Peplinski aging like fine wine

 

When the Boston Bruins acquired Jim Peplinski from the Anaheim Ducks in the 1991 season, they knew they were getting a talented player, but one with some discipline issues. He finished that season with 93 in the last 31 games of the season but saw his numbers balloon to 254 and 327 in the following two seasons. “I was dealing with a lot of rage, and things would trigger me on the ice,” said Peplinski. Those numbers were indicative of something larger looming in the background.

 

In the 1994 season he came into camp seemingly like a new person. He still threw the same amount of hits, so his physicality didn’t drop off, but astonishingly his PIMs dropped from 327 in 1993 to a mere 51 in 1994. An absolutely astonishing feat for a player that has always been known for his pugilistic exploits. “I feel at peace. I’ve learned to channel my anger and I know now how to deal with it. Whenever if feel rage, I just repeat the phrase ‘serenity now’ and it all just melts away.”

 

In the 1995 season after 73 games, he is sitting with 61 PIM, but has surpassed his career high in points with 88. He has 32 goals which is the second most he has scored in a season, 7 off of his career high of 39 from the 1987 season when he was playing for LA. His linemates are benefiting from his strong play as well. Theo Fleury is sitting fourth in the NFHL in goals with 41 and Troy Murray has 69 points in 72 games and is coming off being named to the starting lineup of the All Star game this season.

 

“Jim is such a great leader, and he can still bring it every night,” said Murray. “I think he got snubbed for an All Star nod because his name isn’t a big name in the league. The stats and his play should have been enough, but hey I’m not the one to make those decisions.”

 

With Steve Larmer bumped to the wing watch for him to be moved to Peplinski’s line for some extra scoring and playmaking punch, along with some added defensive responsibility.

 

“I just want to contribute and help this team in whatever way I can. We have some talent here to make some noise come playoffs if everything goes well.”

Donny Brook

Bruins Beat Reporter
Boston Herald