Posts Tagged ‘Mark Recchi’

Winding Down, Gearing Up

April 8, 2011

This is an odd part of the season. Finishing up the regular season schedule whilst waiting for the Playoffs to begin can be a tedious excercise for both fans and teams when your position in the post-season is secured and pretty much set. The Boston Bruins are in danger of falling into cruise mode because of the seeming insignificance of the remaining games. New York Islanders? Ottawa Senators? New Jersey Devils?
Teams full of guys scheduling golf vacations.

It’s dangerous because it can lure a team into a malaise at the most important time of the year. All indications were that the Bruins were gearing up at the right time and then the two recent New York games seemed to show a team getting sleepy at the wheel. We all know what happened after the 1st period of that game at MSG. It was all too hauntingly familiar to what happened last season in Philadelphia, wasn’t it? Up 3-0 and you go to sleep as if the game is won. Meanwhile, an emotional, tough team gets on it’s horse and never gives up and ends up beating you silly.

It was one of the themes of the Boston Bruins’ 2009-2010 season and I mentioned it frequently here. It’s like the team can’t handle it’s own success. It gets complacent. That’s what allows teams to come back from 3-0 against you.

Seems to me it starts with the best players. Tell me what the top scoring line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton have done since the team clinched a playoff spot? Do they, more than any other players on the team, look like they’re going through the motions? Against the Islanders it seemed like they were skating in a practice scrimmage at Ristuccia. Non factors. If it wasn’t for the spark shown by the fourth line of Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille, you would have lost that game.

Not really the signs you want to see from your team. Let’s hope that higher gear is still there and will be in motion next Thursday when the playoffs actually start. If not, there may be some truly hopeless Bruins’ fans wandering the streets outside TD Garden like the living dead. Again.

A few more notes on the end of the season.

  • It looks more and more with each passing day that the Montreal Canadiens will be the opponent in the first round. Can you imagine it? Can you picture the epic insanity of that? Apocalypse Now, folks. 2012 is here. World War III. Throngs of marching protesters in Montreal. Max Pacioretty potentially being in uniform to face Zdeno Chara. Total madness. I’m drooling already. Prepare for posts every hour on the hour during that series, people. This is what we live for.
  • This Saturday Mark Recchi will pass Chris Chelios for 4th All Time on the NHL’s games played list. The three guys ahead of him are Gordie Howe, Mark Messier and Ron Francis. Hallowed company and a monumental achievement by the gentleman. He will be honored accordingly one would think during the team’s final home game of the regular season.
  • The Bruins yesterday signed free agent college forward Carter Camper from Miami (of Ohio) University. A smallish forward at 5′-11″ and 173 lbs he was nonetheless an explosive scorer with 183 points (69-114-183) in 156 games in his college career. He’s a 2011 Hobey Baker Award finalist and will report to the Providence Bruins. An interesting addition and a great hockey name.
  • Steven Kampfer has been assigned to Providence leaving Shane Hnidy as the B’s 7th defenseman. He could return before the playoffs begin along with other possible depth players as the P-Bruins season will end without a trip to the Calder Cup Playoffs.
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    The Ultimate Dive?

    March 23, 2011

    max pacioretty injury

    It’s time some things were said out in the open.

    Who better, then, than Former Montreal Canadien, current Bruin and future Hall-of-Famer Mark Recchi to get the ball rolling. Here’s a guy with unassailable integrity. A guy who has seen all the game has to offer. A guy with the perspective that 1600+ NHL games and seven different teams can give you. Leave it to a guy like that to cut through the bullshit and get to some truth.

    A short time before 4 p.m. today he appeared on 98.5 the Sports Hub with Michael Felger, Tony Masserotti and Jermaine Wiggins, he was asked, as you might expect, about some of the furor that might surround tomorrow night’s must see game at TD Garden between the B’s and Habs as a result of the Zdeno Chara/Max Pacioretty incident.

    The conversation turned to the miraculous, amazing, medically astounding recovery of Max Pacioretty who, mere weeks after suffering a reported “severe concussion” and fractured vertebra is making seemingly incredible (some might say unbelievable) progress and the reports he will be ready for the playoffs. Recchi was asked if it bothered him that its seems now that Montreal may have embellished the injury reports in order to try to get Zdeno Chara suspended.

    His answer was an emphatic yes.

    “I think they were trying to get Zdeno suspended and they embellished it. The concussion was really a non factor.”

