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BOSTON (CBS) – Jarome Iginla heard mostly cheers when he was introduced by the Boston Bruins for the first time on Thursday night, but there was a small sample of boos mixed in.
But Iginla did his best to win over those few fans who still have not gotten over him choosing the Pittsburgh Penguins over Boston at the trade deadline last season. While he didn’t light the lamp in his Boston debut, a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, he did the next best thing for a Bruins fan: he dropped the gloves.
Iginla took exception to a Radko Gudas hit in neutral zone during the second period, and let the defenseman know it. He got a few shots in before the fight was broken up, showing his new fans and teammates he isn’t afraid to mix it up, even at the age of 36.
“It wasn’t planned,” Iginla said of the tussle. “I wasn’t planning on getting run over either. It was a feisty game, it was a good game. At times each team had some momentum and we found a way to get back and had a great third.”
Iginla saw 15:23 of ice time in his Boston debut, taking two shots and delivering three hits. He finished the game plus-one on the ice, and said if felt good to officially become a member of the Bruins.
“It felt good to play here and at home, have the crowd — you know, be a Bruin,” he said. “There were a lot of different things in the game tonight but it felt good to be part of an intense season opener again and to get things started.”
“It was his first game so I thought he did a good job of doing what he wanted to do for our team,” head coach Claude Julien said of his new forward after the game. “Had scoring chances, he was physical; finished his checks and he obviously fought so he did what he had to do.
“As I mentioned this morning, some of those guys are showing that they want to be here and they’re willing to do the things and if we give them time they’ll only get better,” added Julien.
And despite the few boos he heard at the beginning, Iginla said he enjoyed hearing the Boston crowd cheer for him this time around.
“It’s always a good crowd here,” he said of Boston fans. “They’re into it, they’re yelling and it’s tough hockey in here so it’s nice to be on the other side and to feed off of that and just be in this dressing room and to feed off that too.”
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