Sunday, March 23, 2008

In His Ninth Game He Was Born Again

Happy Easter for Marc Pouliot. We here at the McLean household celebrated the resurrection of the Christ Jesus by playing hockey, drinking at McVeigh's and eating ham and chocolate. We're pagans and we're going to hell.
Well, at least I am.
Meanwhile Marc Pouliot, like Jesus Christ, has risen from the dead. A kid who has battled injuries, illness, his own indifference, a position change which went poorly and the fact that apparently every single player in his draft year is going to the HHOF suddenly looks like he may have figured it out. And just in time to save his career.
This year started with a move to the wing, an indifferent camp (again), getting farmed out and then nine games in his first stint with the Oilers which were positively Jacquesian in their futility. No goals. No assists. A minus seven. And back to the minors, maybe buried for good as Gagner, Cogliano and Brodziak zipped by him and Schremp.
Another callup a few weeks ago and it figured that this was it - I believe Lowetide called it Last Chance Texaco for Pouliot. A couple of games where he basically made sure that he would not get scored on. And then, well, the kid started to play. Saturday in the latest "Biggest Game of The Year" mere seconds after the Oilers finished coughing up a three goal lead Pouliot won a puck battle in the neutral zone along the boards. He wheeled out with the puck, moved it to a teammate and then charged into the zone and retrieved the shootin and moved it to the net. He followed up on the play and scored what can only be called a HUGE goal. Not just big. HUGE. Right, Andy? It was truly clutch. ;) All joking aside, the kid came out and made something happen when something had to be done. That's pretty cool.
So in the nine games since he has been recalled Pouliot has a goal and five assists, all at ES I believe. He has been a plus in five games and a minus in one. He had one game at 7 1/2 minutes but for the most part his icetime has been from around 9 1/2 to 12 minutes a game.
Its a damn small sample size and I don't think Stoll is going anywhere myself but does anyone out there think that Pouliot might be able to do a job if he's put between Torres and Pisani. Might cost a few games early on because for all of Stoll's troubles he is an established NHLer but maybe longterm? Stoll's main value is on special teams and on the draw. Pouliot is only two points behind him at ES for the season.
In any case the kid (another one!) is back in the mix!


Mr DeBakey said...

In the Colorado ame Pouliot was doing the Good Things
The things that got him drafted in the 1st round
The things I like about him

On the Pisani goal & on his own goal, he owned the play.
The timing the play, the whole thing,
- "My Puck, My Time, My Play"

I luvved it
Luvvvved it

If he can play like that, another piece of the puzzle now fits.

Bruce said...

MP's goal against Colorado was HUGER than HUGE. Coming when it did, it was the HUGEST HUGELY HUGE goal the Oilers have scored this season. Or last, come to think of it.

Funny that the Pouliots scored their first three goals of the season on Saturday. Marc got his first, Benoit his first and second, a mere 76 games into the sked. Tonight we should see them line up against one another.

Black Dog said...

Bruce - no such thing as a big goal. :)

Funny thing about Benoit. He played for my hometown junior team and dominated by the end of his career there. Had one playoff series that he basically won singlehandedly according to a buddy back home. We were talking about him the other day and wondering what had happened - it sort of looked like he wasn't fitting in in Minny. Was stuck in the minors until very recently.

Kid can play. Or could in juniors. We'll see if he's up to stay.

dubya said...

The ONLY problem I can see with losing Stoll is faceoffs, especially if Reasoner leaves as well. Pouliot has tricked us before, I need to see it for a prolonged period.

It's sad, as Stoll really did look like a future captain, but the man cannot generate anything at ES. And assuming (hoping) Souray can stay in one piece next year, his spot on the PP is gone, baby, gone.

Josh said...

I liked what Stoll brought last night and Saturday. You can tell he's got some more jump is his game lately and is hitting more often. Then thing about that is I don't think he's worth the 2.5 QO (assuming he requires one?).

He's not a top 2 line player and we don't have room for him anyways so we are paying him to check, kill penalties, and shoot the puck from the point on the PP.

And like Dubya said, if Souray comes back his shot is not as nessicary (though it is RH compared to LH). And Stoll just hasn't been that great of a checker.

If Pouliot can fill that spot by playing solid two way hockey (and how can you not between those guys)for under a mill then what else could you ask for? His faceoff's are not bad and could improve (Stoll's did w/Oates being here).

It just seems too obvious to me.

Black Dog said...

If you are willing to bet on Pouliot, can live with the growing pains of having him centre your tough minutes line and you feel that Stoll's work on special teams and in the circle can be replaced then I think you do it.

They're not against the cap and they'll get little for him.

Just like Glencross makes bringing back Moreau and Torres a poor idea (12 goals, serious outscorer, cheap) Brodziak complicates the centre position.

Bringing Pouliot and Stoll back and putting Pouliot in the PB does not make a lot of sense. Play him and have Marty for insurance in case he falters.

Josh said...

I think playing Pouliot in between Pisani and either Moreau or Torres is enough tough minute protection that you don't take a huge risk. Clearly not the rounded player Stoll is but he has played a lot of pro games.