    The full interview will be posted here if you want to hear it. It’s an excellent, honest interview from an intelligent, experienced player with no time for bullshit. He tells it like it is and admits what many others, fans and players, have been thinking around the league since we first saw Pacioretty’s interview with Bob McKenzie mere hours after the incident when he sounded just fine. When he statred “tweeting” in a cheerful manner the next day. And was released from the hospital in short order.

    Max Pacioretty was never that badly injured, folks.

    And you all know it.

    The Canadiens, management and fans, wanted punishment for Zdeno Chara so badly they dramatically exagerrated the injury reports to make it seem Pacioretty had a far more serious head injury than he actually had, hoping the league’s sensitive nature to such injuries would get Chara a lengthy suspension. Whether it was revenge or tactics, they lied. They flat out lied.

    And that’s fucking sick, people. That’s as cowardly and gutless as it gets. That’s dirty fucking pool, my firends.

    Because, let’s be honest, we all know now exactly what a “severe concussion” looks like. We’ve seen the haggard visage of guys like Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron when they finally (after more than 24 hours, mind you) met with the media. Gaunt, hollow-eyed shells of the person they once were. Plagued by debilitating headaches, spending days and weeks and months in darkened rooms dealing with depression. We’ve read Paul Kariya’s accounts of looking into a mirror and seeing a stranger and not being able to get off the edge of the bed.

    We’ve seen how it took them all years to get back. Years. Kariya was never the same. Savard might never play again.

    None of them were tweeting from their bed in the hospital, were they?

    The Canadiens should be ashamed of themselves. An issue this serious, an injury too many have had to deal with, and they try to fake it? Indefensible. Even for a team who’s calling card has been the Art of the Dive. Even with a fan base that mealy mouthed and pathetic and cluelessly hysterical. It’s one thing to go pinwheeling to the ice hoping for a tripping penalty. This is a level far below that.

    This time they’ve dived too far.

    Peter Forsberg Eyeing Comeback

    January 22, 2011

    peter forsberg comeback

    As the Boston Bruins prepare for a matinee game in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche this afternoon word that the 37 year old Peter Forsberg is set to practice with his former team today with sights set on a return to NHL action this season.

    How’s that for out of the blue, eh?

    A long admirer of the gentleman, I consider him one of the greatest all time international players I’ve ever seen. Who knows what sort of shape he’s in. It seems like he’s been gone forever and we all remember the endless injury woes that seemed to force him from the NHL. However, 37 just doesn’t seem that old anymore. I see what Mark Recchi is doing in a B’s uniform and some of my preconceptions of players nearing the 40 year mark has been adjusted. If you have the passion and keep the body tuned up, maybe there’s mileage to be found in the old carcass.

    Personally, I hope it happens. It would be fascinating to watch. His agent, in the Denver Post today, says it’s “only a test”. Which raises the question – are the Avs just humoring and old soldier or would they be serious about this? We’ll see.

    Meanwhile, the Bruins need to rebound from what I consider a disappointing no-show against the Sabres the other night at home. Mike MIlbury called it correctly in his post game comments. No physicality from the top three lines. No emotion. Where has the hitting game gone? Once again, we look to the change in Milan Lucic’s game and wonder.

    What happened to the guy who once put Mike Van Ryn through the glass at TD Garden and why does he shy from contact so often these days?

    Let’s hope we see an answer this afternoon.

    Who Gets Neil?

    November 13, 2010
    milan lucic chris neil

    Who's Up For A Beat Down?

    Not to be a total mouth breathing knuckle dragger but the main question in my mind going into tonight’s game against Ottawa at TD Garden is who is Chris Neil going to have to answer to for jumping Dennis Seidenberg at the end of the October 30th game between the B’s and Senators? Milan Lucic, who has bloodied Neil badly in previous fights or maybe Shawn Thornton, who has beaten him on a number of occasions?

    I would say that it was those losses that has led to Neil’s last two fights against the Bruins being Seidenberg and Steve Begin, neither of whom are remotely in his class. But that’s what getting your ass kicked will do, I guess. Turn you into a chicken shit punk.

    Certainly, according to former Senators teammate Brian McGrattan, that’s been Neil’s MO for a long time. Quite an indictment.

    All I know is that, at some point, Neil will need to answer for himself tonight.

    Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

    Update: Well, it was Chara and I wish it hadn’t been because it was a crap fight and then a crap game to follow. Why can’t Big Z keep his balance in a fight these days? Is it simply a function of being so awkwardly tall? Because that was embarrassing. Mark Recchi looked better in his bout with Chris Campoli.

    Bruins 1-3-1 in last five games now.

    The only good news is the Leafs lost to Vancouver to bring their losing streak to eight.

    Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruin

    June 25, 2010

    tyler seguin boston bruins

    With the second overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft the Boston Bruins select, from the Plymouth Whalers, Tyler Seguin. It’s finally done and, to no one’s real surprise, Taylor Hall was picked by the Edmonton Oilers at number one. The team’s have their boys.

    More draft coverage to come.

    Meanwhile, news that the Bruins have also re-signed Mark Recchi today to a one year, $1 million dollar contract.

    There you have it. One 18 year old and one 42 year old.

    Both hockey players.

    Thornton Gets Two

    June 4, 2010

    shawn thornton new contract

    And Kathryn Tappen gets the scoop.

    According to her post on NESN.com, rugged Bruins winger Shawn Thornton has got his wish to remain in Boston and signed a contract for a reported two more years. The 32 year-old was set to become an unrestricted free agent but had not been shy about publicly expressing his desire to remain in Black and Gold.

    It’s a good resigning, not just because of the toughness factor Thornton brings to the table and the fact that he is one of the more intelligent and honorable scrappers in the league. He also showed, throughout all the turmoil on the team during the 2009-10 season, that he was one of the few guys on the team you could rely on for consistent leadership, on and off the ice. His is the sort of character the Bruins need more of. Add in some reasonable talent, for his role, decent defensive sensibilities and this one was a no-brainer.

    The remaining five B’s unrestricted free agents are as follows, with age and last year’s salary included.

      Mark Recchi, 42, $1,000,000

      Miroslav Satan, 35, $700,000

      Steve Begin, 31, $850,000

      Dennis Seidenberg, 28, $2,250,000

      Johnny Boychuk, 26, $500,000

    I think the focus here has to be on the two defensemen, if they can be had at reasonable prices. The danger is that a guy like Boychuk, who showed dramatic improvement in his all around game this season and into the playoffs, will draw some serious attention around the league because of his age. Seidenberg, as well, will not be cheap but he was a steadying influence on the blue line playing with Zdeno Chara when he came on board at the trade deadline and the vibe is that Chiarelli wants him back.

    It’s not going to be easy considering the fact that the Bruins have an estimated $10 million to spend under the cap and some restricted free agents like Mark Stuart, Blake Wheeler, Vladimir Sobotka and Daniel Paille to sign. They remain saddled with some fairly hefty contracts like those of Michael Ryder, Marco Sturm and Tim Thomas and likely few trading partners for said contracts thanks to the age, health and performance of those players.

    As a result, there will be some tough choices to be made and any way you slice it as things will be extremely tight. They desperately need help on the wing and are not likely to have much bank available for free agent signings. I’m not sure bringing back Recchi or Satan at this point in their careers is a great option, as much as I enjoyed what they did in the post-season. However, that level of pay, under $1 million, is likely the range the Bruins will be shopping in for help at forward and I’m just not sure what other serviceable help might be out there at those prices.

    All in all, it makes the upcoming entry draft all that more crucial.

    We want Hall.

    History Will Not Be Made

    May 14, 2010

    My prediction for this series was Bruins in 7.

    I’m sticking with it.

    The Philadelphia Flyers will not be the third team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. The Boston Bruins will use home ice advantage for all it’s worth tonight for an emotional, high energy win that will blow the roof off the building and this town. Tonight the Mojo Returns.

    You hear me, NHL? Put away the sappy piano music and the reverse motion film machine. There will be no, “What if the Flyers gave up?” needed. They will lose tonight.

    I truly believe this. I have to. I’m not even going to mention things like B’s record in 7th games or the home teams’ record in 7th games in the 2010 playoffs. None of that matters. Tonight will be different.

    They can’t let us down again. They just can’t.

    I implore every fan attending the game to be completely insane all night long no matter what happens. I ask every B’s fan on Earth watching the game to summon from the ether all the Mojo they can find and send it toward TD Garden. Wear your lucky shirt or your lucky socks. Eat your lucky meal during the game. Sit in that lucky chair.

