He would have given someone in the same position a hard time, so Anton Blidh had to take it when it happened to him. Blidh, who made his NHL debut on Saturday at Buffalo, was set up by Austin Czarnik for a 20-foot shot from the slot in the second period. Blidh misfired, and Sabres goalie Robin Lehner handled the wobbly shot easily. Czarnik gave his teammate a hard time but as it turns out, Blidh is usually the one trying to annoy people.
BOSTON — He would have given someone in the same position a hard time, so Anton Blidh had to take it when it happened to him.
Blidh, who made his NHL debut in the Bruins’ 2-1 win on Saturday at Buffalo, was set up by Austin Czarnikfor a 20-foot shot from the slot in the second period. Blidh misfired, and Sabres goalie Robin Lehnerhandled the wobbly shot easily.
“I was really excited for him when I saw where he was going,” Czarnik said. “I was like ‘This might be his first [goal] in the NHL.’ After he missed, I kind of heckled him for it, just for fun.”
Blidh, it turns out, is usually the one trying to annoy people. The 21-year-old winger, drafted by the Bruins in 2013 (Round 5, No. 180 overall), is in his second pro season in North America after two pro seasons in his native Sweden. He’s not especially big (6 feet, 201 pounds) and has never put up especially big numbers in Sweden or in the AHL (5-4—9 in 19 games with Providence this season; 10-4—14 in 65 games as an AHL rookie a year ago), but Blidh can have a big impact on a game.
“He loves to throw his body around, get pucks to the net — he’s a good player,” said injured winger Noel Acciari, a fellow P-Bruins rookie last season. “He gets under [opponents’] skin, and it’s fun to watch.
“He probably gets under the skin of [opponents] the most,” said Czarnik, a P-Bruins teammate last season. “He’s good at it — very good at it. He does what he needs to do, just little things that get guys angry and get them off their game.”
Blidh, naturally, doesn’t look the part of antagonist, and only admits that “I like to be physical, try to hit when I get the chance.” Czarnik said Blidh will trash-talk a bit, too, “but he doesn’t speak English that well yet, so that’s a little bit harder for him.”
Blidh, who expected his father to be at Monday night’s game against the Panthers, was still excited about his NHL debut two days after the fact.
“Since I was a little kid, I dreamed to play in the NHL,” he said. “First shift, I was like ‘These are the guys I was watching when I was growing up!’ ”
Blidh’s one regret was not doing more with the scoring opportunity.
“Oh, yeah, I know,” he said. “That’s a nice play by Austin. I need a better shot there. I need to score there.”
Acciari, who began participating in team activities last week, worked in Monday’s morning skate, but coach Claude Julien said he hasn’t been cleared for contact yet.
“Each day I feel a lot better out there,” said Acciari, who missed his 14th game with a lower body injury. “I’ve just got to make sure I don’t tweak it. I’ve got to get game-simulated in practice, and see how it feels.”
Acciari, who turned 25 last week, had no significant injury history over three years at Providence College and one previous pro season, and hasn’t liked the current experience.
“I’ve had injuries before, and I usually battled through them,” he said. “This was something I couldn’t battle through, unfortunately.
“It gets lonely when guys are on the road, with just Frankie [Vatrano, recovering from foot surgery) and Z [Zdeno Chara, who returned on Monday after losing six games to a lower body injury). So it’s great to be back out there with the guys.”
Around the boards
Matt Beleskey, who left late in the first period on Saturday after catching a Taylor Vedun check in the right leg, was re-evaluated on Monday, but the team hadn’t updated his condition before the game. … Vatrano was on the ice before Monday’s morning skate, leaving after shooting drills. … With Chara back and Torey Krug playing despite the flu (he skipped the morning skate), Joe Morrowwas a healthy scratch. … With Beleskey out, ex-Panther Jimmy Hayes faced his former team after being scratched on Saturday.
Mike Loftus writes for the Patriot Ledger of GateHouse Media.