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Randolph Charlotin

Pick Six: Week 6 posted by Randolph Charlotin

1. That was by far the best game played by the defense all season led by DE Andre Carter’s two sacks. Bend but don’t break was in full effect. Dallas gained 377 total yards, but were one for three in goal to go situations. But goodness, Patriots, work on your tackling.

 

2. A few streaks to mention:

19 straight home wins

22 straight games with a touchdown pass by Tom Brady

31 straight home wins by Brady

 

3. One streak that came to an end was the number of regular season games with at least 30 points scored. To his credit, Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is behind New England’s last two sub-30 point games. He coordinated Cleveland’s defense when they held the Pats to 14 points in 2010. The Patriots won their next 10 regular season games after that loss. Could this be a precursor for the rest of the season?

 

4. A new milestone for Bill Belichick and Brady. They tied Don Shula and Dan Marino for the winningest coach-quarterback duo with 116 wins.

 

5. Another player switched sides for the Pats. TE Rob Gronkowski was deep in the secondary as part of the Hail Mary coverage. Makes sense to have a 6-7 265 pound athlete boxing out the Cowboys’ tall receivers in the end zone.

 

6. New England sure likes to run right. 70 of the 101 yards rushing were gained going behind the right guard or right tackle. This might be fun to observe during the season.

Extra Point: This win somewhat makes up for The Sporting News selecting Dallas over Boston as the Best Sports City of 2011. Dallas got the edge on the strength of the Mavericks NBA Championship, the Rangers reaching the World Series, and TCU’s undefeated season. OK, but the Boston Bruins won the Stanely Cup, the Cannons won the Major League Lacrosse Championship, and the Militia won the Women’s Football Alliance Championship. Three championships to one. I rest my case.

Continue reading "Pick Six: Week 6"


Randolph Charlotin

Pick Six: Week 5 posted by Randolph Charlotin

1. I have to take a moment and pay respect to Al Davis. The legendary Oakland Raiders owner passed away on Saturday. Born in Brockton, MA, the rebel and leader of the Silver and Black was a steward of the AFL and helped form the modern day NFL. The Patriots held a moment of silence before the game to honor Davis. The league lost an icon.

2. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis pounded away all afternoon for a career-best 136 yards and two touchdowns. He bested his previous career high by 24 yards, set last year against Minnesota. It is Green-Ellis’ third career 100-yard game.

3. Brady’s streak of games with at least two touchdown passes came to an end when a pass went through TE Aaron Hernandez’s hands and into CB Antonio Cromartie’s waiting palms. I heard one analyst say it was Brady’s first red zone interception of his career. Maybe he meant regular season red zone interception because I recall a playoff pick in 2005 to Denver. It was memorable not because CB Champ Bailey nearly went goal line to goal line on the return, but for TE Benjamin Watson chasing Bailey down and knocking Bailey out of bounds. Sorry for bringing up a bad memory, but...

4. Best stoppage of play: New York Jets OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s heel got stuck in a Patriots helmet facemask. How it happened is beyond me, but it was lighthearted moment during an intense game.

Continue reading "Pick Six: Week 5"


Randolph Charlotin

Mark Recchi Knew posted by Randolph Charlotin

As soon as the Bruins advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, I couldn’t help but think I remembered Mark Recchi saying he believed the Bruins could win the Stanley Cup after he re-signed with the Bruins. So I did some research, and look at what I found:

“I want to go out and finish it off right by winning another championship and help this team be successful,” Recchi said during a conference call after re-signing in 2009. “It’s been a great run. I think I want to give it one more chance.’’

“I really like the pieces that are there. Winning the Stanley Cup is not an easy thing. You want to give yourself every opportunity. I felt Boston was a great fit for me. We have the opportunity, if we do all the right things as players, to continue to grow as a team. I think everybody left pretty disappointed, which I really, really liked. Guys felt we left something out there. Guys will be that much more hungry this year.’’

Confirming my hunch, I wrote an article about Recchi’s intuition. To read the article, click here.

Continue reading "Mark Recchi Knew"

Jeff Ponder

Thomas Betters Luongo in the End posted by Jeff Ponder

More often than not, the better goalie will prevail in game seven.

Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins proved just that in game seven of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.  Thomas earned his second shutout of the series, while also recording an amazing 1.15 GAA and a .967 save percentage in the final seven games.  Here is the laundry list of achievements that he can add to his resume:

-The oldest player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP (37 years old).

-He recorded the most saves in a Final (238).

-He recorded the most saves in a playoff year (798).

-He faced the most shots in one playoff year (849).

-He is the first goaltender to win three game sevens in one playoff year.

-He is the first goaltender to ever post a game-seven shutout on the road in the Final.

-He allowed just eight goals against the Canucks, which is the fewest amount of goals scored in a Final that went seven games.

