By Joe McDonald
BOSTON — The Bruins’ Jeremy Reich and the Avalanche’s Ben Guite, who played his rookie season in the ECHL with Tallahassee in 2000-01, have more in common than you might think.
Both are 28. Both are gritty forwards who have worked for everything they’ve achieved in their sport. Both have 25 games of NHL experience after spending the majority of their pro careers in the AHL. Both have played for the Providence and Boston Bruins.
Reich is in Boston now, while Guite signed with Colorado as a free agent last summer and has been a mainstay for the Avalanche since the early part of January. They were linemates for the P-Bruins last season and have been on parallel paths to the NHL.
Some players in the AHL can’t grasp the concept of hard work. Some think they deserve to be in the NHL when in reality they’re lucky to be where they are. But Guite and Reich don’t see things that way. They get it.
“There are a lot of guys who have been in our situation in the minors,” said Reich. “When you get a chance, you have to make the best of your opportunities, and that’s what Ben’s doing and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
It’s no coincidence that both the Bruins and Avalanche have played better since Guite and Reich were recalled from their respective AHL affiliates. Both bring certain intangibles, those proverbial little things that matter most.
Even though they are no longer teammates, they have kept tabs on each other’s career.
Reich said Tuesday that players keep up with former teammates via the Internet and he knew exactly when Guite scored his first NHL goal — on Jan. 9 against Detroit when he notched a short-handed tally against Dominik Hasek.