Recchi, Jokinen have playoff reunion

Former Tampa Bay teammates enjoying postseason with new teams

Staff writerMay 7, 2009 

— Mark Recchi and Jussi Jokinen both helped their teams Wednesday night.

The two were linemates on the Tampa Bay Lightning this season before the trade deadline.

Jokinen ended up with the Carolina Hurricanes after a February trade. He scored the winner in the Hurricanes' 3-2 overtime victory over the Bruins on Wednesday.

Mark Recchi wound up with the Boston Bruins and tied the score at 2-2 in the third period.

In Tampa Bay, Recchi was among other veterans who helped Jokinen stay positive during a tough stretch when Jokinen was bothered by an injured knee and was waived twice, but no one picked him up.

Recchi and others told Jokinen to keep his head up.

"Obviously, I don't want to see him do that to us," Recchi said. "I knew he had it in him. It's unfortunate it had to be against us."

While Jokinen's winner was the latest in a string of huge playoff goals, Recchi's was his first goal of this postseason.

Carolina fans will remember Recchi for his role in the Hurricanes' 2006 Stanley Cup run.

Recchi was traded by the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Hurricanes at the trade deadline in 2006 and accumulated 16 points in the playoffs for Carolina with seven goals and nine assists.

He returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins before the 2006-07 season and became a Bruin after stints with the Atlanta Thrashers and Tampa Bay.

He is still friends with several former teammates from the 2006 Stanley Cup run, including Rod Brind'Amour, Eric Staal, Erik Cole and Cam Ward.

"I've got some great friends in that locker room, but the bottom line is you've got to do what you've got to do to get it done in the playoffs. At the end of the series we'll sit down and we'll talk about it, but right now, we all have jobs to do.

"Once we get on the ice, we have to compete. I'm not going to let anybody off the hook. They're not going to let anybody off the hook. We're trying to win another Stanley Cup. They're trying to win another Stanley Cup. Once you get out there, I don't think there's going to be anything dirty, but the physical play is going to be there. ... They're trying to get what I want."

Recchi delights in the opportunities he's had to help teams bound for the playoffs at the trade deadline, and he treats it like the job that it is.

"No. 1 , it's a compliment," Recchi said. "No. 2 , it's fun. It's what we play for, to play for the playoffs. Hopefully, we can turn things around." or 919-836-4953

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