Talk about leaving the game in style. That is exactly what veteran and now three time Stanley Cup champion Mark Recchi did. Recchi only wore the eight spoked B for two years and change, but he instantly became a fan favorite here in Boston. Yes, at one time he may have suited up in the Bleu Blanc and Rouge, but that was a long long time ago and he can be forgiven for his sins.
Mark Recchi deserves a A- for an overall season grade. There were both times in the regular season as well as the post season where he struggled, but at other times he shined. To be able to play at such a high level at his age is nothing short of heroic as shows the passion he has for the game. Already with two championships under his belt he could have easily just strolled along for the ride, but instead he possessed the true leader inside of him for the Bruins historical run.
Recchi had an up and down season. There were times where his age had shown and it seemed he may have lost a step or two. He did however put up reasonable numbers with 14 goals and 34 assists. Six of those 14 goals proved to be game winners as well. The old man also put up 14 points in the post season. Tim Thomas may have stolen the show during the playoffs and in the Finals especially, but quietly Recchi lead all players in scoring during the Cup Finals with 7 points. In game seven of the finals he found the fountain of youth and flew by a couple of Vancouver defenders to make an excellent scoring chance. Luongo may have stopped his shot, but you could see youth and determination through that burst of speed.
Once the trio of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi were created, there may not have been a more consistent line for the Bruins all season long. None of them put up monster numbers, but they always found a way to create some offense when needed. Recchi was a great influence for the rookie Marchand as well as helping Patrice Bergeron become the player he once was before his career threatening concussions. It will be hard to fill the skates left behind by Recchi, but it may be Tyler Seguin’s time to shine. Bergeron and Marchand may be the perfect fit for the young rookie this season by filling in the void left by the future hall of famer.
Recchi brought experience and leadership to this team and laid it all out this season. He mentored a young Brad Marchand who has shown signs of a young Mark Recchi. At 42 years old he still wasn't afraid to go into the dirty areas to fight for a puck or stand in front of a goaltender trying to deflect Zdeno Chara missiles into the net. While the team looks to be in great shape this upcoming season, it is certain that Mark Recchi's presence will truly be missed.