As the Boston Bruins hit the ice for the ceremony to raise their Stanley Cup banner on Thursday, the raucous cheers at TD Banknorth Garden were reserved not for captain Zdeno Chara nor goaltending hero Tim Thomas, nor the 1972 championship team alumni of Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, but for hard working forward Mark Recchi, who retired after the Bruins ousted the Vancouver Canucks in seven games. "It was the last time I'll be on the ice as an NHL player and be around my teammates in that respect," Recchi said. "To be on the ice with them and be in Boston with this crowd … the reaction to winning the Stanley Cup has been absolutely amazing in this city, and how much it has embraced this. It's a special time, and I was glad to be able to share it tonight."
Is this the year of the San Jose Sharks, at last? With four consecutive Pacific Division titles but no Stanley Cups, general manager Doug Wilson beefed up the defence last summer by adding 6-foot-5, 220-pound all-star Brent Burns of Barrie, Ont., pairing him with stay-at-home defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Jim Vandermeer and Colin White were also acquired to strengthen the blueline, which had lost Rob Blake to retirement prior to the 2010-11 season and looked run down against the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference final. "Doug Wilson is not a general manager who likes to hit doubles and triples," NBC hockey analyst Ed Olczyk told the San Jose Mercury-News. "Doug Wilson likes to hit grand slams. They've really changed the makeup of their team." On offence, the Sharks flipped Dany Heatley to the Minnesota Wild for Martin Havlat (22 goals, 40 assists, 62 points). Havlat will form a potentially potent second line with centre Logan Couture (32-24-56) and Ryane Clowe (24-38-62). To address the 24th-ranked penalty kill, the Sharks acquired Michal Handzus and forward Andrew Murray.
Number of German players on the Buffalo Sabres who will play the Los Angeles Kings in Berlin on Saturday. Buffalo forward Jochen Hecht and off-season signing Christian Ehrhoff, a defenceman, will both be at the sold-out O2 World Arena - AP
"I liken [Steve Stamkos's]style a lot to Steve Yzerman's play. They're not really big guys, but they are strong-willed and have a knack of coming up with the big play at the right time."
- Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman
"I told him not even Mario Lemieux can make those plays."
- Jaromir Jagr, on a goal scored by Claude Giroux, who split four Boston Bruins to score Philadelphia's first goal of the season in a 2-1 victory Thursday. Jagr, returning to the NHL after three years in Russia, recorded his 1,600th career point on the play.