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Benoit Pouliot was brought in to provide offensive depth for the Rangers, but he hasn't really done that.
The winger has scored just twice this season and has four points.
When asked about why someone with such obvious talent can struggle so mightily, head coach Alain Vigneault didn't seem to have the answers, according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News:
In French we say, “Ton de lune.” “Ton de lune” means (roughly) ‘Goes to the moon.’ I’ve told him this a couple times. ‘Ton de lune, ton de lune.’ I don’t know why it happens. You explain something to him on the ice on a shift, in a drill. He does it once, he does it twice, then all of a sudden the third time, ‘Ben, what are you?’ ‘Oh, yeah.’ He’s gotta put it together, and I think he can. I’ve seen too many stretches where he’s done it, whether he needs to focus or whatever, he needs to figure it out.
Remember, Pouliot was the fourth-overall pick in 2005, ahead of such studs like Anze Kopitar, Marc Staal, Tuukka Rask, James Neal, Paul Stastny, Kris Letang and Jonathan Quick. He should be producing more and have more than 63 career goals.
Pouliot dominated in the juniors, scoring 63 goals in 122 games. But he hasn't been able to translate that success to the NHL.
What troubles me is that Pouliot takes a lot of penalties—and he isn't even a fighter. This season, he has already racked up 31 penalty minutes. Over his career, he has amassed 232 penalty minutes. That's far too many. It also means he's not engaged and doesn't move his legs. He is, in the words of Vigneault, "Ton de lune."
He needs to pick up his game, or someone like Danny Kristo—who is tearing up the AHL with 14 points in 14 games—could take his spot.