PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Newly acquired Penguins defenseman Ian Cole and Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo will have the chance to play their former teams for the first time on Tuesday since being traded to the opposing team just before the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline.
Both defensemen say that they are trying to treat it like another game, but they admit it’s hard not to feel a little weird when they see their old teammates.
“It’s definitely weird,” Cole said. “I saw some of the trainers earlier today. Had dinner with some of the guys last night, so it’s definitely a little weird seeing the Blues paraphernalia around and it’s not from my team anymore. So, it’s a little weird, but I’m just going to try to approach it like any other game.”
Bortuzzo said it felt strange to stay in a hotel in Pittsburgh but it was nice to catch up with some of his former teammates over dinner.
“It’s obviously a little different taking different entrances and walking into different dressing rooms, but it’s an exciting time for myself, I get to play against an organization that treated me real well and I owe a lot to,” Bortuzzo said. “I have a lot of good friends over there so I’m just going to take it in stride and hopefully settle in early.”
Despite playing against his friends, Cole said he’s going to play tough even if it means making someone angry.
“I think if you approach it any other way you risk being too nice, if you let up on them, chances are they aren’t going to let up on you,” Cole said. “So as a defenseman if you let up for a second there’s a chance it’s going to end up in your net.”
Last time Cole played the Penguins in a St. Louis uniform he actually scored a goal. So he said he’s trying to flip that in tonight’s game and score against his former team.
The puck drops between the Pens and Blues at Consol Energy Center at 7 p.m.