Vin Scully taught me about marching and chowder societies. There was no google in 1975, and the library didn’t have a Vin Scully section (fools), so I was forced to learn Vin’s phrases and then, later, learn their meaning. That is, I think, part of Scully’s genius. He informs you about life between the pitches, and carries you away with either his tangents or his game call, and lets you make the call depending on your mind at the time. It is an incredible gift, delivered by Vin in gorgeous and conversational tone.
I am a member in good standing of the Benoit Pouliot marching and chowder society. Oh sure, I can admit he has had a weird and unproductive season, but for me there is still a player there. When a hockey player takes a step back in his career, there is a checklist I use to figure out the problem:
- Is he getting old?
- Is he hurt?
- Is he playing a different, lesser role?
- Is his conditioning poor?
In the case of Pouliot this season, my guess is points 2, 3 and 4 are all in play. I don’t pretend to know any inside information, but mister can you tell me what’s been wrong with him these weeks? Does this malady normally take this long?
Benoit Pouliot is mocked by many, but not by me. Consider this item:
- McDavid with Pouliot: Corsi for 5×5 (53.4) and 5×5/60 (3.22)
- McDavid w/o Pouliot: Corsi for 5×5 (52.7) and 5×5/60 (2.64)
- Pouliot with McDavid: Corsi for 5×5 (53.4) and 5×5/60 (2.82)
- Pouliot w/o McDavid: Corsi for 5×5 (49.6) and 5×5/60 (1.32)
That is mostly from year one, but you can see there is some chem showing. Benoit Pouliot is having a poor year and yes he has taken some poor penalties in the offensive zone, but can we just pause for one moment and put down the mob mentality and stare at those numbers? May I ask you this: Would BP and David Desharnais make a nice combination for Jesse Puljujarvi when he returns. I think a veteran L and C might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
POULIOT 16-17 (15-16)
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.98 (2.05)
- 5×4 points per 60: 0.00 (3.75)
- Corsi for % 5×5: 49.2 (51.0)
- Corsi Rel: -0.7 (7.9)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 55/9.1 (109/12.8)
- Boxcars: 51gp, 5-5-10 (55, 14-22-36)
Pouliot is slated to make $4 million for the next two seasons after this one, and a good guess would have him at Oilers training camp this fall. You will read and hear a lot of negative about that idea across the universe, but not here, not from this blog’s author.
Here at Lowetide, we believe. The Benoit Pouliot marching and chowder society invite you to pull up a chair. We are just getting started.