What's soft but tougher than Joe Thornton?


What's soft but tougher than Joe Thornton?

By Justin Aucoin

Not often does one see San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton say something worth quoting. Yet he let his frustration show after the Sharks lost to the New York Rangers 5-2 the other night:

"To be honest with you, they were probably the softest team we played against on this road trip."

The other teams they played on the road trip: Devils, Bruins, Predators, Red Wings and the Islanders. The Sharks won all those games. Clearly going 5 for 6 on a long road trip all over North America is horrible.

We can only imagine that Joe was actually referring to the new cashmere sweater Sean Avery will be sporting now that hes been recalled from the AHL. Regardless, the ever-quotable and easily riled-up Rangers coach John Tortorella fired back:

Joe's a heck of a player, but here's a player popping off about our team, and Joe hasn't won a goddamn thing in this league. He could go down as a player, being one of the better players in our league never to win anything. So what he should do is just shut up. It was uncalled for, it was classless, and I've never had it happen like that before."

Aside from the overused classless phrase that gets thrown around way too much, Tort makes a legit point. Joe Thornton has never won anything. Ever.


Of course, Tort meant Stanley Cups. Tort has one; Thornton has none. Using that as a measuring stick for whos tougher is the hockey equivalent of whipping it out to see whos manlier.

Still, Thornton has been notorious for disappearing from the playoffs all together. Nothings tougher than the Stanley Cup Playoffs so if Thornton wants to talk softness he probably should take a gander in the mirror first.

So whats soft but still tougher than Joe Thornton?

Snuggle the Bear.

That crazy Britney Spears kid. Whoa boy.

Ricky Glass DiPietro

Bulldog puppies.

A Sedin twin.

These two cake-sharing goons.

The Montreal Canadiens err the Smurfs.

The New England Patriots secondary. Too soon?

This Patrice Bergeron goal.


Phil Kessel.

OK, that last one might be a bit of a stretch. Kessels costume does look super soft.

O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time


O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time

BOSTON – The writing was on the wall once Rob O’Gara was scratched in the last couple of games, and he was finally sent down to Providence on Tuesday. The move was made to clear room for Adam McQuaid to rejoin the B’s lineup, and help the Bruins continue improving from their 15th rank among team defenses in the NHL this season.

The 23-year-old O’Gara was a plus-1 rating in three games to start the season, and played very well in 16:01 of ice time while winning physical battles, adequately moving the puck and generally showing that he’s got a future in the NHL. With veteran defenders returning and little margin for error on a B’s back end already featuring 19-year-old Brandon Carlo, it was too much to attempt carrying two rookies on an NHL defensemen corps for a long stretch of time.

So now O’Gara will go to Providence where he’ll play bigger minutes, play in all situations and stay ready for the next time Boston needs him.

“He’s good. I think he makes good passes when he has time. I think we want him to work on maybe being under pressure, and being a little stronger on his feet and being able to make better plays,” said Claude Julien. “But he’s really close. When I say he’s real close I think you could see him back here at any time. I have no issues with Rob O’Gara.

“I think as a young player he has to play, so when we can play [him again] I have no issues with him in our lineup. If he doesn’t get [the playing time] here then we’ve got to get it for him somewhere else.”

While O’Gara is going to Providence for some more AHL development at this point in time, there’s a tacit acknowledgement from the Bruins that the big, hard-working defenseman is definitely going to be a valued part of their future.

Patriots reportedly deal Derby to Broncos for fifth-round pick


Patriots reportedly deal Derby to Broncos for fifth-round pick

The Patriots pulled off a rare deal with a rival on Tuesday. 

According to ESPN, they've sent tight end A.J. Derby to the Broncos in exchange for a fifth-round pick. 

Derby played in 33 offensive snaps over four games this season for the Patriots. A sixth-round draft choice in 2015 out of Arkansas, Derby spent most of his rookie season on injured reserve. 

One of the stars of the preseason for the Patriots, Derby caught 15 passes for 189 yards in four exhibition games. A former college quarterback for Iowa and Arkansas, Derby was named a practice player of the week by the Patriots when they were hurting for healthy signal-callers early in the season during Tom Brady's suspension.

The deal leaves the Patriots somewhat thin at the tight end position. They now have now true tight ends behind Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. They do, however, have fullback James Develin, who meets with tight ends on a daily basis. On the practice squad, the Patriots have another fullback in Glenn Gronkowski. 

In Denver, Derby will compete with tight ends Virgil Green, Jeff Heuerman and John Phillips for time.