Bruins live to skate another

Bruins live to skate another day. But as Stephen Harris notes, it doesn’t mean a thing unless somehow they follow it up with three more wins…an unlikely scenario. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the difference in the Bruins play, and the pulling of Brodeur for the first time in his playoff career. He also notes:

It felt like a hockey town again, rather than a group of disenfranchised spectators poised to call sports radio with another venting of the spleens.

A fancy way of saying “the fellowship of the miserable”. Joe McDonald says that Dan McGillis made up for the nightmare of a game three breakaway chance that he didn’t convert. Steve Conroy has more on the Bruins leading scorer of the playoffs. Michael Smith makes it a hat trick of McGillis articles. James Murphy gives us the bare basics recap of the game. Mark Blaudschun writes about the sense of desperation that drove the Bruins last night. Douglas Flynn says the only miracle to this series will likely be that Lapointe and McInnis scored in the same game. Karen Guregian and Paul Harber write that last night was a small step for Joe Thornton towards, as it was put yesterday, “salvaging his reputation”. I still can’t get over that one…Jackie MacMullan today wonders what the heck happened to Brodeur and the Devils last night, as the Bruins seemed to turn the switch on. I’ll tell you what happened, it’s hard to sweep any team, especially in their home arena, and second, it’s always nice to finish up a series at home. As was stated on one of the broadcasts last night, if you’ve got home ice, you always want to win in five games and get the extra money from an additional home game. Michael O’Connor says Brodeur wasn’t too fazed after the game last night. Nor should he be. In the other net, Conroy notes that Jeff Hackett was excellent when he had to be, namely in the first period. In his pay column, Steve Buckley chastises the fans who didn’t fill the FleetCenter last night. He writes about how the fans have “packed it in” and that those who didn’t show missed “something incredible”. Harris’ notebook looks at Bryan Berard sitting out last night with an injury. Dupont’s notebook looks at O’Connell’s coaching job last night what he still has to figure out. McDonald’s notebook tells us Brodeur is human after all.

Bob Lobel is growing increasingly dependent on the Dirt Dogs website for the headlines to his nightly sportscasts. Last night it was the three things you can count on “Death, Taxes and a bullpen collapse”. Whoops, they did it again. Mendoza couldn’t retire a single batter from the might Devil Rays lineup, and Timlin allowed those guys to score, tying up the game after a strong start by Casey Fossum. Gordon Edes says Ramiro is redefining the Mendoza line. He also notes the demotion of Bobby Howry to Pawtucket, and adds:

The best guess to replace Howry? Try Erick Almonte, the Dominican who came back from Japan and impressed the Sox this spring before being one of the last cuts.

I’m guessing Gordon means *Hector* Almonte. Erick is the shortstop the Yankees called up to replace Jeter. Jeff Horrigan has the game story for the Herald, and Steven Krasner says just call Shea Hillenbrand Mr. March. David Heuschkel reports that while Grady Little is losing faith in Mendoza, Theo says there is a flaw in his delivery that can be corrected. Christopher Price reports on the game for the Metro. Sean McAdam says these frightening endings are taking their toll, but to their credit the Sox are not in denial about the situation. Dan Shaughnessy is loving this. He says:

It wouldn't be quite as ridiculous if the Sox hadn't spent the offseason telling us how they were going to reinvent baseball. Bill James came on board, and there were lectures about the seventh inning being more important than the ninth and the lack of need for a traditional closer.

Ok, so show me the quotes where the Sox bragged that they were going to “reinvent baseball”…and in case Dan hasn’t noticed, the seventh and eighth innings *have* been more important than the ninth this year. That’s when the leads are getting blown. How would a “traditional” ninth-inning-only closer have made a difference last night? Bring him in after Mendoza loaded ‘em up last night, and you’re going against the modern closer theory by making him work two innings. If the Sox had a stopper in the pen, bringing in him in that situation would be exactly playing into the CBC theory. Yes, these guys stink, but it’s not the CBC theory that is blowing the games. Tony Massarotti says don’t expect any major changes here, what you see is what you’re going to get, for a while, anyway. Michael Silverman says that Fossum’s no-decision was actually a big victory. Kevin Gray says that there is a reason that teams were so interested in Fossum during the offseason. Lenny Megliola thinks that Mendoza should be driving Howry down I-95 to Pawtucket. Krasner has another look at Rocco Baldelli, who had three more hits last night. Edes also has more on DiMaggio. I mean Baldelli. Mike Shalin looks at last night’s hero, Shea Hillenbrand. Horrigan’s notebook reports on Howry’s demotion, as does Krasner’s notebook. Edes’ notebook has fan reaction from the Monster seats. Seats that Eddie Andelman was trashing yesterday, saying they’re obstructed view, and just bad seats overall.

If you missed it yesterday, you need to check out Jim Caple and his parody of the Iraqi information minister joining the Yankees broadcast team for a matchup with Pedro and the Red Infidels, I mean, Sox. Edward Cossette actually did a version of that same theme yesterday morning before Caple’s article went up, his deals with the good minister speaking on behalf of the Red Sox.

A couple articles on Tebucky Jones’ departure. Alan Greenberg seems to disapprove of Jones’s treatment by the Pats, records a couple shots at Belichick and the organization taken by the safety and paints him as a victim. Michael Felger takes a slightly different tact, allowing Jones’ words to speak for themselves for the most part. He says he called just as many of the plays as Lawyer Milloy did, and looks forward to be being freed from having to constantly change gears for special teams. Ron Borges has a mock draft for MSNBC. He’s got them reaching for Rashean Mathis with the #19 pick. Mathis is projected to be able to make the move to free safety in the pros. Can this also be construed as a subtle shot at Belichick, saying now that he has given away Tebucky he needs to burn a first round pick to replace him? Or is my ancestral tie to Oliver Stone showing? If you caught the McDonough group yesterday, you likely heard Butch Stearns going through Belichick’s draft history, listing some mid-round picks as “indictments” against Belichick. Borges joined the show for a short time and also had fun bashing. The funny thing to me is that Stearns listed the 2000 draft as a prime failure for Belichick mentioning picks like Jeff Marriott, Dave Stachelski and David Nugent. (He also threw Jabari Holloway and Hakim Akbar in there from the 2001 draft) A caller later in the show tried to make the point that the 2000 draft was essentially run by Bobby Grier. That suggestion was dismissed by the panel. I wish Borges was still on at the time, because he’s the one who has made that assertion in the past, claiming that Belichick should not receive any credit for Greg Randall or Tom Brady because those were Grier picks. You can’t have it both ways, fellas…

Despite having the #6 seed locked in, and no chance of moving either way, Peter May reports that we’ll see all the guys, including those who should likely get some rest, will be playing their normal minutes, in hopes of gaining momentum. Let’s hope no one gets hurt. Remember Vitaly injured his ACL in a meaningless game last season, and the C’s could’ve used his toughness against the Nets. Mark Murphy looks at possible first round matchups for the Celtics, who could be playing any number of teams in the first round. Though that is possible, it’s likely they’re going to face the Sixers. Christopher Price looks at that matchup. The new Metro basketball writer, Bob Schron looks at the Celtics as they head into the postseason. Murphy’s notebook looks at Pierce taking a kid to school.

You can check out the last Michael Jordan/Mars Blackmon Nike commercial. I found it fairly amusing.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 6:00. FSNE has Celtics/Pistons at 7:00. ESPN has Michael Jordan’s last game with Wizards/Sixers at 7:00, followed by Jazz/Kings at 10:00. ESPN2 has Avalanche/Wild at 7:30 and Red Wings/Mighty Ducks at 10:30.