A win at home for

A win at home for the Bruins. Stephen Harris, Nancy Marrapesse-Burrell and Joe McDonald wrap up the action from the Fleet. Mick Colageo wonders why the NHL doesn’t promote Joe Thornton more. Karen Guregian fears the team is starting to fall apart just as it did last year. Ron Indrisano says Martin Lapointe is finding his role with this team. Joe Gordon looks at the play of Andrew Raycroft. He also has a look at Glen Murray. McDonald’s notebook says that Coach Sullivan is in no hurry to name one of his goaltenders as the top one. Harris’ notebook has more on Lapointe and his role. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at the Bruins skills in the faceoff circle.

Another edition of Ask Nick is in the books, and as usual, there is plenty of Drew talk. Nick responds to one question on the Bills QB thusly:

Drew isn't my brother or anything. He's a player that I covered for many years that I grew to respect as a person. People love to trash him. They love to rub it in his face, which is something I just don't understand and never will. I don't think the guy ever did anything to deserve that. That's all. I had the same respect for Roger Clemens in the 12 years I covered him. Drew is definitely on the decline. Anyone can see that.

Nick doesn’t understand. Let’s see if I can explain it for him. It’s all well and good to respect a player as a person, and indeed Drew is someone anyone can respect in that manner. I don’t think a single person in this region can argue that Drew is a class act. The way he handled himself during the SuperBowl season, and then taking out the ads in the paper when he left town showed what type of person he is. Nick and others now have this act going where they say people around here “love to trash” Drew. I don’t see that at all. I like Drew and I always will. So does everyone I know. What Nick doesn’t get, or chooses to ignore is that any of this illwill that he perceives being against Drew around here, is really a product of the agenda driven writing that he and others in the media have put upon the fans. They anointed the Bills as the next dynasty in the AFC East, taking shots at the Patriots every step of the way. They proclaimed Tom Donahoe a genius for stealing Drew and Lawyer Milloy away from the Patriots. They denigrated the achievements of the Patriots and their coaching and management. They insulted the Patriots for trading Drew within the division for only a first round pick. For people rooting for the Patriots, all this Bills hype was just a continuous slap in the face. Nick and his cronies could barely contain their admiration for the juggernaught in Buffalo and now that after 10 games, that team has pretty much fallen on its face and is in disarray, the fans here feel exalted. The fact that Drew, the good guy, the class act is at the centerpiece of that collapse, is an unfortunate development. But after having it thrown in their face since the trade that the Patriots were making the Bills a championship contender for trading Drew to them, the fans here are throwing it back at Nick and the others. Their animosity is not towards Drew. Let me repeat. The fans animosity is not towards Drew. It’s not even that much towards Tom Donahoe, (though it is annoying to read him quoted in every article written) Lawyer Milloy or the Buffalo Bills. It’s towards the ones who have perpetrated this agenda that Bill Belichick and the Patriots are evil and that Tom Donahoe and the Buffalo Bills are the agents of redemption who will cause them to pay for their transgressions. Day after day, week after week this is pounded upon the fans. They’re sick of it. They’re striking back. I hope that clears it up for you.

(rant over, back to your regularly scheduled links)

Michael Smith writes about the new-look Patriot receiving corps. Rich Thompson looks at the re-signing of Dedric Ward. Mike Reiss looks at the QB ratings for each game against the Patriot defense this year. The ratings are down from last year, and as you might imagine, the highest rated performance against the Patriots came in game one this year. Some guy named Bledsoe. Alan Greenberg has a look at the struggles of Ken Walter. Tom Curran looks at the progress of Matt Light in this his third NFL season. Hector Longo looks at Kevin Faulk as the Patriots go-to guy on offense. Jim Donaldson says Keyshawn Johnson would be a better fit with the Red Sox, not the Patriots. Reiss’ notebook looks at the return of Dedric Ward. Curran’s notebook looks at the opposing quarterbacks against the Patriots this year. Thompson’s notebook looks at Dan Koppen facing Steve Martin. Smith’s notebook looks at Tony Banks.

DeMarlo Hale will be the next candidate interviewed for the position of Red Sox manager. David Heuschkel, Bob Holer, and Jeff Horrigan report on the candidate. Sean McAdam says the Red Sox are serious in their pursuit of Andy Pettitte, even though they’re realistic about their chances. Horrigan’s notebook says that Pettitte’s agents canceled a scheduled visit to Boston for today. Tony Massarotti says that the Red Sox have lost out on Kelvim Escobar. Gerry Callahan has a pay column saying this Red Sox ownership is not playing the fool this offseason, they won’t be used by Pettitte. The won’t make foolish choices in free agency, and that they should still go for ARod.

Get your Celtics links over at Fox Sports Net New England.

Bob Ryan lines up for his chance to bash the BCS.

Bill Griffith looks at Harvard/Yale, the 120th annual matchup.

FSNE has Celtics/Sixers at 7:00. ESPN has Timberwolves/Cavs at 8:00 and Rockets/Blazers at 10:30.

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