Did the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs mean more to Kyle Wellwood than your garden-variety victory?
Darn right it did.
Wellwood, a former Maple Leaf, was so amped for this game that he broke with character and became a rah-rah guy in the Canucks' pre-game dressing room.
"This is a game that I was trying to get guys hyped up for in the dressing room," said Wellwood, who would not provide specifics but did admit that he is normally the quiet guy in the corner locker before most games. "I was just trying to show as much enthusiasm as possible."
Asked if he had done that before, Wellwood said he hadn't. Asked what prompted the burst of personality, he said his teammates were ribbing him about his close relationships with Leaf players and reminding him not to take it easy on his old mates.
"Tonight was a special case. They were giving me a hard time before the game," Wellwood said. "It was a fun atmosphere before the game."
Wellwood, waived by Toronto in June, then went out and scored the opening goal of the game on a set face-off play with Pavol Demitra. Even sweeter, Wellwood won the draw against Matt Stajan, his old buddy from the Leafs and from junior hockey.
"That was definitely a nice goal to get," Wellwood said. "You know, I went out to eat last night with Stajan and to get one on him, off the draw, was pretty comical for me."Report Typo/Error