BOSTON — After Johnny Boychuk’s “knuckle shot” eluded Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford tonight, every soul in the TD Garden knew they’d just witnessed something special.
Boychuk scored after a drop pass by Mark Recchi, who with the assist moved past Paul Coffey for 12th all-time on the NHL scoring list with 1,532 career points.
Recchi’s teammates congratulated him as though he’d just scored a game-winning goal, and the fans showed their appreciation with a rousing ovation once the milestone was acknowledged on the scoreboard.
“They’re great here. Like I said they’re wonderful sports people and they do get it,” said Recchi about the fans. “Like I said, it’s just nice to be recognized for that. And you know they appreciate it, you know they do. Hopefully we can continue this process and really give them something to cheer about at the end of the day.”
That end-of-year cheering is the reason Recchi came back this season after last year’s historic collapse. The personal milestones, however, are all he can rack up for now until the second season starts. Previously he’d moved up a few notches to 13th on the all-time assists list, 19th on the goals list and to fifth on the games-played list this season.
While those in the stands and the press box get to keep careful track of these sorts of things, Recchi’s planning on putting them all into perspective once he finally hangs up his skates — however far into the future that might be.
“Maybe when I’m done playing [I’ll appreciate it more]. But right now I just keep plugging along here and trying to help this team win,” said Recchi, who’s on a one-year contract and would have to be nuts not to be thinking about another season after this. “When I’m done I’m sure I’ll sit back and really recognize that it’s been fun. And like I said, it’s double-plus what I thought I was going to play. I thought I would be lucky to play 10 years and I would have been very fortunate to play 10 years, and here I am 22 years later and I’m still having fun and still enjoying myself.”