By John Bishop, BostonBruins.comBoston --
New Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka dropped a ceremonial faceoff puck last night at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Matsuzaka, known as "the Monster" in his native Japan, had a monster of a welcome from his new home fans as he was flanked by the Bruins Zdeno Chara
and Burlington, Massachusetts' own Jay Pandolfo, a Devils forward who is a former captain of the Boston University Terriers varsity hockey team(and reportedly is also a lifelong Red Sox fan).
"It was a nice way to start the game," said Boston Bruins head coach Dave Lewis. "It was nice to see that. It was a nice welcome.
"I got to shake his hand in the hallway and welcome him to Boston," said Coach Lewis, one of the first people in Boston to welcome the new Sox starter to his new home.
The moment provided some comedy -- albeit inside hockey comedy, for the Bruins coaching staff.
"The thing that I thought was pretty interesting was that Big Z wanted them to come a little farther onto the ice," said Lewis with a snicker. "But he didn't want to step off the carpet.
Coach Lewis didn't blame him for being cautious.
"And I am sure that the whole Boston [Red Sox] organization didn't want him to step off the carpet either."
As a side note, there is a good chance that "Dice-K's" first contribution to a Boston win came last night at the Garden.
Following the ceremony, the Bruins defeated the New Jersey Devils, 5-3.
"It was a really good start," said Lewis of the buildings energy level. "It was an energetic start by the fans and by the players and that helps."
The Boston Red Sox do not play their home opener until April 10, 2007; a 2:05 start versus the Seattle Mariners. The Bruins, now 15-12-2, host the Florida Panthers Saturday night, December 16th, at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are available for all home games online by clicking here
, at the TD Banknorth Garden Box Office, or by phone at 617.624.BEAR.