These are pretty impressive notes for a guy that started the season as the backup to Tuukka Rask.  There is no doubt about it that Thomas has come a long way this season.  Maybe his improvement throughout the season is what drove him to be the goaltender he was Wednesday night.  It was just over a year ago that Americans were questioning Team USA General Manager Brian Burke’s decision to have Thomas on the USA Olympic Team in Vancouver.

Let’s take a trip to the past, shall we?

Ryan Miller sat on top of the world as the top-goaltender in the United States.  He got the nod against Team Canada and their star-goaltender, Roberto Luongo.  In a well-played, evenly matched game, Luongo came out as the winning goaltender as Sidney Crosby beats Miller in overtime.  Where is Tim Thomas during all of this?

Continue reading "Thomas Betters Luongo in the End"


Jeff Ponder

Stanley Cup Finals Preview: Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks posted by Jeff Ponder

Two teams who have been sitting outside of the Stanley Cup Finals for quite some time finally get the chance to win Lord Stanley’s Cup.  Boston has not seen the Finals since 1990 when they lost to the Edmonton Oilers in five games.  The Vancouver Canucks are well-documented in their last Stanley Cup Final appearance, when they lost in that memorable seven-game series to the New York Rangers in 1994. 

This is just history though; it teaches us nothing of the current teams.  What do these franchises have in store for us in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final?

Here are some things to watch out for in the coming Final:

Beware Nathan Horton.  When Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli acquired Horton last summer, he was expecting someone to jump in and help the struggling Bruin-offense.  Horton put up just 23 goals in 80 regular-season games, probably making Chiarelli question moving offensive-defenseman Dennis Wideman for Horton.  But the former Panther has proven to be a success this post-season, connecting for eight goals, tying him for fourth in the NHL playoff goal-race.  His big shot from the slot has been a Godsend for Boston, who will rely on Horton to bend his stick even more in the next series.

The Sedins.  Expect a lot of scoring from the twins.  Vancouver has relied on Henrik and Daniel throughout these playoffs to lead them in any scoring situation.  These two have been monsters on the power-play (Henrik is 2nd in the NHL with 10 power-play points; Daniel is 3rd with 9 power-play points).  It is clear to even the casual observer that these two brothers are more of a threat when they have the extra-man.  If Boston plans to win this series, they have to stay disciplined and not let the Sedins burn them on the power-play.

Continue reading "Stanley Cup Finals Preview: Boston ..."


Jeff Ponder

Kaberle solidifies a Well-Rounded Boston Defense posted by Jeff Ponder

We can finally put all of these Kaberle rumors to rest.

The Boston Bruins officially announced on Friday morning that the club has acquired defenseman Tomas Kaberle from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for prospect center Joe Colborne, the Bruins first-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and a conditional second-round pick.  Toronto takes control of the Bruins own second round pick in 2012 if the Bruins can reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011 or if they re-sign Kaberle this summer (Kaberle is an unrestricted free-agent at the end of the season).

Kaberle has three goals and 35 assists for 38 points on the season, while posting a -3 rating on a Maple Leaf team that has seen 29 more pucks go in their net than on opposing teams’ nets.

Kaberle has been the subject of trade talks for about a year now, dating back to last season’s trade deadline.  He was a long-time member of the Maple Leafs and his now-former teammates only had positive things to say about the 32-year old defenseman.

"He's consistent every night at what he does," defenseman Luke Schenn said. "He establishes the setup on the power-play, makes that great breakout pass, logs big minutes for our team every night. There's no question that he is one of the top defensemen in the league and has been for the last 10 years or so."

A one-time 60-point scorer and two-time 50-point scorer, Kaberle moves the puck as well as anyone in the league.  His stretch-passes and ability to jump in the play can only benefit the gritty Bruins defense.
Continue reading "Kaberle solidifies a Well-Rounded Boston Defense"


Randolph Charlotin

Paul Kelly on the Boston Bruins Draft posted by Randolph Charlotin

I recently sat with College Hockey Inc. Executive Director Paul Kelly to get his opinion Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin and what the Boston Bruins will do in the NHL Draft with their two first round picks. I have one correction to mention. During the interview, I said the Bruins have the 17th pick in the first round. It is actually the 15th.

Questions? Comments? Send to talktome@randolphc.com

Continue reading "Paul Kelly on the Boston Bruins Draft"


Joe Franciosa, Jr.

The Tri-fecta, the Trinity, TGIF for Boston Sports. posted by Joe Franciosa, Jr.

Red Sox vs. Yankees. Celtics vs. Cavaliers in game 3 of a 1-1 series. Bruins vs. Flyers in possible series sweep.

There are so many story lines for this Friday night in Boston Sports.

