For the rest of the Edmonton Oilers it was the ninth game of the season, but for big Steve MacIntyre last night was the home opener.
His home opener, anyway. After cooling his heels for the first three weeks of the season, injuries and the flu bug finally opened a spot for him on game night.
He didn't see a lot of ice in a close, fast-paced high-scoring game, and with nobody in the Columbus lineup who posed any kind of threat, didn't need to do any policing.
Quinn wants MacIntyre to be able to contribute without dropping the gloves, but last night wasn't the best situation for him.
"When he first came along someone told him he had to do that sort of thing (fighting) and he said 'OK I want the job, I'll do it,' Here, we want him to be able to play, too," said Quinn. "I still want that sort of a presence out of him, but I'm not going to put him on to fight somebody, I want him to play. So he has to get to a proficiency level where you're not afraid to have him on the ice, and he's made some good progress."
Hard-luck Oiler returns
Last night marked the return of hard-luck former Oiler Mathieu Roy, who has bitterweet memories of his time in Edmonton.
"I really enjoyed playing here the couple of years I was here and I'm excited to come back as a Blue Jacket," said the oft-injured defenceman.
He's excited to be anywhere in the NHL after a string of cruel injuries that snuffed every chance he had to secure a spot with the Oilers. Every time he had a decent shot, something knocked him out of the lineup.
"I lost my chance because of injuries, but there's not much you can do about it," he said. "Sometimes it keeps coming after a player and that's what happened to me."
Ironic, then, that injuries actually contributed to his latest shot. He was the last cut out of camp, but got called back up before Game 1.