Does this mean that the honeymoon is over for Mike O'Connell? The Bruin's GM had been able to keep the hounds at bay the last week as his Bruins went on a mini winning streak after the trade of Joe Thornton to San Jose. For O'Connell the blockbuster trade has meant no shortage of controversy back in Boston, as Thornton a crowd favourite began to find his way to San Jose.
For two games the newcomers to the circled B, put points on the board and helped their new squad on to victories against some pretty impressive competition. A shut out over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday and a Saturday night come from behind victory over the Edmonton Oilers live on Hockey Night in Canada. Not a bad way to introduce everyone in the dressing room.
However, it all came crashing back down to earth Sunday night in Vancouver as the Canucks took charge after a slight second period scare, to defeat the road weary Bruins 5-2 at GM Place. Boston has logged a fair amount of miles in the last week, both on the odometer and mentally. As the team tries to digest what life after Joe will be all about, many suggest that despite the quick spurt of success following the trade, the Bruins dressing room is still one very upset place to be.
Sunday night was the first night that the Vancouver Canucks faced an Eastern based team this year and the Canucks may be hoping for more visits from their eastern relations. The new NHL schedule is heavily weighted towards inter division and conference rivalries, leaving little room for the eastern teams, let alone the original six franchises to pop into town.
For Vancouver fans this week brings two winds to blow in from the east, besides Sunday's win over Boston, the Ottawa Senators make the trip west for Friday night and a match up with a well rested Canucks team. Vancouver has the week off until the Friday night showdown with the Sens, who have to make a side trip to Florida a make good for a hurricane Katrina cancellation, before traveling across the continent for their western swing of games in Vancouver, Calgary and Colorado.
The Bruins in the meantime take the new look roster into Denver for a match with the Avs on Wednesday night. It will be worth watching to see how the team comes out after a bit of time to take in all that has happened in the last five days or so. Coming off a two game losing streak, the Avs won't be in any kind of mood to make the New look Bruins feel welcome in the mile high city. Mike O'Connells interesting days are about to get a lot more fascinating.