Solid start for Begin
After turbulent season, forward finds his place
DALLAS - Steve Begin’s time with the Stars was so short last season that he doubted he remembered how to get to his temporary Dallas home from American Airlines Center. Begin’s 20-game stint with the Stars, however, was good enough to make the Bruins sign him to a one-year contract July 1.
“So it was perfect,’’ Begin said with a smile. “Couldn’t have come out better. So it was good.’’
Begin, once so effective as a hard-nosed wing in Montreal, inexplicably found himself on the outs with then-coach Guy Carbonneau last season. On Feb. 26, the Canadiens traded Begin to Dallas for Doug Janik.
“I was expecting I’d be traded somewhere, but I had no clue where I was going to go,’’ said Begin.
At the time, the Stars - Dallas would finish 12th in the Western Conference last season - were in the middle of organization-wide changes. By then, the Sean Avery experiment was over. Captain Brenden Morrow was out for the year following knee surgery. Marty Turco was struggling through one of his most ineffective seasons. Coach Dave Tippett would be fired. Co-general manager Brett Hull would also hit the road.
Amid all the upheaval, all Begin wanted was to find the game he’d lost in Montreal.
“It got better than it was in Montreal,’’ said Begin, who often skated with Krys Barch on an energy line. “I was playing more. I was getting my confidence back. It’s all about confidence in hockey.
“Even if you work hard but have no confidence, it’s tough to play. Everything you do seems hard and not going your way. But I was only here for 20 games. I tried to bring something good to the team. They liked what they’d seen, but the GM changed. The GM didn’t know what was going to happen.’’
So far as a Bruin, Begin has been his old self, playing without reservation and anchoring what has been the team’s best line. He did not have a point in last night’s 3-0 win over the Stars, but has four assists in six games.