ShareThis Page

Recchi, 43, with (maybe) one more game to go

| Tuesday, June 14, 2011

BOSTON — The Bruins were facing elimination in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, and Mark Recchi knew just how to keep his teammates focused.

The 43-year-old Boston forward brought his Stanley Cup championship ring to TD Garden on Monday night and showed it around the locker room before the game. Then, he went out and assisted on three goals as the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks, 5-2, to force a decisive Game 7.

"This is what we dream of, right here: Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final," said Recchi, who with Shawn Thornton is one of two Bruins to have his name on the trophy. "Let's go see what we can do."

The former Penguin helped set up Brad Marchand's goal to open the game just 5.5 minutes in, then added another assist on Andrew Ference's goal just three minutes later, and Boston already led 3-0. After Vancouver scored to cut the deficit to 4-1 in the third period, Recchi made a cross-ice pass through the crease and David Krejci put it past backup Cory Schneider to help clinch the victory.

The win kept the Bruins' chances of a championship alive.

It also meant one more game for Recchi, who has said he would retire if Boston wins it all and could call it quits even if they lose.

"It crosses my mind, but I have a job out there to do for the guys and I can't put those thoughts in my head," he said. "I'm going to lay it on the line one more time and see where it takes me after that. No matter what, it's been a great 22 years."

The oldest player in the NHL and No. 4 on the league's all-time list in games played, Recchi is a seven-time All-Star who won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in his third season and again with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, his 17th. He considered retiring last summer, but decided to come back to the Bruins and give it one more try.

That decision is paying off — and not just for Recchi, who has moved up the NHL's all-time lists and solidified his Hall-of-Fame credentials.

Recchi's 1,533 career regular-season points put him 12th on the league's all-time scoring list; everyone ahead of him is either in the Toronto shrine or not yet eligible.

It's also working out quite nicely for the Bruins. Recchi has five goals and eight assists in the playoffs, while moving Boston within one game of the championship for the first time since 1972.

"The biggest thing is just embracing it. This is what we dream of," Recchi said. "It's come down to one game. No pressure. Go play. You can't let it grab you. You can't let it bite you."

It was Recchi's 87th career playoff assist, tying him with Brett Hull for 33rd on the NHL's all-time postseason assist list. He has 146 postseason points, passing Ron Francis, Larry Robinson and Chris Chelios to move into a tie at 29th with Mike Modano on the all-time scoring list.

But the number he is aiming at is a third championship.

He's already had the pleasure of holding the Cup.

Now he wants to share it with his teammates.

"Having the opportunity to raise the Cup, I want nothing more than for them to have that feeling," he said. "I want them to feel that; I want them to enjoy it. We all want this for each other. It's special to get to this point, and hopefully we can realize it."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.