games right now is unbelievable," Pouliot said. "I've never been on a team like this. We can keep the streaks going or even though we go down one game, we come back with a couple more wins. It's nice."
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