Vigneault tells inconsisent Pouliot ‘you only get so many kicks at the can’


Benoit Pouliot has played for four different teams trying to make good on the promise that saw him taken fourth overall — three spots behind Sidney Crosby — at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

The fifth team, it seems, is running out of patience.

On Friday, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault expressed dismay at Pouliot’s inconsistency, re-accentuating a theme from Pouliot’s time in Minnesota, Montreal, Boston and Tampa Bay.

“I’ve had this conversation with Ben, I’ve had this conversation with a few players in my career. You only get so many kicks at the can here, you only get so many teams,” Vigneault told The Bergen Record. “Obviously a guy like Ben, a high pick, a high skill level, you see it now and then and you go, ‘Wow, why does the inconsistency or whatever is, not there on a more regular basis?”

Pouliot, 27, has shown flashes during his seven-year career. He scored 24 points in 39 games with Montreal during the 2009-10 campaign, and potted a career-high 16 goals with Boston in 2011-12.

Doing it consistently over an extended period of time has proven difficult, though. Pouliot’s situation hasn’t been helped by his nomadic existence, either — the Rangers are his fourth team in as many years.

Vigneault isn’t sure what Pouliot’s problem is, but is sure of one thing — Pouliot needs to find a solution.

“That’s a question we’re trying to figure out with him,” Vigneault explained. “Obviously he’s aware of it.

“He needs to figure it out. Sooner or later, you only get so many kicks at the can.”

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?