By any reasonable measure, Marc Pouliot isn’t getting it done. Again. He’s been my favorite Oilers prospect since he was drafted (Pouliot’s draft pedigree was excellent: a wide range of skills, terrific passer/receiver, had a bit of a temper and was a confident and competent player) but at some point he needs to stand and deliver.
Let’s have a look at his TC so far. This camp started pretty well imo for Pouliot. On the Friday scrimmages I wrote:
Pouliot: Had a very nice game. Played with Schremp for a time and they looked good together, and took a beauty feed from Cogliano on his goal. He’s a really good player, I honestly don’t see why people question him being good enough to make the team. Played RW.
Nothing earth shattering but some nice things. His goal came off the rush and was a nice goal scorer’s goal against an NHL goalie (Roloson). As much as training camp scrimmages count, Pouliot was probably in the black heading into the weekend.
On Sunday’s Joey Moss Cup, I wrote:
Marc Pouliot: Impressed me on several levels today. The goal was nice (not for the shot) because he made a nifty move at the end to get a better shooting angle and clearance from the defender. He battled every shift and paid a price physically (I think it was Smid who hit him pretty damn hard) and made a stunning pass to Marty for what would have been an easy goal but Marty didn’t have his GD stick on the ice. 1 goal, 1 assist.
Now, we get to the pre-season games and his linemates for game one were Patrick Thoresen and Rob Schremp. In that game, Pouliot had a couple of chances and his line seemed to force the issue later in the third period, but the offense wasn’t there. With Reasoner injured and unable to take the final two faceoffs of the game, Pouliot did so and had a positive outcome both times. MacT commented on Pouliot after this game:
“It’s up to him, he’s got to come in and outplay the other guys he’s playing against, guys like Nilsson, Brodziak, who’s going to be the better player? It’s still early and experience tells you that you never jump to conclusions this early in camp, things develop as camp goes on and some guys fall by the wayside who are having success now. He’s going to have lots of opportunity, it’s up to him. I thought he started slow the other night, but came on at the end. One thing you can show is the intensity and the work ethic every shift, I thought he started off slow in that regard but came on at the end.”
He has not outplayed Nilsson or Brodziak, and we are probably at the point where those two spots have already been won. With the center slots appearing to belong to Horcoff-Stoll-Reasoner and one of Cogliano, Gagner or Schremp, the wind blows cold on Marc Pouliot this morning.
Next game his linematers were Sanderson and Cogliano. However, just as Reasoner-Moreau-Brodziak dominated the first game, it was Horcoff and Trukhno who showed well in this one. I saw this one on the “NHL portal” and had this to say:
Played pretty well but the results seem to be going to his competition in terms of scoring. Played fewer than 15 minutes in regulation according to nhl.com, and that’s with Anson Carter playing just 2:39 (add: due to concussion). One assumes he’ll show better when the rosters begin to tighten up, but he should be having more offensive impact in these games.
And that’s where I left it. He’s in again tonight with Schremp and Fredrik Johansson his linemates. The forward roster looks equally divided between the NHL lines (Stoll-Torres-Nilsson and Horcoff-Moreau-Brodziak) and “guys on the outside looking in” (Schremp-Johansson-Pouliot and Cogliano-Jacques-Bodie).
The truth is that almost everyone who was in competition with Pouliot in camp has shown better. The truth is that moving him to RW for this camp may have hurt his chances to make the team.
The truth is that Marc Pouliot needs to be better.