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Recchi On Peeke: ‘He’s Going To Fit In Perfectly’



Boston Bruins

So far, so good for recently acquired defenseman Andrew Peeke with the Boston Bruins.

Since being acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets just prior to the March 8 NHL Trade Deadline, the 25-year-old, 6-foot-3, 214-pound defenseman who was 34th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, has fit in nicely as a stay-at-home third-pairing defenseman. After sitting out the first two games after the trade, Peeke drew into the lineup this past Thursday in Montreal for what turned out to be a 2-1 overtime win for the Bruins over the Canadiens. Peeke (17:01, 22 shifts) looked comfortable paired on the right side of the Bruins’ third pairing with Parker Wotherspoon on the left.

On Saturday night, in a wild 6-5 win for the Bruins over the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden, Andrew Peeke looked even better as he finished with an assist, one shot, five hits, and two blocked shots in 22 shifts across 19:31 TOI.

Former Boston Bruins winger and five-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Recchi thinks Peeke is going to continue to fit in with the Bruins and their system. Since becoming an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets this past offseason, Recchi got to know Peeke the player and person well.

“Great teammate and person!” Recchi told Boston Hockey Now in a quick text scouting report recently. “He’s going to fit in perfectly to the Bruins culture. Solid bottom pair, D-man. Blocks shots. Skates well. Great PK’er.”

Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery had liked what he had seen from Peeke in Montreal enough to put him back in the lineup on Saturday and amongst a suddenly deeper Bruins blue line right now. As Montgomery said prior to the game on Saturday night, Peeke will need to continue to fit in even better if he’s to earn a more regular spot in the lineup.

“Everything is gonna be earned,” Montgomery told the media on Saturday morning. “He played well last game and showed a lot of good stuff, so he’s earned the right to play the next game. We have eight defensemen right now, and that’s the way it’s gonna be: you play well, you stay in the lineup.”

Following the game on Saturday night, the defensive-minded defenseman was asked about his slick pass that found rookie center John Beecher in front for his sixth goal of the season that put the Bruins up 4-2 3:45 into the third period.



“You’ve got to find your pockets. Find your holes,” Peeke replied. “Lot of skilled players on this team and skilled defensemen that can jump up in the rush. If the lane’s there, you just find it and utilize it.”

He will need to continue to find those holes and also maintain his normally defensive-minded game if he’s to beat out offensive-minded veteran defenseman and 2021 Stanley Cup champion Kevin Shattenkirk, but right now, Peeke is grateful for the chance to prove himself to his new team.

“Coming here so quickly, you’ve got to learn a couple things,” Peeke told reporters. “But everyone’s welcoming. Once you get your footing steady, each day, you learn something new. You just keep going. It’s kind of nice to get thrown into the fire a little bit, and you don’t have to think too much.”

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