I don’t generally watch much Hockey on TV. I’ve made a concerted effort to watch this Bruins playoff series though, and have come away incredibly frustrated. The Bruins always seem to run into a hot goalie come playoff time. I don’t know a whole lot about the intricacies of the game, but just from watching it always seems the B’s aren’t putting themselves in any positions to get a break. The Devils capitalize on their chances. I’ll now take off my Don Cherry cap and look and see what the experts have to say here locally. Kevin Paul Dupont wraps up the series thusly:
Game 4 of what has become a dispiriting and lopsided series for the Bruins will be back on FleetStreet tomorrow night. There may be a way - even a legal one - for them to beat Brodeur and the Devils, and longtime fans are encouraged to e-mail in those bright ideas. At the moment, it's obvious the Bruins don't have a clue.
Maybe I’ve missed it, but I’m waiting for Bob Lobel to trot out “Why can’t we get coaches like that?” in a nod to Pat Burns. Stephen Harris says Brodeur would be the MVP of this series, but this isn’t a one man show here. Douglas Flynn and Joe McDonald round out the local game stories. Before the series we were told that John Madden would be Joe Thornton’s full time shadow. Well, he’s done that and more, Mark Blaudschun looks at his contributions to the series. Karen Guregian wonders if Mike O’Connell is finally figuring out that the team he assembled here just isn’t that good. Paul Harber looks at just how effective the shadowing of Thornton has been. Rich Thompson says Martin Brodeur just continues to build his Hall of Fame resume. According to Jackie MacMullan Brodeur has totally deflated the fans and decimated the ‘second season’ of the Bruins. Steve Conroy and Marvin Pave look at the performance of Jeff Hackett yesterday. It was more of the same, good effort, but not good enough. Thompson also looks at local kid Jay Pandolfo, who had a goal yesterday, and who enjoys beating the team he cheered for as a kid. Steve Buckley’s pay column today notes how the Bruins are such a second fiddle that an early season Red Sox game overshadows a Bruins playoff game. Dupont’s notebook looks at a couple of examples of Brodeur’s greatness. Harris’ notebook looks at how the Devils have kept the Bruins out of prime scoring space. McDonald’s notebook has more on Brodeur outdueling Hackett.
During the Red Sox telecast yesterday, analyst Jerry Remy noted that if Tim Wakefield came on and did well that there would be a cry for him to remain in the bullpen and stabilize that group. Well, there isn’t exactly an uprising for that notion, but Dan Shaughnessy does write about Wakefield becoming a Committee of one. Sean McAdam has a similar article, noting that Wakefield didn’t exactly seem eager to embrace the idea of returning to the bullpen. In a pay column, Michael Gee says that Wakefield’s performance yesterday was the first time the CBC worked the way it was supposed. Bob Hohler, in the game story, notes how a videotape session helped Derek Lowe get back on track. David Heuschkel has more on Lowe getting back in control. Michael Silverman says the Sox now need to figure out how to duplicate the performance of yesterday. Steven Krasner has more on the ‘video detective work’ done by Lowe and a couple of the coaches. Continuing the theme, Michael Vega looks at the adjustments as well. Mike Shalin cranks out an entire article on how Nomar’s Home run in the first inning yesterday didn’t make it to the fans in the Monster seats. He also looks at Hillenbrand making his ‘first start‘. Howard Bryant in a pay column looks at the importance of Lowe’s performance yesterday, noting that the Sox need him to repeat his record of a year ago if they hope to achieve success. Alex Speier weighs in on the “Bull Durham” Hall of Fame controversy. He also has a few other baseball notes. Hohler’s notebook looks at Hillenbrand’s comfort level playing at first base. Silverman’s notebook makes mention of the fact that with the win yesterday, Grady Little becomes the third-fastest manager to reach 100 wins. Heuschkel’s notebook has Little saying that Wakefield’s turn in the bullpen is only temporary. Krasner’s notebook leads with Shea at first and has a number of other items, including word from Mendoza on his struggles, and updates on Cloninger and Cubbage.
Onto the Celtics…Steve Bulpett openly wonders if the Heat are tanking it down the stretch, hoping for a better chance in the Lebron/Carmelo sweepstakes. He notes that the normally animated Pat Riley was silent on the sideline and that he played little used rookies for most of the game. Despite that, the Celtics needed to withstand a fourth quarter charge by the Heat and hang on for the win. Shira Springer says that while this edition of the Celtics has struggled to the finish line, this win coupled with perhaps another against Detroit on Wednesday could bring them into the playoffs on a high note. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the fact that several of the assistant coaches will have their contracts expire at the end of the season, and seems to be pushing for them to be taken care of. Could this be a harbinger of changes after the season? Springer’s notebook says that O’Brien will not be resting his starters on Wednesday night, they’ll play their usual minutes.
Patriots also in the news…first, some props to Michael Smith, who used connections in his hometown of New Orleans to get the details first on the Tebucky Jones trade to the Saints yesterday. The Globe breaks some news. Of course it wasn’t be either of their top two football writers who did it, but it was from their young third writer. The other papers have the story today, with Michael Felger making the point at the end of the article that the Patriots did play this one right, for had they not franchised Jones, he would’ve just left in free agency, now they’ve gotten three draft picks for him. Tom Curran wonders who is going to replace Jones, but acknowledges that he is not worth the money that the Saints are going to pay him. He also adds this as the reason for his Special Teams play:
There's a reason Jones, a first-round pick in 1998, is one of the best special teams players in football. It's because he took so long to become a trustworthy regular-down player. So for most of his first three seasons, Jones -- a rare physical talent -- was playing special teams so that the Pats got something from him. Running around against late-round picks and street free agents? Jones better dominate.
Elsewhere, Alan Greenberg seems somewhat mystified that the Patriots and Jones are parting ways. Michael Parente also weighs in on the trade. WWZN’s Morning Press Box had Nick Cafardo on this morning, and they talked NFL draft. Nick said if he were the Patriots we would not take MaGahee. He then amended that to say he wouldn’t take him in the first two rounds, the third round at the earliest. He says MaGahee is not going to play this year. It’d be a miracle if he did. With the Patriots, if they mess up a couple of draft picks and they’re cooked especially with Tom Donahue in the division who always makes fantastic picks. Is there a more hyped GM than Tom Donahue? His Steelers were always competitive, and always able to restock after losing big free agents each year, but how many Super Bowls did they win? Isn’t that what it comes down to? Donahue is very shrewd with the media and knows how to promote himself so they’ll write and say glowing things about him. A glaring omission on the WWZN interview; they had Cafardo on there, and didn’t ask him about the Tebucky trade. I’m sitting there waiting to hear how Nick will spin it, and they didn’t even bring it up.
Rioting at UNH after the NCAA Championship loss Saturday night. Gary Dennis reports on the 87 people arrested in riots on the Durham campus. Vin Sylvia looks at another disappointment for the Wildcats, and how with each failed appearance the burden increases.
John Molori chats with Michael Andelman about the new 1510 morning show, looks at the TNT crew ripping on the Celtics, tees off on WBZ’s Alan Segal, and toots his own horn on Cedric Maxwell’s number being retired a month after he said it should happen. All in all, a busy column for Molori.
ESPN has Flyers/Maple Leafs at 8:00. ESPN2 has Avalanche/Wild at 7:30 and Red Wings/Mighty Ducks at 10:30. ESPN also has Astros/Giants at 10:00. NESN has AA Sox/Yankees with the Portland Seadogs vs. the Trenton Thunder at 6:00