BOSTON — Chicago Blackhawks rookie phenom Connor Bedard scored his first career NHL goal in Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins, and only one thing went through his mind when he saw the loose puck behind the net that eventually led to his wraparound goal.
"I remember being behind the net and kind of seeing it and I was just like: 'Don't screw this up,'" Bedard said. "And then once it went in, a lot of joy, for sure. Just that moment, it's what many people in the world dream of, and I'm very fortunate to be able to be put in this position and get a chance like that."
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His teammates were just as excited about Bedard's first goal as the player himself.
"I was happy for him," Nick Foligno said. "You always remember your first goal and I think we were saying, if it was a wraparound on the bingo card, I don’t think we had that one. But heck of a goal by him.
"He’s starting to show what he can really do. I’m happy for him. It’s a nice one to get out of the way, early, too. You don’t have to think about it. He was a big playmaker for us tonight, not just that. He drove a lot of our offense. It’s great to see him get more and more confident as the games go on."
The Blackhawks struggled to generate much offense outside of Bedard in this game, so the fact he found the back of the net was deserved. And I'm sure it's something he was waiting to do, considering the only goal he scored during the preseason was an empty-netter.
"It was great," Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said of Bedard's first. "I thought we needed to do that more in the game. We had a few shifts like that in the third period, but not enough at all. Great entry on that line rush and he shot the puck from the goal line with some guys driving the net to create a lot of confusion.
"He just knows where to go. He’s one of those guys that has instincts and he picked up that rebound and knew that he had time and room but he did it pretty quick. It was really fun to watch and see him enjoy that one."
It's hard to pick a better circumstance if you're Bedard. Against another Original Six team, a great arena at TD Garden, and his parents and sister were in attendance.
It was the first of what should be very many goals for Bedard in a Blackhawks uniform.
"It was exciting," Bedard said. "It's a big relief, too. I think it's like, you want to get one really bad quick and kind of get it out of the way. But it was a really cool moment, cool building to do it in. I had my family here and everything, so it felt good for sure."