Thursday, June 2, 2011

Burrows Not Suspended/Recchi's Retirement/Thrashers To Winnipeg

I admit that even though I covered a few pre-game stories last night, there were a few others that are worthy of mentioning. Before I get to those, there was an incident last night that occurred at the end of the first period between Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron and Canucks winger Alexandre Burrows. The two got into a scrum behind the net in which Burrows bit Bergeron's finger and drew blood. The league reviewed it today and determined that Burrows will not be suspended for game two. Although that was a bit of a surprise, I was more surprised that Burrows even attempted to go after Bergeron. Come on, he knew Bergeron was recently removed from another concussion. No need to be a tough guy in that situation. According to the Vancouver Sun, "Bergeron should get a tetanus shot and move on." According to myself, Burrows should man up and play the game.

It was announced earlier this week that Bruins veteran forward and alternate captain Mark Recchi will retire if the Bruins win the Stanley Cup this year. Recchi has played 1,652 games so far with 577 goals and 956 assists for a career total of 1,533 points. In his 22 year career, he is also a two-time Stanley Cup champion (1991 with Pittsburgh and 2006 with Carolina). I do not know if Recchi has realized that he has nothing left in the tank or if appearing in three Stanley Cup Finals is the perfect ending to a career. Either way, his locker room presence and his leadership on the ice has him bound for the Hall of Fame.

I have been wanting to get to this topic sooner, but it has to do with the Atlanta Thrashers being sold to True North Sports and Entertainment. Under this transaction, the team will relocate to Winnipeg, Canada. They will continue to play in the Southeast Division and in the Eastern Conference for next season. Once the 2012-2013 season roles around, they will move over to the Western Conference. One of the primary candidates to switch from the West to the East is the Detroit Red Wings. This could help and hurt the Bruins in two ways. First, playing against a team like Detroit more often in the regular season will better prepare the Bruins for what they should expect in the Stanley Cup Finals for years to come. Second, the Bruins were winless in their only two meetings with Detroit this season. If the Red Wings move to the Eastern Conference, that will set up more games between the teams and that will affect Boston's record if they are competing for a divisional title.

It has not been confirmed yet, but here is what I think what the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference will look like if Detroit switches conferences with the Thrashers who will now play their hockey in Winnipeg:

Eastern Conference

Northeast Division
Boston Bruins
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Buffalo Sabres
Montreal Canadiens

Atlantic Division:
Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Detroit Red Wings
New York Rangers
New York Islanders

Southeast Division:
Washington Capitals
New Jersey Devils
Carolina Hurricanes
Florida Panthers
Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference

Central Division:
Chicago Blackhawks
Minnesota Wild
St.Louis Blues
Nashville Predators
Columbus Blue Jackets

Northwest Division:
Vancouver Canucks
Colorado Avalanche
Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers
Winnipeg (Jets) - name is not finalized

Pacific Division:
San Jose Sharks
Los Angeles Kings
Phoenix Coyotes
Dallas Stars
Anaheim Ducks

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