Red Sox: You just swept the Angels. The Angels have problems of their own, being staked to a 4-0 lead after the ist inning thanks to the Dice-man's proclivity to gamble on his pitches. I understand that the Japanese strike-zone is different than MLB...but Dice-dude, you've been here 3 years now. I know you can speak English. You have to at least understand it, or else what exactly is V-mart and his own heavy accent conveying to you when he goes to chat on the mound after you walk 3 straight? What does John Farrell say while the umpire walks all the way out to the mound to break the conversation up. That's always a great way to get on the Ump's good side. Throw a ton of balls, and then make the Ump actually walk the 60'6" to the pitchers mound. In any event, the Sox offense again came up huge. The Angels certainly helped, but at this point we'll take whatever help we can get. On a 4 game win-streak, Bring on the Yankees!

Celtics: You have the momentum. Keep it. Don't come out flat. Don't wait for the crowd to get you going. Get the crowd going and you'll get yourselves further into the play-offs. The Cav's think they have the experience and the talent to finally get Lebron a ring. If Lebron is at 80%, and the rest of his team can't pick up any of that other 20%, do they really deserve to advance? Celtic basketball is better than Cavalier basketball. Enough said.

Continue reading "The Tri-fecta, the Trinity, TGIF ..."


Joe Franciosa, Jr.

Walk-Offs at Fenway Park, Skate-off at the Garden, Stroll-off to Miami posted by Joe Franciosa, Jr.

After a long weekend in Boston Sports Hell, (even the Celtics winning game 1 of their series with the Heat was a kind of loss with the Garnett suspension), Tuesday was a day of Miracles. Who had ever heard of Darnell McDonald? A man who waited 13 years to get his chance to make a difference on a big league team, and on his very first at bat, he hits a two-run home run to breathe life back into this Sox season. Then, the 31 year old rookie hit’s a Monster-scraping walk-off.

I know there were a lot of story lines in that game that might carry greater significance over the course of the season, like Lowell finally pinch-hitting for Ortiz. Fact is, though Papi was a “good team-mate” for hanging around long enough to give Lowell daps as he came back to the dug-out…Ortiz still then left straight away for the clubhouse after his token gesture of solidarity. Grimace, as my friends and I often call Ortiz, probably just had a craving for more mango-salsa.

We could talk about the Rangers stealing 9 bases against V-mart. Man on 1st, I tell my buddy watching the game with me “After this pitch, he’ll be on 2nd”…and Victor’s throw (on a pitch-out) Sails high over the sliding base-runner. Then, I tell my friend, “Watch, after this pitch, he’ll be on 3rd”… Guess what happened next? Sox fans, I have the solution to all our problems. Ortiz can play catcher. Lowell can DH. V-Mart moves to 1st so he never has to throw out a runner again. Youk moves back to 3rd, and Beltre plays…oh never mind.

Continue reading "Walk-Offs at Fenway Park, Skate-off ..."


Jeff Ponder

Boston Trades Craig Weller, Byron Bitz and a second-round pick in 2010 to Florida for Dennis Seidenberg and Matthew Bartkowski posted by Jeff Ponder

Shortly after moving defensive defenseman Derek Morris, Boston added another veteran to their blue line.

Dennis Seidenberg, who signed a one-year deal with Florida this past summer, leaves Florida as the top ice-time getter, averaging 22:54 played a game.  The German Olympian adds just two goals to the Bruins' lineup, but has 21 assists on a low-scoring team.  He is very good at getting the puck out of the zone and moving the puck up ice, but will not contribute much to the Bruins and their 16th ranked power-play. 

Byron Bitz was once considered a good prospect for the Bruins, but has fallen down on the team's depth chart.  He has seen mostly checking line time in Boston, but will add grit and flexibility to a low-scoring Panthers wing-core.

While Weller and Bitz will add depth to the Panthers' lineup, they also don't give much more in the scoring department, which is what the Panthers truly needed.  Bitz's contract goes through 2010-11 though, so he has time to develop in a new system.

Boston did give up some depth for Seidenberg, but may have upgraded over Morris.  Seidenberg was as good as he could be for Germany in these past Olympics, which may be the reason this trade was made by Bruins' GM Peter Chiarelli.  Boston may have edged Florida in this deal, although the verdict will be out until Seidenberg can prove that he can compete in the NHL playoffs.Continue reading "Boston Trades Craig Weller, Byron ..."

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Red Wings-Bruins Preview (Yahoo Sports)

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Sabres looking to rebuild quickly (Yahoo Sports)

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Bruins bring experience to NHL playoffs (Yahoo Sports)

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Leafs goalie Bernier to have sports hernia surgery (Yahoo Sports)

Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier will undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia. Bernier missed five games in March due to the injury. He then aggravated the problem April 3 against the Boston Bruins and finished the season on the sidelines. The Leafs missed the playoffs after a 6-14-2 finish. [read full article]

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Brodeur wins what might be final start for Devils (Yahoo Sports)

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