    I implore the Bruins players to come out with a fire like none they have ever felt. Zdeno Chara, you’ve got to be a monster out there. Did you take note of how no Flyer could stop you when you made that rush into their offensive zone in the last game? Drive that shit right to the net. See if they can stop 260 lbs. of psychotic Slovakian on a mission. Same goes for you, Milan Lucic. Did you see where you scored that goal from in the waning minutes of Game 6? In front of the goddamned net. That’s where you need to park yourself tonight. Get in there and get ugly. Play like your hair is on fire.

    It goes for all of you. Tuukka, you need to be a wall. Marc Savard, we need more magic. Patrice Bergeron, be the puck. Wheeler and Ryder, maybe not whiff on quite so many one-timers tonight. Recchi and Satan, it ain’t over yet, guys, it just ain’t. Begin, Thornton, Sobotka. It’s high grade sandpaper time. Daniel Paille? If there’s an open net, for the love of god, bury that fucker. All of you. Please. This is the night to show up.

    Don’t let us down.

    Don’t let it end tonight.

    We need this.

    The Young Ones

    May 6, 2010

    Their combined age is 77 years. They have played a total of 2,621 games in the NHL between them for 10 different NHL teams. 926 career goals, 2,220 career points. The were both added to the Boston Bruins on one year contracts as a short term solution to add scoring depth and experience to a young team seemingly lacking in both.

    Oh, yeah. They both have their names on the Stanley Cup, as well.

    And it shows.

    Of course, you know by now I’m talking about Miroslav Satan and Mark Recchi.

    miroslav satan boston bruins 81 mark recchi boston bruins

    Besides the relentless, blanketing play of Zdeno Chara in the Boston zone and the implacable wall that has been Tuukka Rask in net, there can be no question that the undying experience, skill and leadership of the Bruins two elder statesmen has been a driving force behind the Boston Bruins remarkable 2010 playoff run.

    It’s hard to imagine where the team might be without them, in fact. Watching them play in this post-season has been a revelation, though, and a joy when one truly begins to appreciate what it is these two veterans are bringing to the table in this, the most important and defining of times in any man’s NHL career; The Stanley Cup Playoffs.

    Recchi – Leader on and off the ice, unstoppable drive, fearless in the “dirty areas” and possessing some of the purest hockey sense you’re ever going to see. Tony Amonte, former teammate and roommate, on a local post-game analysis show said that he always called Recchi the “War Dog” because he always knew he was going to be there for every game, giving everything he had, focused, hard-working, determined as hell. The nickname fits. You see it every minute he’s on the ice.

    Satan – Calm skill, clutch goals, the sort of hands around the net you just have to be born with. There’s a sense the man loves the limelight of scoring big goals in big moments and more power to him. Dance all you want, you Devil, you. When the puck’s in the back of the net at those sort of key times in games, you’ve earned a chance to strut. Three game winning goals in the playoffs so far.

    Claude Julien, speaking about Recchi:

    “His work ethic is second to none. Recks’ experience around the dressing room has been really useful for us this year. We do have a lot of young players, and those players have grown just by his presence. With the way he competes every night, you can’t ask for a better example. He’s played well. He’s played hard. And like I said, he doesn’t look like a 42-year-old. He looks like a veteran, but a young veteran.”

    About Satan:

    “From day one, he’s just been getting better and better… you could see that this guy has experience and he has experience in big games as well as part of the Stanley Cup team last year. He’s been through those situations. He’s very calm, he’s poised, very good with the puck, seems to have good chemistry with Krejci. He’s been a real good addition. He’s just stepped in and done a tremendous job.”

    The stats line for the two up to this point.

  • Mark Recchi – 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points, +1
  • Miroslav Satan – 5 goals, 5 assist, 10 points +5
  • They’re both averaging almost 20 minutes a night on the ice. Both are key elements of the power play. Recchi is now killing penalties because of the injury to Marco Sturm. It is truly amazing to see the way these two have contributed in a season that, I think I can safely say, a lot of experts probably thought they would have little or no impact at one last stop on their way out of the league entirely.

    The Boston Bruins and their fans are quite happy that’s not the case right now.

    Bringing It Home

    April 27, 2010
    david krejci ryan miller

    David Krejci Shakes The Hand of the Man He Beat Twice In Game 6

    This was David Krejci’s game. And it was Mark Recchi’s. It was Tuukka Rask’s and Zdeno Chara’s. And it was the Boston Bruin’s fans’ at the TD Garden.

    Those were the key contributors in the dramatic, hard fought, one-goal victory for the the Boston Bruins over the Buffalo Sabres to advance to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against a team as yet to be determined (awaiting the results of the Montreal-Washington Game 7 – more on that at some point).

