This post is part of a series looking back at the top 10 games of the Bruins’ 2010-11 regular season.
Whether you want to believe all, none or part of his story, you have to admit that Mark Recchi did a masterful job of distracting attention away from Zdeno Chara prior to the Bruins’ March 24 game.
Because any pressure that was taken off Boston’s captain, and the rest of the team, allowed the Bruins to dismantle an overhyped Montreal team 7-0. The victory ranks third on the list of top 10 Bruins games as picked by TheBruinsBlog.net.
Just a little more than two weeks after the Chara/Max Pacioretty affair, the Canadiens were coming to Boston in search of revenge. With them, they would of course bring the Montreal media, many of whom had been excoriating Chara ever since March 8. The night before the game, Recchi hit the airwaves on a local radio station and when asked about Pacioretty already being out and about after suffering a severe concussion, the veteran forward actually used the word “embellished” when expressing his feelings on the matter.
With all of Montreal, and even several Canadiens pleasures expressing outrage over Recchi’s comments, it seemed at first as though Recchi might’ve provided the Bruins’ archrivals with perfect bulletin-board material. Any thoughts of that were erased just 1:o1 into the game when Johnny Boychuk’s slap shot from the right point went through a Milan Lucic screen and past goaltender Carey Price for a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins led 3-0 by the end of the first period. The only sign that the Canadiens were the slightest bit angry came when Gregory Campbell and Paul Mara dropped the gloves for a fight that was more about what was going on in the current game than anything that happened in the past.
With Tim Thomas on his way to a 24-save shutout, the Bruins scored four more times in the third period — capped by a remarkable 3-on-5 goal by Campbell, who stole a cross-ice pass at his own blue line and skated end to end beating replacement goaltender Alex Auld to the stick side high.
Even Tomas Kaberle scored for the Bruins. Nathan Horton finished with two goals. Lucic, Chara and David Krejci finished with three assists apiece.
After the game, Recchi said he had made those statements to take the heat off of his captain. Of course, he couldn’t have planned the whole thing out because he couldn’t have known what questions would be asked on the show. Nonetheless, if his goal was to go on the radio to cause a stir, he achieved that.
Life wasn’t as easy for the Bruins against the Habs once the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the teams rolled around a month later. But for one night, the Bruins obliterated their most-hated rivals. And “Dr. Recchi” seemingly had just the right prescription to deal with unwanted outside influences.