BOSTON — Breathe a sigh of relief. Kick back and relax.
The trade deadline has come and gone. Now you know which players you’ll be rooting on in black-and-gold sweaters for the duration of the 2008-09 season and the potentially lengthy playoff run.
You know the players are probably off edge as well. If you’re Mark Stuart, Phil Kessel, Matt Hunwick or even Patrice Bergeron, you probably weren’t sleeping as well the last few days. So the good news is that all those guys, and more, are back. No roster players were harmed in the making of the new-look roster.
The even better news is that the Phoenix Coyotes, nearly at the bottom of the Western Conference, are at TD Banknorth Garden tonight and they traded their best all-around player, Olli Jokinen, and one of their top blueliners, Derek Morris. So they’re a team on the slide and a team in flux. The Bruins should be able to take advantage to get their game back in order and take a much-needed two points.
Season series: This is the one and only meeting of these two teams this season. The last time they met, Boston won, 3-1, at Phoenix. The Coyotes’ last visit to the Garden, 2-1, in Dec. 2005.
What they’re writing: Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic recaps the Coyotes’ busy trade deadline day.
Phoenix player to watch: Who’s left? Actually, the Coyotes still have some of the best young talent in the NHL. Of course, that won’t get them into the playoffs this year and might never lift the franchise out of futility. Tops right now among Coyotes rookies is forward Mikkel Boedker, with 24 points (10 goals). It should also be fun to keep an eye on Keith Yandle, Peter Mueller and Kyle Turris as well.