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New Line, Same Expectations

Kelly, Pouliot and Rolston aim to tap postseason success

Thursday, 04.12.2012 / 12:48 PM ET / Features
By Anthony Gulizia  -
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New Line, Same Expectations
BOSTON, MA – While the clock ticks toward the start of the Bruins postseason, forward Chris Kelly finds himself in a vastly different scenario than he was in last season.

Pouliot and Kelly
After joining the team at last year’s trade deadline, Kelly, as well as former Bruins Michael Ryder and Rich Peverley, formed a line that sparked the B’s offense during their quest for the Stanley Cup.

Now, No. 23 centers veteran forward Brian Rolston, who’s played in 70 playoffs game – including 18 with the Boston Bruins from 2001-04 – and Benoit Pouliot, who’s played in 22 playoff contests, and is preparing for his first with the Bruins.

“You see Rolly who’s seen it all, probably twice,” Kelly said. “And what he brings is unbelievable. And then you got Benny, and he’s been a treat to play with all year. I’m sure he’s excited to be in the postseason with Boston, I know he had a great series last year with Montreal so this is nothing knew for him going into these playoffs.”

Together, Kelly hopes his trio can replicate the same magic his line performed last season.

“I think there’s pressure on everybody to perform,” Kelly said. “Are we putting added pressure on ourselves? I wouldn’t say so because then you’re just going to set yourself up for failure.

“I think Rolly and Benny are great players, and we’ve formed a little bit of chemistry the last little while. It’s been nice to be able to play with them. We want to go out there and play the game the right way and help contribute offensively and defensively and build off what we had in the regular season.”

Kelly’s line, which featured appearances from Jordan Caron and Rich Peverley throughout the season, gelled late in the season with the addition of Rolston.

Throughout a six-game stretch from March 15-26, Kelly, Pouliot and Rolston combined for 9 goals and 17 assists.

“Through 82 games, you’re always going to play with different players and for whatever circumstances – you got injuries, you’re going through a tough time in the year and they change the lines up [and] you got guys who come up – that’s part of it,” Kelly said.

“But it is nice to get familiar wingers and familiar linemates to build some chemistry with.”

Pouliot, who played against the Bruins in the opening round of last year’s playoffs as a member of the Canadiens, has become popular with his highlight-reel goals such as the one he scored against the Florida Panthers earlier this season.

“He’s kind of undercover skill wise,” Kelly said. “I’m sure the more and more you see him, the more you appreciate him. I think he has probably the nicest goal the team scored this year against Florida – he just does a lot of things like that that go unnoticed.”

While Kelly appreciates the success he and his line achieved this season, he’s even more grateful for the opportunity to make it into the playoffs.

“I think as you get older, you realize what a special time this is,” Kelly said. “In the early [stages of your career], you maybe take it for granted but it gets harder and harder every year to make it to the postseason and it’s something you truly cherish and realize that it’s another great opportunity.

“You want to come out and do your best to help the team whatever way you can.”




1 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
2 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
3 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
4 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
5 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
6 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
7 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
8 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


P. Bergeron 80 32 36 12 68
L. Eriksson 82 30 33 13 63
D. Krejci 72 17 46 4 63
B. Marchand 77 37 24 21 61
R. Spooner 80 13 36 -9 49
T. Krug 81 4 40 9 44
M. Beleskey 80 15 22 6 37
Z. Chara 80 9 28 12 37
J. Hayes 75 13 16 -12 29
D. Pastrnak 51 15 11 3 26
T. Rask 31 22 8 .915 2.56
J. Gustavsson 11 9 1 .908 2.72
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