Previously known to New England hockey fans as more of a master of the icebound martial arts, since his arrival from the Providence Bruins Jeremy Reich has quietly morphed into a badly needed power forward for the Boston Bruins.
Although he is somewhat quiet in the B’s locker room, on the ice he has been anything but, and his play has garnered praise throughout the arena, the press box and most importantly, from his coach.
"And in their mindset, they are like checkers," Bruins head coach Dave Lewis said of Reich’s line. "And I thought (Reich) had a tremendous game.
"He was physical. And he gave his heart every shift," said Lewis.
Admittedly, with the Bruins owning a 3-6-1 record over their last ten games, and having lost their last four games, Boston has needed a spark plug -- and Reich has done his best to provide that service.
"He blocked shots and killed penalties. He really contributed to the overall effort of our team," said Lewis, who was then asked if he had expected such a contribution from the would-be tough guy. "No. I never anticipated that he could contribute as much as he has."
Coach said that Reich has taken advantage of his opportunities.
"We’ve been short manned and you have to come up with solutions. And (Reich) has accepted that. He’s a character kid that was looking for a chance and has really made the best of it, in my opinion," concluded Lewis.
For his part, Reich deflects the praise.
"I just have to be prepared to go into the game," said Reich, surprised that a throng of media wanted to talk to him as he made his way to the B’s players’ lounge. "You know, whether I get two, ten or twelve minutes a game I have to be prepared to play."
Come what may, Jeremy just plows ahead -- even without his helmet.
Yesterday, the forward lost his lid, literally, against the Rangers.
"I was just battling down low," said Reich, who continued to play his game, for what seemed like forever, without his important head gear. "My helmet came off and I saw that they were coming down into our end and I just tried to break the play up.
"Thankfully it worked out."
Asked about the clubs attitude during the last few games of the regular season.
"We’re all professionals here," explained Reich. "We want to go out and win every game.
"Every guy in here hates losing. And we want to go out and try to play the best we can for the rest of the season."
Certainly, if the B’s follow Reich’s example, nobody will be concerned with the club’s effort as the regular season winds down.