Recchi makes Bruins click
Where would the Boston Bruins be without Mark Recchi?
Probably not where they are now, which by all appearances is in contention to go deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
If the Bruins win it all, he’s already gone public with the idea that he will gladly retire.
Recchi, 43 years young, should likely someday be coaching in the National Hockey League. He is the voice of wisdom in a locker room that, save for a few veterans, is young and impressionable.
The media usually flocks around team captain Zdeno Chara after a win or a loss, but it’s a bland post-game interview process if Recchi isn’t part of it. His comments may not always be colorful, but they are as insightful as they come. He is a must interview after a game.
He’s well-traveled, and may fit the bill more as a team captain than Chara but no one would ever want to take that label away from the big defenseman. Thursday night against Toronto he logged career game No. 1,648. Trading for him two years ago was one of the better moves Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has made.
Heck, it’s one of the better moves a lot of general managers have made as he’s played with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in two separate tenures each, Montreal, Carolina, Atlanta and Tampa (who dealt him to the Bruins).
The other night he was lauded after recording career point No. 1,532. The man has played on two Cup champions, 1991 with the Penguins and just a few years ago, 2006, with Carolina.
“He’s such a great teammate and such a respected guy and leader,” Chara said a week ago during the Montreal controversy. “It’s a thrill to have him. We all learned so much from him. He’s obviously the next Hall-Of-Famer and such a classy guy.
“Like I said, I can’t thank him enough to be my teammate and able part of this team, and helping all of us to be better.”
Here’s a perfect example of what Recchi does in that locker room. When Chara was under fire for his hit in early March that sent Canadien Max Pacioretty to the hospital, Recchi took it upon himself to question the severity of the situation, saying the Canadiens were “embellishing” the situation.
“I did what I had to do,” Recchi said. “Zee has taken a lot of heat and I felt it was very important to take, to get some focus elsewhere. I’m a big boy and like I said, I’m sorry if it hurt some people, but at the same time, I think everyone knows my reputation for 22 years.
“I’m very respectful of teammates, players, organizations and that is not going to change. I felt a need to protect our captain and it’s important. This will be the end of it and you won’t hear anything said (about the issue) by me anymore.”
No, it’s all old news. But we will definitely be hearing and looking for the words of wisdom coming from Recchi. He tried to no avail to set a calm tone in last year’s Flyers playoff series after it was clear the Bruins control of it was slipping away. Hey, he’s steady, but no one ever said Mark Recchi is a miracle worker. This year, he’ll give it another try and let’s see what he and the Bruins can do.
“We never know in the playoffs,” Recchi said. “Things are always different.”
Indeed they are, but one constant in the Stanley Cup Playoffs has been Mark Recchi. And the Boston Bruins are better off with him than without him, that’s for sure.