December 30, 2012

Opening Faceoff: Sunday, Dec. 30

By Jesse Connolly

Byron Bitz (right) had a way better night than Marty Reasoner when the Bruins and Thrashers squared off on Dec. 30, 2009 at TD Garden. (Getty Images)

Good reads

  • There may be a face-to-face meeting between the NHL and NHLPA today. In the meantime, the players are examining the league’s latest offer. The Boston Globe has the story.

  • Is sudden communication between the NHL and its off-ice officials a sign the lockout will conclude soon? Maybe so, writes Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski.

  • Jerry York now stands alone as the winningest coach in college hockey history, which prompts us to again encourage you to read Andy Merritt’s cover story on the Eagles’ legendary bench boss from our October issue.

Quick hits

  • In other Hockey East action last night, Maine got goals from six different players in a 6-4 win over Cornell to give the Black Bears just their fourth victory of the campaign. Denver also scored six times, which was six more than BU could muster, as the Terriers got walloped 6-0 in their first game back from the holiday break.

History lesson

  • On this day in 2009, Tuukka Rask had the easiest shutout of his life (that’s not an exaggeration), stopping all 18 shots he faced in a 4-0 win over the Thrashers. Byron Bitz’s fourth goal of the season opened the scoring and was ultimately the game-winner. One-time Bruin Marty Reasoner was a game-worst minus-3 for Atlanta.

Entirely off-topic

  • On this day in – hey that’s not how these are supposed to start! – 1984, basketball superstar LeBron James was born in Akron, Ohio. Later in that decade – I don’t want to give away her exact age – on that same very day in Lynn, Mass., my one and only sibling came into this world. She might not have an NBA title, a gold medal (that I know of) or a sick endorsement deal with Sprite, but she’s still the greatest person ever born on Dec. 30, as far as I’m concerned. Happy birthday, Jenna. The events captured in this photo should count as my birthday gift to you every year until the end of time.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.