O'Connell casting a net
By Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff, 10/31/2000
UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Mike Keenan made a quick change in the Boston net
Now, can the front office also change their goalie on the fly?
With assistant coach Mike O'Connell in East Rutherford, N.J., last
night, scouting the Devils-Panthers encounter, speculation surrounded
the club regarding who could be found to take over the Boston net
while No. 1 goalie Byron Dafoe recovers from a hamstring injury.
Among those possibly being considered: Chris Terreri(New Jersey
backup), Tom Barrasso(free agent, last with Ottawa), ex-Bruin Craig
Billington(Washington backup), Dwayne Roloson(ex- of ULowell, signed
as insurance by St. Louis over the summer). Also, if the Sabres place
Peter Skudra on waivers again, the Bruins could claim the 27-year-old
A scenario to keep in mind: a possible Dafoe swap to Phoenix, where
the Coyotes still haven't come to terms with No. 1 Nikolai
Khabibulin. With Dafoe under contract for $3 million-plus for this
season and next, the Coyotes could make the flip and finally rid
themselves of a contract hassle that has gone on for some 18 months.
Khabibulin sat out all last season. If he is ever going to accept
less than the $4 million-$5 million he has been seeking, it would
have to be somewhere other than Phoenix, where all major signings
have come to a standstill while the club's sale remains in abeyance.
Phoenix signed Sean Burke again as a stopgap measure, and he has been
superb in the early going, but the Desert Dogs are looking for a long-
term fix for the cage.
What is painfully obvious is that the Bruins need immediate help and
don't want to run the risk of seeing a promising kid like 20-year-old
Andrew R aycroft get chewed apart by NHL shooters and lose his zest
for the big time.
It has happened before in the Hub, with the likes of Mike Moffat and
Blaine Lacher. It would be criminal to see it happen again.
O'Connell had discussions in the afternoon with the agent for holdout
Anson Carter, but said no resolution appeared imminent ... Don
Sweeney, who took a puck in the mouth during the loss to the Rangers,
was headed to the dentist's chair after the afternoon workout. ''One
tooth is cracked,'' said Sweeney, gingerly jawing his postpractice
sandwich. ''And another one is iffy.'' Sweeney was facing the
prospects of root canal ... Fellow wounded Brian Rolston(bruised
ribs) and Darren Van Impe(strained shoulder) didn't skate in the off-
day workout. Rolston warmed up prior to the game at Madison Square
but was in too much pain to consider playing. ''It hurt too much to
twist my trunk, shoot the puck - all the things you have to do to
play hockey,'' said Rolston, who figures he shouldn't miss more than
another 2-3 games. Van Impe was hurt in the Saturday loss to Toronto
when he jammed his shoulder against the boards when he missed his
attempt to bodycheck Gary Roberts.
Jumbo Joe Thornton is still among the league leaders with five power-
play goals, but has yet to pop one in at even strength. ''As a team,
we are all struggling at 5 on 5,'' said Thornton. ''And I'm just one
of them. We're getting our chances, but we have to bury them. I had a
couple of good chances [against the Rangers], but didn't finish
them.'' ... The Bruins are back home Thursday to face the Blackhawks,
now 39-plus years past their last Cup. The Hawks, Bruins, and Leafs
have gone a combined 100 years without a Cup.
Just my change, please
One from the road. Man behind deli counter, working cash register
after the morning rush: ''So, you going to the Yankee parade today?''
Visitor from Boston: ''Uh, no ... no parade.'' Man behind
counter: ''Yeah, that's the way I feel. Fourth parade in five years.
Who cares? And it's too cold.'' Visitor from Boston: ''Yeah, too
cold, and anyway, I'm from Boston.'' Man behind counter: ''Oh,
Boston. Then you're definitely not going to a parade, are you?''
Visitor from Boston: ''Have yourself a great day, will ya?''