BOSTON (CBS) – For Boston Bruins defenseman Wade Redden, it had been four years since he had been a part of playoff hockey.
But on Wednesday night, he returned to the postseason in a big way. He scored Boston’s first goal and assisted on their second — which gave them the lead for good — in the Bruins 4-1, Game 1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the TD Garden.
“It was a long time coming for sure,” Redden told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak on Thursday. “It was fun to get back in there and icing on the cake to start off with a gold and an assist. It was just a start for this team, and we have to build on it.”
Redden has earned his spot in the B’s lineup with some solid blue-line play since coming over from St. Louis at the NHL Trade deadline. He started over rookie Dougie Hamilton on Wednesday, something he wasn’t sure would happen when he first arrived, or even in the hours leading up to Game 1.
“There was no real plan laid out. They had the group that they are comfortable with here, and they were going to mix guys in and out; whoever gave us the best chance,” he said. “There are guys that are sitting out that are fully capable, and it’s good to have that depth. It’s a long run, and we’re going to need everyone.”
The 35-year-old Redden has 102 playoffs games under his belt — 94 coming during his 11-year tenure with the Ottawa Senators — with Wednesday’s tally his 13th career playoff goal. But even in his short time in Boston, he knows it’s one of the best places to be for playoff hockey.
“Come this time of the year, this is one of the places you want to be playing,” he said of Boston. “You can feel the excitement around the city and especially in the arena. Everyone feeds off that energy. For me it was a tumultuous couple of years, but there are people with the Bruins I know and trust and it’s great to be a part of that.”
“It’s been great, and there’s a lot of hockey left to go.”
Redden also talks about being reunited with former Ottawa teammates Zdeno Chara and Chris Kelly, and his respect for B’s head coach Claude Julien.