Big Bert still draws boos

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 2:57 PM ET

Todd Bertuzzi is used to being booed in Calgary.

The former Vancouver Canucks forward has been absent from the Saddledome for more than a year but Flames fans haven't forgotten their favourite villain.

Bertuzzi, who is over his recent concussion and suited up last night for his first playoff game since 2003, also remembers what it's like to play in the Saddledome.

After the 3-2 Flames victory, the Detroit Red Wings winger admitted he wasn't surprised to be heckled every time he touched the puck.

"No. They were pretty wired up tonight," Bertuzzi said. "The atmosphere was good."

His only regret was the Flames spoiled his return with a win in Game 3 to cut the Wings' series lead to 2-1.

"It felt good to be on (the ice) but it's disappointing to lose," Bertuzzi said. "Especially having the lead and giving it up."

The 6-ft. 3-in., 242-pounder likes to be physical and he didn't have to wait long for first contact. He bumped his way along the boards all night long but was held off the scoresheet while playing with fourth-liners Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula.

"It's going to take a little while to get my timing and my hands back," Bertuzzi said. "As the game went on I felt a little more comfortable."

The question is how his head felt after a concussion kept him out of the first two games of the series in Detroit.

"It really doesn't matter how I feel," he said. "It's the outcome of the game."

That didn't work out so well for Bertuzzi, who was sent to Florida from Vancouver in the Roberto Luongo deal but shipped to the Wings at the deadline after missing most of the regular-season with a back injury.

He spent some time in the medical room after last night's game but it was obvious his back didn't give him much trouble on the ice.

"I'm just here to fill a role. I'm just trying to create some space and get some hits and grind it up more," he said.


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