Recchi joins B's on ice, reflects on Cup run


Recchi joins B's on ice, reflects on Cup run

By Danny Picard Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard

BOSTON It was the last time Mark Recchi will ever step on the ice in an NHL uniform.

The Bruins raised their sixth Stanley Cup championship banner to the rafters on Thursday night, and Recchi skated out with the rest of his 2011 teammates prior to the season opener, and raised the Cup in front of the home fans.

Afterwards, Recchi reflected on that special moment, and his championship run in Boston.

These last couple days have been hard, said Recchi. It was an exciting day, but it was a sad day too, at the same time.

All three Stanley Cups are special in their own way, but I came back for one reason to play, and that was to get that last shot of winning again, added Recchi. And the group of guys, from the day we went to Vermont for a team-building exercise during training camp from day one of training camp, really you could see the commitment and the special bond we had as a group, right off the get-go.

Any important game that we needed, we won because the guys were totally committed. And it happened all year, and we stuck together, and to finish on top with this group, it really did mean the world to me. These guys are unbelievable people. I have life-long friends.

After hoisting the Cup one last time, and before raising the banner, the Bruins new assistant captain, Andrew Ference, presented Recchi with the teams vintage player of the game jacket, which was handed out after every game during the championship run.

Recchi took in the emotional moment which he didnt know was coming and put the jacket on over his black and gold uniform.

Andy and I have become great friends, said Recchi. When we brought the jacket out, hes the one that started it. He went on eBay and found this jacket, and who knew it would turn into something special like this.

He put a lot of thought into it. Hes a great leader, and hes going to do a heck of a job with the assistant captain role."

Ference and Chris Kelly will split the assistant captain duties this season, but on Thursday night, Ference was sporting the 'A' on his jersey, and Recchi gave a glowing endorsement of his replacement.

You dont need a letter on your jersey to be a leader, and Andrew will be the first one to tell you that you dont need a letter to be a leader, said Recchi. But he deserves it, and hes a terrific guy and he knows what it takes. He knows what it takes to be a good teammate.

As for whats next for Recchi, he said hes taking some time to spend with his family, and after that, will be back in the game, just not as a player.

I might do a little bit of TV. The second half of the year, I might do a little bit of TV, just to keep myself in the game. And at some point, I want to get into management.

Until then, Recchis last on-ice moment in the game of hockey is something hell never forget.

Its the last time Ill be on the ice as an NHL player and be around my teammates, in that aspect anyway, said Recchi. I mean, Ill be going out to dinner with them. But to be on the ice with them and to be in Boston, with the crowd and the reaction from us winning the Stanley Cup, has been absolutely amazing with how much theyve embraced it and enjoyed it. Its a special time, and Im glad I was able to share it with the Boston fans and to be on the ice with my teammates.

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

Injuries have created a muddled picture with Bruins goaltenders

Injuries have created a muddled picture with Bruins goaltenders

It’s hard to believe that it’s already come to this, but it might just be Malcolm Subban between the pipes for the Bruins on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild, and perhaps again on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

The 22-year-old Subban has been pulled from two ineffective starts for the P-Bruins in four AHL starts this season (.846 save percentage and a 4.50 goals against average in four games) while coming back from last year’s fractured larynx injury. He's also a player the organization was uncertain enough about that they signed veteran backup Anton Khudobin to a two-year deal on the July 1 open of NHL free agency.

Subban attributed his start to a slow opening few weeks with a new P-Bruins roster of players, but that hasn’t stopped fellow P-Bruins goalie Zane McIntyre from putting up excellent numbers between the pipes in the early going.

But Khudobin went down with an injury mere minutes into Monday morning’s Bruins practice at Warrior Ice Arena, and Tuukka Rask been battling a nagging leg injury since the season opening win against the Blue Jackets.

So Subban was the last goalie standing on Monday as an emergency recall from Providence, and could be in line to play Tuesday night against the Wild if the Bruins medical staff can’t perform some Mr. Miyagi-style healing techniques on Rask or Khudobin.

“Khudobin got injured and couldn’t practice with us, but I haven’t heard anything yet [on an update],” said Julien following practice. “This is hockey. We deal with it on daily basis with the injuries. We wait for the news and then it’s about doing your job as it’s required. If we have to make some adjustments and have to have some different personnel, then we’ll deal with it when we have more of an update. Tuukka is still day-to-day, so nothing is changed there.

