Bergeron, Rask Lift Bruins Over Devils

Patrice Bergeron broke a scoreless tie with 18 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Bruins a 1-0 win over the New Jersey Devils. Tuukka Rask pitched the shutout for the B’s.

Here’s your top 10 from this morning:

Bruins make like contenders in 1-0 win over Jersey – Joe Haggerty calls this one “a grimy, playoff-style 1-0 statement win on the road.”

Joe Colborne inks 3-year deal – Steve Conroy’s notebook has the Bruins’ 2008 first round pick coming to terms with the team yesterday. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound center is expected to report to Providence today.

DeFilippo seeks a different style in his next hire – Mark Blaudschun has Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo explaining what he’s going to be looking for in his next mens basketball coach.

A very successful tenure simply had run its course – Bob Ryan says the following of Al Skinner and why he and Boston College needed to part ways: “I had to smile when I saw that St. John’s was interviewing Al. Doesn’t St. John’s understand that Al is the least-hard-working guy in show business, that in the world of Division 1 college basketball, there is absolutely no one like him? In a world of 24/7/365 basketball zealots, Al is Mr. Casual.

Translation = lazy. Ryan is kinder the rest of the way to Skinner, and appreciative for the 247 wins that the coach brought to the program in his 13 seasons.

Patriots brass dines with Tim Tebow – Karen Guregian looks at the “normally discreet and secretive Pats” openly dining with the Florida QB. Smokescreen? WEEI’s ItIsWhatItIs blog has the Patriots taking Tebow with their second pick in the second round in their latest mock draft.

In Foxboro, it’s running back by committee – Robert Lee has Sammy Morris talking about his fellow running backs, and how the Patriots handle them during the season.

Kelly aces his big-time test – Peter Abraham has 20-year-old phenom Casey Kelly looking right at home while facing the Tampa Rays yesterday.

The man in the middle – Joe McDonald says that David Ortiz needs to produce if the Red Sox offense is to thrive in 2010. McDonald looks at whether Ortiz is up to the challenge.

Tazawa has sprained ligament in elbow – Brian MacPherson’s Red Sox Journal updates the status of Junichi Tazawa, and has several other items of interest.

Marquis Daniels a downer – Mark Murphy has the Celtics swingman trying to figure out the cause of his recent poor play.

Bruins Fall To Sabres, Retain Playoff Lead

The Bruins fell to the Buffalo Sabres last night 3-2, but thanks to an Atlanta loss, still hold the final playoff spot by two points.

The big story this morning is Boston College’s decision to fire head basketball coach Al Skinner.

3-2 Bruins loss was Thomas’ last stand – Mick Colageo says that after last night, there is no goaltender controversy in Boston.

Trying times for Thomas – Joe McDonald has Tim Thomas furious after being pulled last night after giving up three goals on 14 shots.

Sturm has his shot, but comes up empty – Fluto Shinzawa’s notebook has Marco Sturm failing to convert a crucial penalty shot.

More opportunity lost for the Bruins – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins falling “flatter than Dennis Wideman during one of his trademark stumbles on the ice.”

Run saved a run earned for Red Sox – Jeremy Lundblad examines how placing value on defense projects to pay off in the win column for Boston in 2010.

Manny Delcarmen’s still not all set – Scott Lauber has the Red Sox reliever still trying to correct his mechanics.

Dice-K to make three more rehab starts  – An extensive notebook from Brian MacPherson fills us in on a number of topics.

Sox hope these key batters will be a solid triple – Nick Cafardo talks to hitting coach Dave Magadan about Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron and David Ortiz, and what he thinks of their work at the plate this spring.

Rivers still sorting out playing rotations – Gary Washburn has Doc River still trying to figure out who to play with just nine games remaining in the regular season.

Patriots should make tight end top priority – Glen Farley asserts that the Patriots biggest need is a young tight end with talent.

Over on Patriots Daily, we’ve got Catching Up With The Offseason, March Edition – a look back at all that happened with the team in the last month.

Did the Patriots turn down a top-10 pick in this year’s draft?

That is the assertion of Albert Breer.

The discussion spawned on Twitter as a result of this post on the Extra Points blogwhere Breer is discussing whether the Patriots made the right move in getting the 2011 first round pick of the Raiders in the Richard Seymour trade. Breer is trying to make the point that the Patriots decision to go with the 2011 pick based on the presumption that there will be a rookie salary scale in place is something that we can’t judge as a good or bad move right now.

That’s fine. Valid point. Breer was challenged a bit on the post on Twitter:

From the PD Twitter account: (Not from me.)

