It didn’t take Bobby Robins very long to start throwing punches.
The scrappy fourth line winger took notice of Flyers center Zac Rinaldo laying a few hits on some of his teammates, including a glove to the face of defenseman Torey Krug in the first period. Robins and Craig Cunningham sandwiched Rinaldo against the boards, earning Robins a charging penalty and the trading of a few punches with Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn.
“I was wondering when that would happen,” Robins said. “I figured if I played hard enough, fights usually happen. So, I was wondering if it would happen in the first game, and it turned out to be a good one.”
Fans took notice of Schenn and Robins yapping at each other from the box, but Robins said it was typical post-fight chatter, nothing out of the ordinary.
Wednesday marked 32-year-old Robins’ first ever NHL game. Now that Robins has gotten a taste of the big league, he hopes to stay. His wife and children were at the game, and he hopes for the opportunity to keep showcasing his abilities.
“I want to keep going,” Robins said. “I don’t want to just play one game. I want to keep stringing together games and stringing together good games – make that a season, make that two seasons and a career and keep this going. I’ve definitely got the itch now. I want to stay in this league.”
His trash talking to the Capitals’ Jason Chimera on Behind the B showed that he has the toughness, the grit and the personality that Bruins’ fans have associated with the fourth line for so long. His spot on the roster came as a surprise to many, who assumed that the Bruins would be straying away from players like Robins. Robins is so Shawn Thornton-esque that many were confused as to why the Bruins didn’t just keep Thornton in the first place.
But one things for certain – in the eyes of the Bruins organization, Robins is doing something right. “If you were him, wouldn’t you be happy right now?” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “It’s a great feeling right now. First regular season NHL game, legit NHL game, and you participate in it and you do your job and you do it well and you come out of there with a win. As a coach you love seeing those kind of success stories on the ice.”
“He’s a great example for guys who have been toiling around the minors for a long time. And to know that there’s still some hope at the end of the tunnel and that it’s not over just because you’re 30 years old.”
After a long journey, many are rooting for Robins to succeed. And Robins won’t back down without a fight.