Benoit Pouliot: The Marked Man16 Oct 2016
When the Oilers mainstream media puts you in their sights, look out. This is the situation Benoit Pouliot finds himself in now.
Fresh off their successful campaign of running Nail Yakupov out of town and destroying the team’s potential return in the process, they’ve been desparately searching for their next target for the past week.
All it took was a few penalties last game, and they smelled blood.
It started before the game even started…
Tweet of the night https://t.co/nSj0btoj4f— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) 16 October 2016
Then Pouliot took another penalty, and they pounced.
OK, 5 minor penalties in 6 1/2 periods for Pouliot this year. This has to stop, right?— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) 16 October 2016
Good job Pouliot. Sit him early in the season to send a message. What would you really be missing?— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) 16 October 2016
Benoit Pouliot, benched for taking three penalties the other night, now has his first.— Terry Jones (@sunterryjones) 16 October 2016
Pouliot a walking minor penalty thus far thus season. That's his fifth minor in less than seven periods.— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) 16 October 2016
And then Pouliot scores!!!
At least a few of the media took notice. Some had backhanded compliments, mind you.
Pouliot atones for early HS penalty that Buff scored on and gets 1st of year off his leg after Kassian shot. 2-1 Buffalo— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) 16 October 2016
No kicking motion. Play started direct off RNH winning defensive faceoff and they went up on ice on a 3 on 2. Pouliot and RNH first points.— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) 16 October 2016
Oiler haven't completed three passes in a row. Taking offsides galore. Down 2-0 gave up a 3-on-1. But Pouliot scores to make it 2-1.— Terry Jones (@sunterryjones) 16 October 2016
Pouliot penalizes the Sabres in the offensive zone this time, makes it 1-0 if the replay holds up.— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) 16 October 2016
Another update: Pouliot takes another penalty! This one wasn’t really his fault, but does it really matter?
Pouliot offensive zone trip. Minor penalty count now at 6.— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) 16 October 2016
Some beauty PP movement, and OIlers in a 2-0 hole to Sabres.— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) 16 October 2016
Pouliot's skate of shame could be his last strides in a while.
And in breaking news, Pouliot takes another minor.— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) 16 October 2016
Pouliot up to six minor penalties in seven periods this season, but he does get his first goal of the year.— Reid Wilkins (@ReidWilkins) 16 October 2016
Oilers battle back from 0-2 in a first period that featured a Benoit Pouliot Hat-trick -- two offensive zone penalties and a goal.— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) 16 October 2016
Not bad for one period’s worth of work, boys! Pretty soon you can write your story about how they’d be lucky to get a 3rd round pick back for him.
Now, obviously, Pouliot is taking too many penalties, and yes, it’s a habit of his, but he’s a great player and the Oilers are now short of great forwards after trading Hall and Yakupov and getting no forwards back for them. If you’re an Oilers fan, you migth want to ask your local media to consider applying their hatchets to the opposing team’s players now and then instead of ours.
As the second period starts, another backhanded compliment:
Nice set up by Pouliot, who had just stepped out of the penalty box, which kind of goes without saying.— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) 17 October 2016
Post game update:
Just as was the case with Yakupov, the media parrots the coach’s narrative because it helps ensure their access to said coaches. McLellan has found his new whipping boy, and Oilers fans continue to be left with just a single perspective on the team.
@TSNRyanRishaug What about Grybas 3?— Lyndon Rich (@ribzyrich) 17 October 2016
Pouliot owned the bad penalties, says he needs to be smarter with his stick, says he'll be fine next game.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) 17 October 2016
"I knew it was coming. I have to be smarter." Pouliot on being benched for final 40 minutes after taking two penalties.— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) 17 October 2016
I’ll give the last word to Derek Blasutti:
Pouliot takes dumb penalties sometimes. The problem is, when you sit him you have to do stupid things like play Letestu more.— Derek Blasutti (@dawgbone98) 17 October 2016
McLellan can rightfully shit on Pouliot for bad penalties, but it was 2-2 when he stapled him to the bench.— Derek Blasutti (@dawgbone98) 17 October 2016
Go Oilers Go…
Jim Roepcke is a software developer living in Penticton, BC. He was 4 years old when the Oilers joined the NHL, and grew up thinking it was normal for the teams he cheered for to win the Stanley Cup and Grey Cup every year. Sigh.