“We’re in a situation here where we’ll see what happens, and if [Subban] needs to go in goal then he’ll go in goal. It’s as simple as that. As a coach, there’s one thing that worries me and that’s ‘stop the puck.’ I’m not a goalie coach, so I’m just demanding on making the saves.”

Subban, of course, hasn’t been making the saves down in Providence early in the going there this season, and is entering the stage of his career where he needs to begin showing signs of being a potential No. 1 guy at the NHL level.

Fellow goalies from the 2012 NHL draft class like Andrei Vasilevskiy, Joonas Korpisalo, Matt Murray, Connor Hellebuyck and Frederik Andersen have all begun making their mark in the league, and Subban was selected higher than all of them except for Tampa’s Vasilevskiy. So in the final year of his entry level deal it’s high time for the 22-year-old to begin showing signs he can play in the league, whether it’s in Boston or elsewhere.

He admitted on Monday he might have been putting too much pressure on himself down in Providence while watching the injury issues play out with Tuukka Rask in Boston.

Subban was worried about the big picture of stringing together saves so he was the guy called up if the Bruins needed a goalie, and instead should have been focusing more on the present opponents at the AHL level.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself. I think anybody that knows me well knows that. I don’t like to let in goals no matter what happens, whether it’s breakdowns or not it’s my job [to stop the puck]. If there were no breakdowns then you wouldn’t need a goaltender,” said Subban. “I want to make every save and get a shutout every game. I think the biggest thing is just relaxing and playing, and knowing that it’s okay to let a goal in every once in a while.

“So I think in my position right now I’m supposed to be playing really well down there, and I think that go in my head a little bit. I was trying to get a shutout every game rather than going game-by-game and shot-by-shot. I was overthinking it too much. But collectively as a team we’re a new team and we were trying to get the chemistry together, and once we do that the D-zone will be better and the offensive zone game will come.”

If Subban does indeed get the emergency start on Tuesday night against the Wild, the Bruins just have to hope that it’s a better outing than getting pulled in his NHL debut against the Blues two seasons ago after allowing three goals on three straight shots to start the second period. They also have to hope that Rask or Khudobin get well quick given Boston’s shaky situation on defense in front of the goaltender, and the stretch they’re in of playing six straight opponents that qualified for last spring’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

If not then watch out below because every hockey person knows there’s no quicker way for a hockey club to really begin imploding than if the goaltending starts to become a major problem whether it’s because of injury, inconsistent performance or simply because of being a straight-up sieve.

McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup


McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It was a bitter pill for Adam McQuaid to sit out the first five games of this season, but it looks like the veteran Bruins stay-at-home defenseman is nearing a return to the lineup. McQuaid was cleared to potentially play in Saturday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens after an upper body injury kept him shelved for the team’s first four games, and could be approaching a return in the next few days as Claude Julien mulls a number of possible lineup changes.

“It was obviously frustrating, but I’m where I’m at now and trying to move on from it. Looking forward to getting back into the lineup hopefully as soon as possible here,” said the 30-year-old McQuaid, who had a goal and nine points in 64 games for the Black and Gold last season. “The excitement level is high for me, and it is for everybody after a loss when you’re looking forward to getting back out there.

“It would have been nice to have started the season with the guys, but you can’t change that now. I’ve had some good practices, and I’m just trying to my game as simple as possible, and take it as it comes. Obviously guys have played some games and it’s been a couple of weeks for me, so I’ll just have to keep my game simple.”

The B’s bench boss indicated it was only a matter of time before McQuaid makes his 2016-17 regular season debut, but that he’s got plenty of things to decide prior to dropping the puck against the Wild.

“[McQuaid] was cleared last game. I haven’t made any decisions based for [Tuesday night vs. Minnesota]. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air, and I’ve just go to juggle those things,” said Julien. “Who knows? Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ve got a better picture [of injury situation], and if not then it will be game-time decisions. I wish I could have a better answer [on if McQuaid will play], but I’ve got no answers right now.”

With Colin Miller (minus-4), Joe Morrow, Torey Krug (a rough minus-3 against Montreal) and John-Michael Liles all minus players after the first five games of the season, there are ample options for Julien on which potential blueliner to bump up to the press box. McQuaid is just happy he’s getting closer to a return while skating with 23-year-old Rob O’Gara at practice, and he can get back to helping a B’s team that’s smack dab in the middle (ranked 15th allowing 3.0 goals per game) of the NHL for team defense this season.