More obvious s***stirring from you with Seymour. Was 2010 pick even on table? And you gloss over potential 2011 rookie cap.

Breer:

Clearly anything not overwhelmingly positive isn’t cool. Plenty of propaganda out there for you. Won’t come from here.

PD:

Ah, the “kool-aid drinker blogging from mother’s basement” take. Original. I don’t want propaganda. I want a straight take…2011 pick maybe worse, maybe better. Rookie cap important detail. No way to know now, but you stoked fire anyway.

Breer:

Wasn’t that exctly what I said? Decision-making based on rookie salary scale sound, final result still unknown. Read it back.

PD:

Tone was trade not worth the risk. “Can still poke holes in decision”, “trade quite a gamble, even moreso”. Was it really? … so many holes: Was 2010 1st on table, or 2nd; No assurance of Raiders’ 2009 record; Seymour likely to bolt from Pats as UFA. And finally, your acknowledgment of rookie cap was glancing, at best. Tried to mitigate by saying 9th pick salary not so bad.

Breer:

Isn’t it, though? They paid for the 10th pick just two years ago, and I’d say that worked out OK. …Curious 2 cite depth of this draft, in explng dec-making, but have turned dwn Top 10 pick in it in uncapped environ.

PD:

Specious argument. Paying 10th pick in ’08 a deterrent to pay less in ’11? And any confirmation yet ’10 first was on the table? Lombardi: http://bit.ly/zjTeB “At first, this deal was being framed around a two in 2010 …but it moved to a one because the Raiders wanted to keep their draft alive next year””

And that’s where the discussion ends. Breer has ignored repeated requests from several users on Twitter to clarify his claim that the Patriots turned down the Raiders 2010 pick in favor of the 2011 one, just so they could be under the rookie salary scale and save money.

If that is true, then the Patriots should be open to criticism, as this 2010 draft is being lauded as the deepest in years, and the team could certainly fill a big hole with the number eight overall pick owned by the Raiders.

But where is the proof? When the deal went down, there were no reports of the Patriots having their choice of picks. In fact, Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post reported at the time (in the link provided in the above Tweet):

At first, this deal was being framed around a two in 2010, but it moved to a one because the Raiders wanted to keep their draft alive next year.

So which is it? Who is worthy of the criticism? The Patriots for turning down a top-10 pick this year, or Breer for throwing something out there to try and quiet a Twitter challenger? If the Patriots actually turned down a top-10 pick in this draft, isn’t that a huge story? One that should be reported further on?

One way or the other, this needs to be sorted out.

Comcast Teams Up With Paul Pierce’s Truth On Health Initiative

This is a little outside the normal niche of this site, but as it does involve a local all-sports outlet, and a prominent local professional athlete teaming up to combat a serious health topic, I thought it worthy of mentioning here.

Boston Celtics captain and eight-time NBA All-Star Paul Pierce today announced that his Truth on Health Campaign, designed to encourage and inspire young people to lead healthier lives, has joined forces with Comcast and Comcast SportsNet to provide an extensive library of easy-to-learn exercise videos for kids.

The exercises, which are presented On Demand in 24, five-to-seven minute episodes, teach kids and families safe, effective and age-appropriate workout routines. The videos will be available through Comcast’s Celtics On Demand feature beginning today.  Comcast SportsNet will premier a 90 second vignette of the exercise routines each week during Celtics Now. Hosted by Michael Holley, Celtics Now runs each Thursday at 8 p.m. and recaps the week’s news on and off the court. 

The vignettes feature Pierce demonstrating a variety of exercises designed to keep kids moving. Episodes include:

  • Backpack Attack – Simple exercises while wearing a backpack
  • Celtic Pride Workout – Work-out routines coinciding with Celtics game performances (example: every time a Celtics player has an assist, do five jumping jacks)
  • Commercial Cardio – Basic calisthenics performed at home while watching TV
  • Rock, Jock & Clock – Basic basketball drills

 The videos will also be housed on Pierce’s FitClub34 from Harvard Pilgrim website, www.truthonhealth.org

The videos, which will be updated regularly, will be shown through Celtics On Demand from Comcast.  Paul Pierce’s FitClub34 content can be found through the On Demand library by selecting the “Get Local” and “Paul Pierce’s FitClub34” or “Sports” category, then “Celtics On Demand” and “Paul Pierce’s FitClub34.”  The segments will also feature information on how to sign up for FitClub34, health and exercise tips and a glossary to help kids learn exercise and health-related terms.