VANCOUVER — Although he still has to make it official, Bruins forward Mark Recchi is seemingly through with his playing career.
“I don’t know if it was to rally them,” he said tonight about his announcement earlier this season that he would retire if the Bruins won the Stanley Cup. “But I knew that if we won there’s no way I’d be able to train hard enough to be ready for September.”
Well, the Bruins — with Recchi contributing a ton along the way — made the decision for the future Hall-of-Famer by plowing through four rounds of playoffs, capped by their 4-0 win over Vancouver at Rogers Arena Wednesday night in Game 7.
“We were committed. We play our best when our backs are against the wall and Game 6 and Game 7 showed that. We scored that first goal and it was huge,” said Recchi, who contributed an assist and a plus-3 rating in the victory.
Recchi, along with linesmates Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron (two goals apiece), were all over Vancouver from the outset. They set the tone not just by scoring the goals, but by forechecking and playing with physicality from the drop of the puck.
“I was going to lay everything on the line, that’s for sure,” said Recchi. “I had to lead the way. This is a special group of guys and I had to make sure they knew, especially our line, I think our line got it going right off the bat and the guys went from there.”
It’s rare for a great athlete like Recchi to go out on top. We’re used to players toiling with multiple teams and coming up short of glory time again before they finally quit. Now Recchi gets to head off into the sunset as a champion.
“It is amazing. Not too many people get that chance,” said Recchi. “I can’t thank these guys enough, the players and everything they did for me.”