Firing back at critics

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:04 PM ET

Brad Stuart's heard everyone lambasting the Boston Bruins for making the Joe Thornton trade.

Just as he knows all those pundits and hot-stove loungers steadfastly stating the Bruins come out big losers in the deal, they are also taking a negative shot at him, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau.

However, the new Bruins defenceman doesn't worry a whole lot.

After all, he can't help but wonder how many people making those statements -- even if they appear true with the way Thornton has torn up the league since the trade -- know what the trio of former Sharks bring to the table.

"Being in San Jose, nobody really knows about you so it doesn't bother you," Stuart said after yesterday's practice in Calgary. "My dad was telling me last night he was reading some stuff like that and was all mad. He asked me if it bothered me and I said, 'I didn't read it, so it doesn't.'

"It does make you want to come in and prove people wrong. Obviously, Joe Thornton is a great player, you're not going to replace him but you want to help this team turn it around.

"As long as you can win games, people will forget pretty easily. That's what we have to worry about, helping the team win, not worry about what people are saying."

The Bruins haven't been tearing up the league since making the trade but have sported a respectable 3-2-1 mark. It's better than the record they had with Thornton, a slow start that has them mired in last place in the Northeast Division and out of the playoff picture.

Not only that, Sturm has scored four goals in the six games, while Stuart has a pair of assists and a plus-one rating, so they're holding up their end of the bargain.

Stuart, a former Calgary Hitmen, has no time now for comparing Beantown eras.

Right now, he's still trying to find his way with a new crew after leaving the only NHL organization he's known.

"I was caught a little off guard. I think we'd lost nine in a row, so everyone was kinda hearing stuff but until something like that actually happens, it's a shock," he said. "But it's part of the game and you see it all the time. I went from one coast to the other."

He, along with wife Melissa and step-daughter Cierra, who are from San Jose. The trade, Stuart points out, has been easiest on him.

"She's from San Jose, so it's been harder on her," he said of his wife. "The hockey part is the easiest part. It's life, everything gets uprooted but a lot of people have helped us out. It's been good.

"We're going to go back there in the summer."

Besides, with the schedule since the trade, it's like he never left.

"It's funny, I got traded to an Eastern Conference team but all we've played are Western Conference teams."


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