    The Sabres wouldn’t go out without a fight, of course, and Ryan Miller played another excellent game. It may look on the surface like a disappointing playoffs for Miller but he was not to be blamed for the way Buffalo was beaten. If fans up there are looking for goats, you’d have to take a look at guys who took stupid penalties that, for once, the Bruins took advantage of on the power play. An area of weakness during the regular season, the man advatage became an area of strength for the B’s in this series and last night they scored two key power play goals early on to take a 2-0 lead.

    Just another example of how the world was turned upside down during this series. A Bruins team that seemed lost and characterless at times and amazingly feeble on offense has now, in the post season, found itself.

    Of course, the ugliness of the regular season is what kept Buffalo in this game. Two astonishingly bad turnovers by Dennis Wideman and Michael Ryder respectively led to two Sabres goals that could have been killers. It was the scrappy resolution of Mark Recchi and the focused talent of David Krejci and the octopus-like reach of Zdeno Chara that kept that from happening, however.

    Admit it, folks. The Bruins looked pretty damn good. Not bad for a team still without it’s leading scorer and two of it’s top four defensemen. Besides Krejci and the relentless play of Patrice Bergeron, it was the greybeards that kept the B’s alive and moving forward here. Recchi has just been a revelation in the playoffs. Here’s a guy who just flat out gets it. A guy, even at age 42, who just will not stop working and hitting and making all the little plays you need to to get it done in post-season play. A leader in every area and a man with some of the most sublime hockey sense as you’ll ever come across.

    The other senior citizen on the team, Miroslav Satan, was again devilishly good as he got his second game winner of the series with a late third period goal. Again, calm nerves and an adept scoring touch when it’s late and the game is on the line. You can’t measure that sort of aspect of a guy’s character. It’s either there or it isn’t and, thankfully in the case of Recchi and Satan, it’s there.

    So. A great, tight, hard-fought series and the prospect of another on the way and Boston is the Hub of Hockey once again for a while. Bruins will play either the Pittsburgh Penguins or Philadelphia Flyers in the next round depending on the winner of the aforementioned Caps-Habs game seven. I’ll take either becuase they both promise to be rock ’em sock ’em affairs and the B’s have the ability to beat either, I believe. We might even see the return of an injured player or two.

    Onward ho!

    Where The Bruins Roam

    April 17, 2010

    boston bruins buffalo sabres game 2

    So who is this Michael Ryder guy, anyway? Anyone? Some new signee I haven’t heard of? Some dude called up from the ECHL? Because he’s not bad. Scored a couple goals. Landed a few hits. Y’know, the Bruins could have used a guy like him this season. At least he’s here now, though, eh?

    An excellent win for the B’s in Buffalo this afternoon to even up their best of seven first round series against the Sabres. Two goals from the aforementioned new guy Ryder, two from the big feller Zdeno Chara and an empty netter from the sturdily reliable Mark Recchi and the B’s were on their way home with a nice split of the two games up there. In fact, they played fairly well in both of them and can safely feel pretty good about themselves as they return to the TD Garden.

    Maybe better if it was a place where they showed any capacity to win at recently.

    But enough with the negative naybobishness. This was a good victory for a team with a lot of doubts surrounding it. Admit it, my fellow faithful and less than so, when the team was down 2-0 early, how many of you not only wrote off this game but pretty much the whole series with a sort of “Here we go again” slumping of your shoulders and a sigh? I’ll admit it. I did.

    A few decent bounces later and some renewed enthusiasm from a team that suddenly remembered how to hit and score and the series take a dramatic turn for the better from a Boston perspective.

    And the fact that Thomas Vanek got injured doesn’t hurt, either, does it?

    No, there’s definately reason for optimism now with the team having stolen away home ice advantage and found itself a little character in the process. Ryan Miller doesn’t look so superhuman anymore and Patrick Kaleta seems more insignificant, like the annoying little gnat he really is.

    On the flip side Tuukka Rask, if there were any doubts after he gave up the first two and heard the chants of the Buffalo crowd, became more solid as the game wore on and made some nice saves near the end when the team needed them most. Zdeno Chara looks like a true leader out there. So does Mark Recchi. Guys are responding. Even the new guys like Ryder.

    Solid, folks. Solid all around.

    Monday is looking like a lot more fun right now, isn’t it?