Two Bruins birthday boys take the ice tonight in Raleigh, but despite the differences in their ages, Mark Recchi (43, Feb. 1) and Tyler Seguin
(19, Jan. 31) are very much enjoying the gift of hockey in 2011.
|From left, Boston Bruin's Johnny Boychuk (55), Recchi (28), Patrice Bergeron (37) and Brad Marchand (63) come together to celebrate Recchi's goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, in Denver. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez) |
"Oh I don’t have a birthday coming up," fibbed Recchi, the NHL's active leader in games (1621), assists (944) and points (1517), on Monday.
"I feel great, I feel awesome, so it’s just another day, another birthday," added Recchi. "You know it’s a [bummer] when you turn '35,' but I feel great.
"The four days off were great for me -- wonderful for me -- so it’ll help me down the stretch drive."
Tyler was blase' about his big day on Monday, but said that he hoped that he and Mark might celebrate together.
"Maybe, we’ll go to dinner tonight to celebrate them both," he said with a smile.
But Seguin wasn't joking when he began talking about Recchi and what the B's veteran has done for the younger players on the Bruins roster.
"Obviously, he's just someone I look up to as an example," said the rookie forward. "He's somebody who’s always going to be there for me whether I have question about a drill on the ice -- little things like that -- or, you know, most importantly off the ice in my life.
"Just being a 19-year-old and living on my own and...every little thing -- he’s been there every step of the way helping me," he said.
For his part, Recchi always sounds as if he's enjoyed the elder statesman role on the B's -- even with the ribbing he thought he might recieve on Tuesday.
"I’m sure they might tomorrow but you know we’ll see," said Recchi on Monday. "Tyler’s is today so they’re on him a little bit...but I’m sure tomorrow I’ll get some for sure."
Recchi talked about his personal expectations, longevity-wise.
"I thought if I made it to thirty, you know when I got in that’s what it was," explained Recchi. "You got into your thirties and you started to get pushed away.
"But, you know, to be doing this at this stage in my life...I’m proud to say I have and I enjoy every minute of it and it’s been a wonderful 22 years."
However, no matter who's been celebrating off the ice, the B's are looking to have an on-ice celebration after tonight's game in Raleigh.
"Well, he's 43, the other one turned 19 yesterday, so there's a lot of birthdays," said Julien after morning skate in Raleigh. "So, hopefully, we can give...a gift tonight to both those guys [with] a good effort."
But, like Seguin, Julien turned serious when he talked about Recchi.
"You know, I think it's great to see Rex at that age, perform the way he has been," said Julien. "You look at him, I think he leads our team in game-winning goals, and her certainly brings a good example to our young players and there's a lot of good things he's brought to our team.
"Certainly, leadership is one of those and he certainly has made...[the Bruins] a stronger group.
"He's been a breath of fresh air for this hockey club since he's come here," added Julien.