An interesting night last night to say the least. A friend of mine was gracious enough to offer me a free ticket to the Bruins game. This would be my first trip to the arena since it was renamed the TD BankNorth Garden and it also marked the return of Joe Thornton, one of the top players in the NHL, whom the Bruins traded away a month or so ago during a gazillion-game losing streak. It also would mark my initial live viewing of “the new NHL.” So it’s safe to say that due to the return of Thornton, there was added buzz last night around the local hockey team.

Part of a trip to see the Bruins these days requires a drive, too. From my home in Maynard, it’s about 25 miles to the arena and to the surprise of nobody who knows me, I know several shortcuts through Cambridge and Somerville which keep me off busy slow-moving streets at that time of day. Part of that shortcut activity involves one major Cambridge intersection, where Route 2, Route 16 and the Alewife Brook Parkway meet. Anyone who’s been in this area during rush hour knows it can be a painful experience, complete with police officers standing in the road directing traffic. I know a way around most of it, but still have to hit the hit a portion of it at the tail end.

So last night as I whirled into that tail end, the car in front of me stopped rather quickly and didn’t move for about two minutes. Cars coming the other way were also stopped, so after waiting a bit I finally got out and asked somebody what was going on, since I couldn’t see over the hulking Chevy Suburban in front of me. The guy simply says, “a man stopped, got out of his car and then just fell over in the middle of the road. I think he had a heart attack.” Feeling a little bad that just minutes before I had felt inconvienenced and impatient, I tried to think about what I could do to help, but there was nothing. Someone had already called 911. The man, who I didn’t look at, was unconscious and therefore inconsolable.

So I backed up, turned around and headed over to the cop who was directing traffic about 500 yards away and just let him know what was going on. His response was a serious: “you’re kidding me,” followed by a sprint over to the scene. With that, I moved on. Even though I purposefully never caught a glimpse of the man lying in the middle of the road, it still shook me a little, thinking about how quickly it can all just go away. I looked around in the newspaper this morning and on the news last night, but there was nothing. Admittedly, simple heart attacks in the middle of the road don’t cut it these days to make the news. Death must be inventive and spectacular in order to make the Globe or TV news. I really hope the man is ok.

On a much lighter note – and speaking of near death experiences – the Bruins mailed in a true stinker last night, playing one of the worst games I have ever seen the team play. They lost 6-2. And the return of Joe Thornton? That lasted all of five minutes and 13 seconds, as he was giventhe boot for a hit-fron-behind. Oh, irony. How we love you.

You must read this story. Sweets in disguise? You have got to be kidding me. Men don’t like to be seen eating sweets, so they make it look like fast food!? Japan is strange.