Iginla ready for physical challenges after Opening Night fight
What better way to win Bruins fans back after choosing the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Boston Bruins during last year’s trade deadline than dropping the gloves in his debut?
Jarome Iginla made his debut with the black and gold Thursday night and fit right in on the first line alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci. He finished with two shots, three hits, a blocked shot, plus-one and five penalty minutes.
The buzz on this night was Iginla’s bout with Radko Gudas. Although he dropped the gloves, he was not expecting to be run seconds before.
“No it wasn’t planned,” Iginla said. “You know it was a feisty game. It is always nice because between the seasons with the summer off it always feels a little bit rusty at the start. Just going off of emotion there and nothing planned, getting run over is just part of it and it was a good atmosphere in here tonight, but nothing planned.”
Iginla made B’s fans forget about the loss of Nathan Horton fitting in nicely with what the Bruins are trying to accomplish on both ends of the ice.
With his 6’1’’ 210 frame, Iginla is another great piece to add to the grit and toughness exemplified by the black and gold.
“I’m just trying to play hard and trying to get into it,” Iginla said. “It’s different, you go through preseason and you want to do things right, but you are also learning and the intensity isn’t the same. From when the puck drops for the first game that actually matters everybody is a little more revved up and excited.”
Iginla is ready for the challenges as a Bruin even if it means being more physical, but Iginla doesn’t plan on dropping the gloves often.
“Here, it’s pretty physical hockey,” Iginla said. “You want to pull your weight and contribute to that and as far as fights, do I expect to fight more? I don’t really ever plan that. I don’t have a number or goal or what I’m trying to avoid. I’m just playing hard and try to compete and battle and it happens. So, I’ve never looked at it like I’m trying to avoid them or get in to them.”
Iginla played like the Hall of Famer that he is. He knows what it takes to win and head coach Claude Julien was satisfied with his effort in the first game of the season.
“It was good, but again it was his first game, but I thought he did a good job of doing what he wanted to do for our team,” he said. “He had a good opportunity late in the third that he could have capitalized on in the slot. He had some scoring chances and he played physical. He finished checks and he obviously fought so he did what he had to do.”
Iginla may have made B’s fans forget about his antics last season during the trade deadline with his all out effort tonight. Get used to it, because Iginla is a gritty player just like the rest of them who don the Black and Gold.