Ference honored to show respects to Recchi

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Ference honored to show respects to Recchi

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard

BOSTON --If you walked into the Bruins dressing room on Thursdaynight, youd notice Mark Recchis equipment hanging underneath the nameplate ofhis cubby, in its usual spot.

But Recchi wont be playing another NHL game. It was nothingmore than a sign of respect and admiration the Bruins organization holds forthe veteran leader, who helped them raise their sixth Stanley Cup championshipbanner.

Before that banner was raised, Recchi suited up with histeammates one last time and took part in the pregame festivities, whichincluded one final hoisting of the Cup, as well as a surprise gift which wasthrown Recchis way.

Several days before Thursdays season opener, a few Bruinsplayers thought it would be a good idea to give Recchi one more parting gift.They felt they owed it to him.

So just before the 2011 championship banner was raised,Andrew Ference skated to the podium, and from one assistant captain toanother presented him with the teams vintage player of the game jacket,which the Bs busted out last season.

It was originally purchased on eBay by Ference, and it wasput to good use.

On Thursday night, it was handed off to its rightful owner,and the Bruins couldnt be happier to give it to him.

The guys who set it up asked me if they thought it was a good ideaor not, said Ference after Bostons 2-1 season-opening loss to thePhiladelphia Flyers. I thought it was an awesome idea. It was so short a time period, we gotto keep it under wraps. We didnt have to tell anybody. I think there wereabout four people that knew it was happening.

Its tough to find a way to correctly honor a guy with acareer like that, added Ference. We all know hes going to get to the Hall ofFame, and the stuff like that. But I think something from the players means alot to a guy like that.

Hes extremely respected in this room, and around theleague, so any way to show our respect for him is something that we jump on forsure and were honored to do.

Recchi spoke during the first intermission, and said he wassurprised and choked up by the unexpected gift. He also said the jacketwill be placed in a case somewhere in the Bs dressing room, and he wont keepit for himself.

Thursday night was a special moment for every Bruins playerwho was a member of last seasons Stanley Cup run, but everybody in the roomknows how special Recchi was to that team. And on Thursday, they gave him onefinal sendoff.

It was only fitting that Ference was a major part of thatsendoff. Not because he presented Recchi with the jacket, but also becausehell be replacing Recchi as the co-assistant captain (him and Chris Kelly willsplit the title).

And presenting Recchi with the jacket was extra special toFerence.

He brought it, every day, said Ference. Thats the key toany good job or any good career, is to enjoy what youre doing. He truly lovedthe game, and in the course of actually playing, the determination that heshowed. Sometimes you wouldnt even realize it until you watch the highlights,just how hard he was working in the corners and battling and skating for thepuck.

He played beyond his age. He played like a little kid outthere, just with everything he had.

The Bruins lose a whole lot of leadership in Recchi thisseason. But they hope his presence has helped others like Ference learnfrom that leadership, and pick up where he left off.

We strive to live up to the bar that he sets, saidFerence. I mean, thats what leaders do. They set a standard, and put the barout there, and challenge everybody else to try to get where theyre at.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins are going through a nice, little bountiful stretch of offense right now after a half-season of struggle.

The Bruins are averaging more than three goals per game in their last 12 contests, and have scored a whopping 22 goals in their last six games including dropping six scores on the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Combine that with the 7-for-25 performance on the power play during the month of January, and things are finally starting to catch up with a Bruins team that was all shoot/no score for months of frustrating hockey this season.

“If you want sustained success then you have to be good defensively, but you also have to score some goals. That’s definitely part of it and we have to keep it going,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has four goals and eight points in his last nine games after struggling out of the starting gate. “You’re not going to get rewarded every night like we did [against the Flyers], but you have to find that consistency where you’re close to having that every night.”

One thing nobody should expect out of the B’s, however, is to get outside of what they do well now that they’ve started slapping some numbers up on the board. Instead the Bruins are intent on their bedrock of disciplined defense and sensational goaltending with the added offense just making it much tougher to beat them these days.

“I don’t know if we can stand here and say we’re going to sustain that we’re scoring lots of goals. I think what we need to sustain here is winning more games than we lose,” said Claude Julien. “That’s what we’ve got to sustain. Whether it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game, or it’s a 5-2 or 5-3 game it doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning hockey games much more than it’s about how much you scored, and how much you don’t score.

“Overall when I look at the scoring chances we’re giving up per game, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Goals allowed may have changed a little bit lately, but overall I think we’ve been very steady in that area [of defense].”

So now the Bruins will again be looking for that ideal balance of offense/defense when they take the ice against the Islanders on Monday afternoon for their second straight matinee at TD Garden. 

Morrow has 'confident feeling' as he readies to jump into B's lineup

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Morrow has 'confident feeling' as he readies to jump into B's lineup

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It’s been a long month of bag skates and lonely practices for Bruins defenseman Joe Morrow.

That’s about to change thanks to injuries to both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller, who are both not expected to be able to play against the New York Islanders on Monday afternoon at TD Garden. That means Morrow will be in the B’s lineup for the first time since a Dec. 12 win over the Montreal Canadiens, a span of 16 consecutive B’s games that the 24-year-old has been watching from the press box.

Morrow skated in a pairing with John-Michael Liles in Sunday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena prior to Monday’smatinee, and obviously he’s looking forward to getting back into games given this season’s sporadic practice schedule.

“[Playing well after sitting for long stretches] isn’t necessarily something you want to be good at, but if you are good at then it’s a good tool to have in your bag. It’s a confident feeling that I’ll be able to come in [and play well],” said Morrow, who has an assist and a minus-3 rating in 13 games for the Black and Gold this season. “I’ve stayed in good shape and worked hard in practice, and that’s all I can do up until this point.

“Put simply, [this year’s compacted schedule] is exhausting. Countless times I’ve skated by myself, and anybody would tell you there’s nothing harder than skating by yourself on a sheet of ice. Mentally and physically it’s just exhausting. There haven’t been many practices and there haven’t been many game-type situations in the practices we do have. Skating with the whole team is almost like a pregame skate scenario. But you’re still skating every day, so it’s putting it upon yourself to go out there and stay ready for things.”

The one issue for Morrow, a former first round pick, over the last couple of seasons has been maintaining a high level of play once he draws his way into the lineup. It feels like there’s a drop-off in his play once he’s played a few games in a row whether it’s physical mistakes or mental lapses in his play, and that’s something he wants to avoid when given an opportunity to suit up.

“I feel like when I have played this year that I’ve been quite consistent and that I’ve played well,” said Morrow, the last remaining part of the 2013 Tyler Seguin trade still in a Bruins uniform. “I’m just in a situation that the cards are playing out the way that they are, so it depends on how many games I get whether it’s one, two, 30 or however many games are left [in the season]. It’s realistically entirely up to me. If I can shake the rust out in the first couple of shifts and start from there, it’s going to be a big positive in my book. It’s the really the only option I have left now.”

Given that Colin Miller began skating on his own on Sunday morning, it might not be a very big window for Morrow to impress upon the coaches just how badly he wants to play. But one would expect he’s going to bring his best on Monday against the Isles with the hopes that it will be somebody else sitting up in the press box when it once again becomes a D-man numbers game for the 7-8 players for six lineup spots.