Sunday morning homily IV

Later this week, on Thursday to be exact, the hockey world will likely mark the one-year anniversary of Joe Thornton's still-stunning trade to the San Jose Sharks. The Bruins, the then-losers of three straight and nine of the past 10, were looking to shake up the team. Instead, they rocked the hockey world.

The trade shocked not only Bruins Nation, but Thornton as well. As a player who literally grew up before Bruins fans, it was devastating. Here was
Jumbo Joe, so full of promise and the face of a rebuilding franchise, dealt out of the Eastern Conference. And, with Thornton, we all saw a sign of emotion we had yet to see.

In return, the Bruins received three serviceable players -- Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau. All remain with the Bruins and, in their own ways, have contributed to the team. Sturm supplies speed and a scoring touch, though that has fallen off this season. Stuart, in my opinion, has become, depending upon who you ask the team's third- or fourth-best defenseman. And Primeau brings hustle and character, and an occasional ill-timed penalty, to the team.

For the Sharks, though, the trade was a steal. In the 82 games since Thornton first donned the teal, gray and black, he has scored 27 goals, 92 assists for 119 points. And, if memory serves me correct, he picked up a little hardware for the mantel back home. His presence has turned such players as Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalik into goal-scoring machines, too.

In a bit of a surprise, the combined scoring of Sturm, Stuart and Primeau nearly allows for apples-to-apples comparison -- 46 goals, 57 assists for 103 points. Most of those numbers, though, reflect the energy brought about last year by a change in scenery. This season, while Thornton has posted more than a point per game -- 27 (7 goals and 20 assists) in 24 games, the Boston trio has just 15 points, including 7 goals, in 21 games.

And let's take a look at the records. In those 82 games, the Sharks have gone 53-23-3-3, good for 112 out of a possible 164 points. And though the playoffs remain unkind to Thornton, the Sharks are a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. The Bruins, on the other hand, remain in search of consistency. Though 82 games have yet to pass, so has the Bruins' turnaround -- their record being 30-33-0-10, a disappointing 70 out of a possible 146 points.

The bottom line? You'll never have to convince Bruins Nation that Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005, was a sad day in Boston hockey history. In San Jose, though, it could soon become a holiday.

It figures, huh?

This past Friday, when the Atlanta Thrashers played the Tampa Bay Lightning, marked the first time that I've missed a game within our season-ticket package. While many people had the day off, I was at work, designing two regional news sections for readers in Hernando County, Florida. Thankfully, Lisa and Colin were able to make the game.

Though I've seen the Thrashers play twice so far this season, I'm really bummed about missing this past game. With the Thrashers leading 2-1 and the game clock running out, Tampa Bay's Dan Boyle scored with 20 seconds left to force overtime. And then, just 2:25 into overtime, Martin St. Louis' game-winner raised the roof of the St. Pete Times Forum.

"The place just exploded," Lisa told me.

You better moo-ve quickly

Looking for a funny present for your favorite hockey fan? Is he/she a fan of Sidney Crosby? If so, you might want to check out this
T-shirt. They're available in adult and youth sizes.

Tell 'em I sent ya, OK?

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