Greg Zanon made his first debut as a Boston Bruin on Thursday night in front of the home crowd at the TD Banknorth Garden in the Bruins 4-3 overtime victory against the New Jersey Devils.
“It felt good,” said Zanon after his first start “getting into the game and finding my way through and obviously playing with a lot of guys tonight was good. I think I just played my game, played the simple game and moved the puck quick. Physical, trying to block shots and do what we could to help win the game tonight.”
The 31-year-old defenseman, who stands at 5’11’ and weights in at 201lbs, definitely picked up some slack with an injury plagued defense on Thursday nights game, but that’s been something he has been doing all season long.
Before coming to the Bruins, Zanon played in 39 games this season with the Minnesota Wild where he ranked second in blocked shots and had two goals and four assists for a total of six points.
Despite missing 15 games with the Wild earlier the season, Zanon remained a solid defenseman for the Wild prior to being traded right before the Trade Deadline ended.
As with many of the trades in the age of instant social media, Zanon certainly had an interesting start to say the least with the Bruins. He found out that he had been traded to the defending Stanley Cup champions when his wife rushed downstairs to inform him that her sister had seen posts on Twitter that he had been traded to the black and gold.
This news was confirmed shortly after when he received a call from Wild’s GM Chuck Fletcher informing him that he had in fact been traded to Boston in a move that saw the departure of Bruins’ defenseman Stephen Kampfer to Minnesota.
Zanon spent his first game in Boston as a healthy scratch, during Boston’s 1-0 loss against the Ottawa Senators. But Thursday night marked his debut as a Bruin in an overtime battle that resulted in the Bruins winning in overtime with a goal by David Krejci that gave him not only the game winning goal, but a hat-trick as well.
Zanon had 14:58 of ice time during his 21 shifts and had three hits during the game; the extra playing time he got was in part the result of an injury to defenseman and teammate Andrew Ference. The extra time on ice also served as a way for him gets more of a grasp on how his new teammates play.
“You don’t like seeing anybody to go down hurt,” said Zanon, “but obviously you get a chance to get in there, get a lot of reps playing against top guys. You just get a good feel for the way everybody plays, and the way the system is played and I had a real good time too.”
Thursday’s game however, was not his first time on the Garden ice, but he certainly did enjoy being at the other end of the Garden Faithful’s attention.
“I’ve played her a couple times before, not too many times being in the [Western Conference],” said Zanon about the atmosphere in Boston. “It’s a great place to play, the fans get behind you, obviously when it wasn’t going too good they were on us, but that gives us the push we need to step on the gas and get that extra drive that we need to win the game.”