Newcomers fit right in
Yesterday was the day after.
The Wednesday trade deadline passed with numerous teams switching players in an effort to fine-tune their lineups for a playoff run, or unload big salaries and save for the future, and both the Bruins and Coyotes took the ice last night at TD Banknorth Garden with new personnel.
Boston's new guys slipped into place without a hitch, but the rest of the team looked disorganized as the Coyotes pulled off a 2-1 victory.
The Bruins' unsettled disposition was unsettling for the crowd, and they let the team know it with a few rounds of boos, particularly in the desultory second period, when Phoenix took a 2-1 lead on a goal from Steve Reinprecht.
The two new Bruins arrived Wednesday night, and practiced at yesterday's morning skate. Mark Recchi, 41, skated on the right wing with first-line center Marc Savard and left wing Phil Kessel, and took the low position on the first power-play unit. Recchi came from Tampa Bay in exchange for Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums. Defenseman Steve Montador, sent from the Ducks for Petteri Nokelainen, took a regular shift on defense.
"The system, structurally, was no problem at all," said Recchi. "I didn't quite have the energy I'd like to have in my first game but it was a whirlwind day [Wednesday] and I really haven't skated in four days."
Neither player recorded a shot in the first period, but Recchi hit the post off a Zdeno Chara rebound, and was a little too generous on a passing sequence with Savard, sending the puck back to his center when he might have had a better chance to score.
"I had some good opportunities that, well, I overpassed on that two-on-one in the first period, I should have shot that, but that's maybe trying to impress a little bit," said Recchi.
Both players found their way with energetic hits - three for Recchi, one for Montador - in a hard-hitting game for the Bruins, who knocked around the Coyotes 31 times, while Phoenix had only 10 hits.
Coach Claude Julien tried to stir his club with line changes in the third, with Recchi skating with Patrice Bergeron and Chuck Kobasew, and Milan Lucic returning to the first line. They were stirred up enough to dominate, but not to score.
Montador, paired with Mark Stuart, eased into his role. "[Stewart is] solid, absolutely," Montador said. "When you get a feel early of when a guy is simple like that - and I mean that as a compliment - then it's easy for me to want to do the same."
Montador was excited about the loud and proud Bruins crowd. "It's wonderful - kids, gramps, grandmas, and everyone in between - it's pretty solid," said Montador.
Recchi, who arrived in Carolina in 2006 in another deadline trade and went on to win the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes, said the Bruins are in a familiar position.
"Carolina was in first place, we're in first place," said Recchi. "Carolina was kind of hovering, the same type of thing that's going on right now here. Kind of like the dog days right now, but eventually we found a way to get out of it and that's what I look for in this team."