Brewskies and Smokescreens
BOSTON--Now is just about the best possible time the Bruins could have chosen to have a Stanley Cup hangover.
After all, beer is the talk of the town. Beer in the Red Sox clubhouse, that is, a debate that has gripped the city for several weeks. The Boston Globe and both an editorial and an editorial cartoon on the subject of allegations suggesting pitchers Jon Lester, John Lackey and Josh Beckett enjoyed their off days a little too much this season by imbibing in the clubhouse during games while their teammates worked.
Owner John Henry and president Larry Lucchino have said the entire issued is being blown out of proportion, but Lucchino has vowed to review the team's alcohol policies.
A Globe survery showed only 12 of 30 Major League clubs allow beer in the clubhouse, with the Blue Jays one of those teams that do.
Throw in the unresolved issue of deciding what compensation the Chicago Cubs will cough up in exchange for being able to hire Theo Epstein away from the Bosox, and you have a baseball city that's doing everything but watch the World Series and wonder why the city's NHL club is off to a 2-4 start after winning the Cup last June.
The absence of centre David Krejci and defenceman Adam McQuaid due to injury hasn't helped, although Krejci said to be a game-time decision for tonight's game against the Maple Leafs. A few B's, meanwhile, have suggested they weren't quite mentally prepared for coming back and defending their title this spring.
"I'm certainly not going to make any moves," GM Peter Chiarelli told the Boston Herald. "This is a good team. We won with this team. We've got to figure it out."
It's expected the Leafs will make some lineup changes from their victory on Wednesday night over Winnipeg. One of tough guys Colton Orr or Jay Rosehill may dress, while Nazem Kadri was on a plane to Boston early today after being recalled from the AHL Marlies less than 24 hours after being sent down.
Colby Armstrong can't play because of an ankle injury that will keep him out for some time. Clarke MacArthur is iffy as well.
It's likely the Boston fans will as usual serenade Leaf winger Phil Kessel with chants of "Thank You Kessel" for demanding a trade out of the Bruins organization, resulting in a trade with Toronto that delivered two high first round picks to the Bruins. But that deal is now completed, with the B's owed no more draft selections, and Kessel arrives as the NHL's leading scorer at the same time the Bruins are averaging less than two goals a game.
Boston head coach Claude Julien, ejected from his team's last game against Carolina on Tuesday, may fiddle with his lines, possibly moving Nathan Horton to a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
Tyler Seguin, the top young player harvested by the Bruins in the Kessel deal, has one goa and four assists so far in six games and has played more than 20 minutes for Julien in two of the past three games.
Defenceman Dougie Hamilton, taken ninth overall with the second of the two Kessel lottery picks, is back with the OHL Niagara Ice Dogs this season.