In the playoffs, Benoit Pouliot has been the Benoit Pouliot that the Minnesota Wild traded away back in late November for Guillaume Latendtresse. In other words, uninvolved and, some would say, ‘lazy’ in his approach . Saturday night, Jacques Martin had seen enough. He yanked him from first line duty with Gomez and Gionta and used him sparingly with the third and fourth lines. His ice time was the team low 5:59.
Mathieu Darche replaced Pouliot on the Gomez line and Martin liked what he saw enough to leave him there, at least to start tonight’s critical sixth game at the Bell Centre. Pouliot practiced this morning with Moore and Lapierre. Glen Metropolit centred the fourth line with Travis Moen and Tom Pyatt.
Darche – Gomez – Gionta;
Cammalleri – Plekanec – A. Kostitsyn;
Pouliot – Moore – Lapierre;
Moen – Metropolit – Pyatt
The defence is a dog’s breakfast. Jaroslav Spacek practiced with the team. He’s a gametime decision, but probably will play. Hal Gill tried out that cut leg and will be a gametime decision. If doctor’s let him, Gill will try to play, even if does pop a few stitches. Andrei Markov skated with full equipment but not with his teammates. He won’t play. If Spacek and Gill play, we’ll probably see seven defencemen dressed including Marc-Andre Bergeron who will see mostly power play duty. Up front, that could mean Glen Metropolit, a healthy scratch in game two of the series, could sit it out tonight.
These are the practice defence pairings this morning.
– Gorges – Subban;
– Bergeron – O’Byrne;
– Hamrlik – Spacek