|The Bruins’ Shane Hnidy felt the wrath of Steve Begin on Saturday at the Bell Centre.
MONTREAL – It’s no secret what Steve Begin brings to the table, but he clearly felt the need to remind everyone of that in his return to action.
In the end, it was just another night at the office for Begin. After sitting out the last 11 games with a groin injury, the Canadiens’ Energizer bunny was up to his old tricks, dishing out a game-high eight hits.
“I was dying to play again and I skated more than enough over the past week. My groin passed the test,” confirmed Begin. “I got the chance to throw a few hits and that gave me all the energy I needed.
“I played the way Steve Begin has to play,” added Begin, right before being personally congratulated by club president Pierre Boivin in the Habs’ dressing room. “It’s the way I was playing before getting hurt. It was important to me to have a big game tonight and I think I got the job done.”
No kidding. In addition to throwing his weight around, Begin went toe-to-toe with Shane Hnidy. After introducing the Bruins defenseman to the taste and smell of the Bell Centre glass, Begin exchanged Easter wishes with Hnidy before unloading on him with a flurry of punches.
“Once you lay a guy out like that, it puts the opposition on their heels,” explained Begin. “A couple of Bruins players had already approached me so I was ready to drop the gloves if need be.”
His head coach couldn’t be happier to have the feisty forward back in his lineup.
“It showed how anxious he was to come back,” said Guy Carbonneau. “He was definitely our spark plug tonight.”
Begin’s linemate Tom Kostopoulos knows all about the intangibles Begin supplies.
“He brings us that boost of energy we need,” said Kostopoulos. “We had a stretch where we were pretty flat in the second period and with his big hit and then his fight, he swung the momentum back our way. He provided that spark and fired up our whole bench tonight. That’s Begin for you.”Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com