The Bruins said their hellos to their new teammates and then went out and shut out the best team in the NHL, the Ottawa Senators 3-0. Nancy Marrapese Burrell, Steve Conroy and Joe McDonald all have game stories from the Garden. Douglas Flynn says that for the first day anyway, life without Joe worked out OK for the Bruins. Flynn also looks at Natick native Dan LaCouture scoring a goal for the Bruins in his first game for the team at the Garden. Amalie Benjamin looks at the three ex-Sharks settling in for their first game with the Bruins. Conroy also looks at the new trio as they arrived in Boston yesterday and all played well last night. McDonald has coach Mike Sullivan saying that the addition will make the Bruins more of a team, instead of relying too much on one or two players. Flynn also notes that the Garden was full of Thornton jerseys, as the fans showed their support to the former captain.
The win obviously does not mean that the Bruins troubles are cured, but there were certainly encouraging signs. However, the buzz is still on the trade of Joe Thornton, will plenty more opinions and analysis being put out there. Bob Ryan looks at the trade from a number of angles, but all things seem to point to one thing…this was a losing proposition. Karen Guregian says that Mike O’Connell didn’t do a very good job of selling and explaining the trade yesterday. She also has him trying to explain one more time the dynamic of the trade. Mike Loftus says that O’Connell has bet his future with the Bruins on this trade, a theme also pursued by Kevin Paul Dupont. Where now? Mick Colageo says that the Bruins are pretty much starting over right now. James Murphy says that Thornton should have been traded a long time ago. Tim Bresnahan opines that Thornton never really fit in here in Boston. Nick Tavares says that O’Connell and the Bruins won’t win, simply because they don’t know how.
Conroy has Sergei Samsonov expressing disappointment in seeing Thornton go, feeling that the team let him down and he was made an example of. James Murphy notes that day one after Thornton wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been for the Bruins. Burrell’s notebook has O’Connell saying that this was not an easy deal for him to make. McDonald’s notebook reports on the newcomers making their presence felt immediately for the Bruins. Conroy’s notebook has Mike Sullivan saying that Thornton is not being make the scapegoat for the Bruins failures thus far. Colageo’s notebook has more on the reaction from Samsonov.
Check the Bay Area Sports page for more reaction from San Jose, including their look at the Boston media reaction to the trade. The BSMW Power Play was strong yesterday, with thoughts from all contributors on the deal, and some interesting analysis.
Jerome Solomon and Tom E Curran look at second year tight end Benjamin Watson, who seems to be hitting his stride and coming into his own the last few weeks. Alan Greenberg looks at the ups and downs which are the natural part of being a rookie for Ellis Hobbs. Tony Massarotti says that regardless of the on field results, Tedy Bruschi has accomplished far too much in returning to the team for anyone to be saying he has disappointed expectations. Ian M Clark and Chris Kennedy look at Adam Vinatieri preparing to break Gino Cappelletti’s franchise scoring record and how the two of them have formed a bond over the years. Eric McHugh weighs in on Monty Beisel’s un-Patriots-like locker-room rant the other day.
John Tomase has a look at Curtis Martin, who is back to face the club he started his career with yet again. Michael Parente says that we might see a number of bootlegs in the gameplan from Jets QB Brooks Bollinger this weekend. Eric McHugh says that Tom Brady/Ty Law will be a game within a game this Sunday. The Globe notebook wonders if Matt Light is done for the season. Tomase’s notebook has David Givens eager to return to the field, which is also the theme of Curran’s notebook.
The New York Sports News page has plenty more on Patriots/Jets, as well as MLB free agency (Omar and the Mets still really want to talk with Manny) and other news from the world of sports. Be sure to also check out the Patriots Gameday post from Wednesday which had some great thoughts on the Patriots struggles this season.
Jim McCabe and Jim Lazar make their NFL picks for the weekend. I.M. Bettor and Double D also review the action for the weekend in the Herald. Steve Britt and Patrick Hanrahan file fantasy columns, while the Globe tells us who’s hot and who’s not.
Mike Fine has another look back at the Wednesday night performance of Kendrick Perkins, which was noticed for all the right reasons.Mark Murphy says that Perkins needs to continue to receive the big minutes so as to hasten his development. Rob Bradford says that Paul Pierce’s career is starting to resemble that of Allen Iverson…far too often in his career, he’s had to go it alone. Shira Springer says that Tony Allen’s practice yesterday didn’t go as well as the others, putting his return tonight in a little bit of jeopardy. Murphy’s notebook though, still holds out hope that Allen could be activated for tonight’s game against the Bulls. Fine’s notebook is also written with that assumption.
David Heuschkel says that the bidding over Manny Ramirez could heat up in the coming days and could get quite lively. You know my stance…keep him. Convince him that he is wanted here. Joe Haggerty says that the Hot Stove is simmering and provide a nice preview of what to expect at the winter meetings. David Borges looks at the Red Sox picking up a reliever from the Cubs yesterday. Borges also reports that PawSox voice and former 1510 co-host Dave Jageler is a finalist for the Houston Astros #2 radio job. Michael Silverman also reports on the Red Sox picking up Jermaine Van Buren. Gordon Edes tells us that Larry Lucchino had another meeting with GM candidate Jim Beattie. Jackie MacMullan advocates that the Red Sox give the GM job, at least for the year, to Jeremy Kapstein. This is another example of how the Globe/Red Sox marriage puts things into question…I really don’t believe that MacMullan was urged to write this, but the question is still there. Did the Red Sox and Globe do this to shape public opinion for when they do give Kapstein the job? Like I said, I don’t believe they asked Jackie to write something, but the question is always going to be there.
Scott’s Shots is back with a look at the Bruins fallout, a look at things at the Boston Herald, (It’s not pretty, folks) and a whole lot more.
FSN has Celtics/Bulls at 7:30. ESPN has Knicks/Pistons at 8:00 and Cavs/Sonics at 10:30.