LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — When you’ve been in the NHL since the first George Bush administration, you’ve probably seen just about everything.
In Mark Recchi’s case, he’s been around long enough to win two Stanley Cup championships and surge toward the top of the charts in all-time games played. He has also been on a team that, like the current Bruins, dropped the first two games of an opening-round playoff series at home.
That 2006 Carolina team not only came back to defeat Montreal in just six games, but the Hurricanes went on to win the Cup.
With a Game 3 victory Monday night, the Bruins are one win away from evening up their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Canadiens. Game 4 is Thursday night in Montreal, and Recchi thinks his current teammates can prevail by taking the same approach as his old colleagues from Raleigh.
“It was just the guys believing in each other. Obviously, I joined the team with 20 games left and saw how much the guys believed in what they were doing,” he said today after practice at the USA Rink at the Whiteface Lake Placid Olympic Center and before a return bus trip to Montreal. “And we stayed with it. They stayed with what they were doing, they believed in it and [goaltender] Cam Ward came in – that was his first game, Game 3 – and we kind of went with it after that.
“There were some differences, but at the same time you see a lot of the same things. We believe in what we did all year and there was a reason why we were successful. And if you get away from it, then you’re not going to have any success. And we got away from it and we got back to it for the most part [in Game 3] and we’re going to have to be better tomorrow.”
While seemingly channeling Steve Perry, Recchi said that his primary message to his current teammates has been to never stop believing.
“It’s all about believing and all about believing in what we’ve done all year and believing in each other and trusting what we’ve done all year and trusting each other,” he said. “And that’s what it comes down to. If you don’t trust each other, we wouldn’t have won Game 3. … Now we have to believe in each other more than ever tomorrow.”