This week we asked you, our readers, who you felt was worthy enough of carrying the title of Beast of the Beasts. You provided us with not one, but three possible players to choose from, Benoit Pouliot, Brian Rolston and Marty Turco. Looking at the stat cards for the past week, we had to make the choice and go with forward Benoit Pouliot, although Brian Rolston came in a close second. As for Marty Turco, we can give him an honorable mention, based on his short time with the Bruins and the two wins that he did provide. It was a great run Marty and we thank you for your time and efforts. It’s been real.
As for Benoit Pouliot, this is a guy that spent most of the season under the radar, trying to find his skates if you will. He was brought to us by none other than the Montreal Canadiens over the summer of 2011. When he first took the ice in Boston, he didn’t appear to have much confidence and there was a lot of skepticism as to whether or not he would be valuable or hurtful to the Bruins as they went 3-7-0 in the opening month of October. Pouliot made tons of turnovers, was unstable on his feet and would fall down every time he was tapped lightly on the back. His biggest issue, his former team the Canadiens. As the Bruins took them on at home on October 27, it was evident that they knew how to get under Pouliot’s skin and as a result he would be sat on the bench for the third period in almost all of its entirety.
As the season progressed so did Pouliot, coming to learn his new team’s style of play and what his role to the team was. He began to find his way on skates and a home on the Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley line. Pouliot scored his first goal with the Bruins on November 7 against the New York Islanders and again on November 15, against the Devils, providing the Bruins with a victory and their sixth straight win in the month of November. As the Bruins found their game and went on a hot streak, Pouliot grew into his skates and became a versatile and very valuable player for the Bruins.
This season Pouliot managed to post 16 goals and 16 assists with a +18 on the season,a career best for Pouliot. This past week Pouliot posted two of those goals and registered 10 shots on goal, much better than at the beginning of the season where he was lucky to get at least one shot on goal. As he got more comfortable he became a fun player to watch and showed off his ability to handle the puck with ease.
The more you watch Pouliot play, the harder it is not to fall in love with his style of play. He’s an unsung hero, someone who is able to be placed on any line and he will adapt and make the best of it.
As the playoffs near and the atmosphere of the players and fans begin to change in to that of hunger, drive and determination it will be interesting to see how Pouliot fits in, being on a defending Cup team is a hard position to fill, but seeing his progress through the year and how he has evolved in the tail end of the season there is no doubt he will shine and help bring the Cup back to Boston where it belongs.