Notes: Recchi retires with a Stanley Cup win

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Notes: Recchi retires with a Stanley Cup win

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
VANCOUVER Mark Recchi said he would retire if the Bruins won the Stanley Cup this season, and the 43-year-old lived up to his word. He announced his retirement in the celebration following his third career Stanley Cup win.

What a feeling. What a great group of guys and what a feeling going out on top like this with such a great bunch of guys, said Recchi. This is it for me. Theyre all special and they all mean the same to me. Its just so meaningful when you win that last one so you can go out on top.

Recchi finished with an assist in the 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 and was part of a forward line along with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand that totally decimated the favored Canucks in the final 60 minutes of the season. The helper gave Recchi a point per game in his final seven Stanley Cup Final games (3 goals, 4 assists). He ends his future Hall of Fame career with three Cups: one with the Pittsburgh Penguins, one with the Carolina Hurricanes, and his last with the Bruins, one of the league's original six teams.

The Bs assistant captain was still providing expert leadership right up until the final decisive Game 7 when Patrice Bergeron consulted him about how to deal with his nerves prior to the biggest game of his career. The BergeronRecchi connection has been a special one throughout the last three seasons, and one couldnt help but notice Bergeron elevating to a different level in the last couple of games to get his beloved teammate one more Cup.

It meant a lot to me, said Bergeron when asked about making sure Recchi retired with one more Stanley Cup. I wanted to do it for him tonight. We told him that we wanted to get it for him tonight. I learned so much from Rex all year and all of the years I guess on and off the ice.

Nathan Horton revealed after Game 7 that the water bottle he used to douse the Rogers Arena ice around Bostons bench before the game was filled with TD Garden ice.

While making sure to not take credit for the plan, Horton wouldnt say who came up with the idea, but the Garden ice was placed in the bottle before the Bruins team charter left Boston for British Columbia. Horton also said it was supposed to be a secret gesture that nobody would notice, but cameras immediately picked up on the injured right wing spraying the water all over the ice."I was just trying to get some Garden ice here and make it our ice," Horton said. "I was trying to be sneaky about it."

Claude Julien was besieged with questions about his satisfaction level upon winning the Stanley Cup after battling criticism and questions about his job security all season. But he wasnt taking the bait after winning the ultimate NHL prize.

So many questions about Julien and his players were answered during their playoff run, and now theyll never be asked again with a Stanley Cup on their resume.

As a coach you're going to be subject to criticism, but the most important thing is what's going on inside that dressing room. There wasn't a guy that didn't believe in what we were doing, Julien said. So it's easy to stay the course, and you got to stay the course. Today you're rewarded for it. Had I worried about that other stuff, I probably wouldn't be standing here today.

The Bruins join the 1945 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1971 Montreal Canadiens and 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins as the only clubs to win Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on the road (home teams are now 12-4). Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas capped off an amazing year by earning the Conn Smythe Trophy awarded to the most valuable player to his team in the playoffs. The winner is selected in a vote by a panel of the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final, and there was little doubt it would be the Bs goalie in the end. He boasted a 1.15 goals against average and a .967 save percentage along with a pair of shutouts in the Finals against the high-powered Canucks, and was the single most important factor in Bostons path to the Cup.The 37-year-old goalie was the oldest player to ever capture the Conn Smythe, the first goalie to pitch a road shutout in the Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final and set the record for the most saves (798) in one amazingly dominant playoff run. He was also marveling at the goalies hes sharing the Cup Final hardware with for hockey eternity.The Conn Smythe? It's quite an honor. The Stanley Cup is the biggest one, said Thomas. That's the one that you're shooting for. Conn Smythe is completely an honor. I just sat down here and started to read some of the names on it and it's an honor to be mentioned in the same category as so many: Patrick Roy, Ron Hextall, Ken Dryden. Those are the three goalies that I can see on this side facing me, it's amazing. The Flint, Michigan native is also only the second U.S.-born player to take the Conn Smythe, joining New York Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch in 1994 before Leetch would become Thomas teammate in Boston at the tail end of his NHL career.Thomas was the Bruins' only goaltender during their Stanley Cup-winning run, finishing the playoffs with a 16-9 record, 1.98 goals-against average, .940 save percentage and four shutouts. Brad Marchand finished with 11 goals scored during the Cup playoff run by the Bruins in 25 games, and holds the Bruins rookie record for goals scored during a single postseason run. He also became only the fourth rookie to score at least 10 goals in their first postseason while joining Dino Ciccarelli (14 goals), Jeremy Roenick (11 goals) and Claude Lemieux (10 goals). Zdeno Chara is the second European born-and-trained captain to raise the Stanley Cup, joining Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom in a rare brotherhood of European defensemen. Bruins D Dennis Seidenberg had two assists and led all skaters with nearly 29 minutes of ice time in the 4-0 Cup-clinchingvictory for the Bruins. He is the second German to earn a spot on the Stanley Cup, joining Uwe Krupp.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.