NEWARK, N.J. – The third line featured something old, something
new and something in the middle for last night’s encounter with the
New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.
Coach Claude Julien assembled a multigeneration combination when
he placed rookie first-round draft pick Tyler Seguin at center
between ageless wonder Mark Recchi and Michael Ryder.
Seguin, 18, made the jump from juniors to the NHL after being
selected second overall in the June draft. Recchi, 42, is in the
23rd professional campaign of a lockdown Hall of Fame career.
Ryder, 30, is in his 11th pro season.
”Recchi’s like the grandfather, and he’s still battling,”
Ryder said. ”He’s been around and he’s a good leader on this team.
It’s going good with Tyler, but we are still getting used to each
other. It takes time, that’s for sure. But we’ve been doing well in
practice now that Recchi’s with us. We’ve had one game together,
and with each practice we’ll feel that much better with each
Ryder is looking to rebound from an unproductive 2009-10 season.
In his first season with the B’s, in 2008-09, he scored 27 goals
and dished out 26 assists, playing primarily on a line with David
Krejci and Blake Wheeler. His game fell off in 2009-10, as he
scored 18 goals to go with 15 assists and bounced from one line to
Julien believes Ryder is skating like he did two years ago just
to keep up with Seguin. Ryder assisted on Seguin’s first NHL goal
in the 3-0 victory against Phoenix in Prague, Czech Republic, last
”I’m feeling good and I’m in good shape now on the ice,” Ryder
said. ”Last year was tough.”
Recchi competed against the Devils for the 100th time, a
remarkable milestone in a career full of them. The winger entered
the game with 33 goals and 44 assists against a Devils franchise
known for its trapping defense and legendary goaltender Martin
”That just speaks volumes about what he’s been all about,”
Julien said. ”For our team he’s been a real good fit, and with a
lot of young players we needed stability and veteran leadership. I
think we can figure on another milestone in almost every
Tim Thomas has done some fine work clouding up the Bruins
Tuukka Rask is the future between the pipes but, according to
Julien, Thomas, the 2008-09 Vezina Trophy winner, is making a clear
statement for the moment. . . . Defenseman Andrew Ference was in
the lineup. He showed no lingering effects from Tuesday’s cortisone
shot to his left thumb.