Joe Thornton, Tim Thomas

Should Bruins fans ‘thank’ Joe Thornton for their Stanley Cup win?


It’s dangerous to look at trades in a vacuum. Judging a move based solely on the players involved – rather than context clues such as salary issues and rebuilding efforts – is often unfair to the GMs.

There’s no sane way to say that the Boston Bruins directly benefited from trading Joe Thornton. None of Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart or Wayne Primeau made a serious impact for the team.

That being said, one could argue that trading Thornton forced the Bruins to a) commit to other players such as Patrice Bergeron and b) to transition from their old, flawed way of thinking.’s Joe Haggerty advanced such an argument today.

Since I object to the “Jumbo Joe is a choker” talk, the only strong bullet point is that Thornton’s departure helped to open up cash for Zdeno Chara. It’s possible that the Bruins’s salary structure wouldn’t have been big enough for the two of them, especially when you throw Tim Thomas in the mix.

So maybe in an abstract way, the Thornton trade ended up being a blessing in disguise.

Bruins fans shouldn’t “thank” Thornton for that 2011 Stanley Cup win, though. Instead, the credit should go to Chara, Thomas and GM Peter Chiarelli – three people who had next to zero connection to Thornton’s days in Boston.

Perhaps Bruins fans should start a “Thank you Chia” chant instead, then.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: