The defending NBA champs were in town on Wednesday night and delivered a whipping to the locals. Last night the defending Stanley Cup Hurricanes were in town and administered a similar beating to the Bruins, 5-2 at the Garden.

Kevin Paul Dupont says that what happened late in the second period, when the Hurricanes’ Ray Whitney scored three goals in a minute and forty seconds was “an embarrassment bordering on the absurd and surreal.” Steve Conroy says that time is running out for the Bruins. Joe McDonald has Tim Thomas shaking his head over the quick succession of goals by the Hurricanes. Douglas Flynn says that the Bruins might’ve found themselves a new sniper, but an old one did them in last night. Bud Barth has more on Whitney letting the air out of the Bruins balloon quickly last night.

Karen Guregian has a mini-feature on the lack of fight in the Bruins and how it is leading to their struggles on the ice. Mick Colageo says last night was not a very good night for either the Bruins or Hurricanes. Barbara Matson has a further look at Ray Whitney’s natural hat trick. Stephen Harris says that it is time for the Bruins to place themselves in the “sellers” market for the upcoming trade deadline. Mike Loftus says there is already a lot of pressure on the newest Bruins. Flynn looks at what has been a season of challenges for Peter Laviolette.

Dupont’s notebook looks at newly acquired Brandon Bochenski picking up the Bruins only two goals last night. Conroy’s notebook has more on Bockenski. McDonald’s notebook also focuses on the “pure scorer” that is Bochenski. Barth’s notebook has still more on the new right wing for the Bruins.

Celtics

Yesterday the Herald ran a profile of Greg Oden, today Jeff Goodman has one of Texas freshman forward Kevin Durant, who some feel is right there with Oden as a NBA prospect.

Steve Bulpett has Doc Rivers hoping he gets the chance to enjoy some good times with the Celtics franchise in the future. Shira Springer says no team wants to be the one that ends the Celtics losing streak. Dan Duggan has Celtics fans offering some tips to Gerald Green for nest weekend’s Slam Dunk contest. Bulpett’s notebook has Paul Pierce out of the hospital, but Wally Szczerbiak doubtful for tonight’s game against the Nets.

Patriots

Shalise Manza Young says that neither Asante Samuel nor Daniel Graham appear to be too interested in being tagged as a franchise player. Christopher L Gasper has the Patriots getting a sixth round pick from the Cardinals as part of the Brandon Gorin trade.

Red Sox

Amalie Benjamin has a look at the Red Sox academy in the Dominican Republic. Rob Bradford has a piece on your starting second baseman for the Red Sox, Dustin Pedrioa, who says he will show up for spring training with an entirely new physique. Bruce Mohl reports on StubHub offering Monster seats at Fenway before they even are available from the Red Sox.

Susan Bickelhaupt looks at the reaction to MLB giving exclusive rights to DirecTV for its Extra Innings package.

Misc

Michael Vega looks at NASCAR gearing up for another Nextel Cup season.

David Scott has his weekly edition of Scott’s Shots, with a look at excitement returning to the Mullins center.

Chad Finn has 10 thoughts on items of interest in the local sports scene.

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