Trades the magnitude of the blockbuster the Boston Bruins pulled off this week tend to either provide a struggling team a significant emotional boost, at least in the short term, or send them on a complete skid.
While it's too early to say for certain which way the Bruins are headed after trading marquee man and captain Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks for Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau, they mauled the Ottawa Senators 3-0 Thursday without their biggest name as a warm-up to their date with the Edmonton Oilers tonight.
"Any time a team makes a big deal like that, it's a challenge to all the players," said former Bruin Steve Staios. "They're going to come in here fired up. They beat the best team in the league the other night."
As mightily as the Bruins had struggled, going 8-13-5 before the big trade, word is they're an angry team right now.
Reports out of Boston suggest GM Mike O'Connell was summoned to the dressing room at the TD Banknorth Garden before the game with Ottawa by upset players wanting an explanation for the trade. Then, they blanked the powerhouse Senators.
"They're going to be an emotionally charged team," Staios said. "They're still coming into our building, so we should hold an advantage ... Hopefully, we can try to take their emotion away early in the game.
"It's going to be a different team. They're certainly going to be jacked up."