Week Log: Screw the Two, Get Sid The Kid

It’s the game you’ve had circled on your Bruins schedule for the 12 days since Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke cheap-shotted Marc Savard right out of the season. In fact, According to Cameron Frye says we’ve been waiting for it like an expectant mother. Yes, the Penguins come to TD Garden tonight, and there are much more important things to resolve than two points in the standings.

There are those like We’re Just Saying who fear the cost of retribution, feeling every point is vital. But back on March 7, the B’s wagered their self-worth by turning the other cheek to play for the almighty point and came away with neither. What did that do for our vitality? For the past fortnight, their inactions drained the rising tide that was lifting hockey in Boston on the heels of the Winter Classic and Winter Olympics. Now, how is this matter to be made whole?

Well, NHL “disciplinarian” Colin Campbell will be in the stands tonight, so he’s got plexiglass on his side. That leaves Cooke and Savard’s relative equivalent, Sidney Crosby, but it’ll be tricky since Bruins Blog has the league sending in the senior zebras. Jack Edwards says an injury attempt on Crosby would send a beastly message to the NHL that teams have to stand up for themselves because the league won’t. Kirk Minihane says to leave Crosby alone since this beef is with Cooke. Hockey Independent wonders who will be the next victim of a predatory hit given the open season Campbell’s ‘lack of precedence’ ruling has created. Probably not Crosby, as The Grinder has Campbell keeping an eye on “dangerous plays” affecting the league’s young star.

With the lack of any disciplinary action on blindside hits to both Savard and the Panthers’ David Booth, Hockey Journal says the NHL front office is trying to make a right out of two wrongs. The Sporting Blog says Sandra Bullock could have fixed this problem when Booth was blindsided back in October. The Old Bruins Fan says the blame for this mess lies not as much with Campbell or even Cooke as it does with Penguins management.

Blog Of Ice has this a costly 3-3-1 road trip, which included the loss of Savard and ended with Patrice Bergeron taking a puck in the knee down in Carolina. The Hub Of Hockey has the stats to show how much Marc Savard’s loss will hurt the B’s.

Big Bad Blog recounts flaws aplenty in the B’s 3-2 loss to the Devils Monday night, but Something’s Bruin has them opening a much-needed can of whoop-ass on the lowly Hurricanes on Tuesday. That win disappoints Bruins 2010 Draft Watch as Toronto now pulls to within four points of Carolina in the standings. Goodbye, Taylor Hall.

Hub Hockey has Shawn Thornton a healthy scratch in Carolina, no doubt resting up for some vigilante justice tonight. Errrr, don’t count on it says Masshole Sports, who has the Bruins’ goon sounding a bit soft.

NCAAM

We’ll need just two minutes on this college hoops season that wasn’t, as only one New England team has made it to the big dance. Joe Posnanski will take the first minute with his annual picks of the 63 NCAA men’s tournament games in 64 seconds and sadly, Vermont is gone in the first two. Sports Central doesn’t see a return of 2005, when the Catamounts shocked the Orange in the tournament’s first round. However, The BC Blog thinks Vermont is underrated and offers the best chance among this year’s No. 16 seeds to knock off a No. 1 for the first time ever. With first-round action going on right now at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Boston Sports Blog looks back 21 years ago when No. 16 Princeton almost did it to No. 1 Georgetown on this very floor. NESN University has Obama staying with a No. 1, taking Kansas to go all the way, and as a standing President he’s never been wrong . . . in picking national champions, that is.

In NIT roundups, UConn Sports has it a question of heart as Jerome Dyson helped the Huskies pull out a two-point victory over the Huskies of Northeastern. Projo College Hoops has URI’s veterans carrying the load in their win over Northwestern.

Red Sox

There’s a lot of focus on medical issues down in Fort Myers these days. Some good news on the Matsuzaka front, as Gordon Edes has Daisuke actually pitching to a batter for the first time all spring. Call Of The Green Monster bills it as the greatest bullpen session in MLB history.

Ryan Westmoreland’s brain surgery on Tuesday hits close to home for Joe Haggerty, who suffers from the same cavernous malformation and offers a gripping account of living with the condition. Full Count says the success of Westmoreland’s surgery will be measured by the return of his quaity of life, not his return to the field.

Boston Sports Then And Now states their case for keeping Mike Lowell. Despite a great spring, The Bottom Line is that Josh Reddick won’t make an impact this year at the major-league level.

Toeing The Rubber attacks the stereotyping of women as baseball fans who want to show off cute clothes at the park, while Mass Hysteria‘s nightmare of seeing Ronan Tynan in a Red Sox jersey anywhere has come true. Boston Dirt Dogs ushers in the Curse Of The Tenor era.

Celtics

A. Sherrod Blakely sees last night’s win over the Knicks as another in a line of dominant home performances this month, but CelticsBlog thinks it the luck of the Irish that the C’s drew such an easy opponent on St. Patrick’s Day. ESPN Boston Celtics Blog has old friends J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker making their return to TD Garden.

North Station Sports thinks the light switch has been flipped on with these two home games, which mark the first back-to-back double-digit victories since November. Red’s Army has Doc Rivers glowing with confidence over his team and his new guys as things seem to be turning the corner. Green Street has Doc looking to give Shelden Williams somebody else’s minutes.

Odds & Sods

. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston sports world

Keeping with basketball momentarily, Celtics Stuff Live reacts vociferously to the folly of Bill Simmons running the Los Angeles Clippers.

Sabermetrics geeks rip Jerry Thornton a new one, then he rips them right back. And in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, The Mighty Quinn Media Machine has gone green all week, bringing us among other things the inductions into the Irish-American Baseball Hall Of Fame.

Jade McCarthy says cheering for Tiger Woods will never be the same, but she’ll be glued to The Masters anyway. And Bingo Bar Blog hears some cheers for 98.5 The Sports Hub but isn’t sure why they pose such a threat to WEEI.

Sorry I missed you last week. Sometimes, the day job just doesn’t cooperate. Anyway, enjoy the fight(s) tonight and another saintly celebration tomorrow, and we’ll see you here again next Thursday.

  • Tony

    Wow, that Henkin article really skews Simmons.

    I hate to say it, but he kinda deserves it. His ego has been out of control for years now and he DOES tend to throw insult-laden hissy fits at anyone who dares to criticize his brilliant observations.

    Moving to LA was the worst thing that ever happened to that guy–not financially or professionally, of course; but once he was out there, it didn’t take long for him to lose that, “I’m just like you–an average guy who loves sports,” persona that a lot of his “Boston Sports Guy” readers used to identify with a decade ago. Now he comes off as just another over-inflated Tinsel Town ego with an axe to grind against pretty much everyone (think of Borges, only with less of a sneer and with a treasure trove of useless pop-culture references at the ready).

    • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

      I liked Simmon’s work on his old Boston Sports page and he was okay for a while on ESPN. But I think once he started rambling about his “theories” and waxing poetic on the Clippers, things kind of derailed.
      One of these days, I’ll break down and buy his Tolkeinesque book on basketball, if only to see how he could possibly milk 700 + pages out of that subject.

      • Classless

        Wow, you both sound like bitter old girlfriends. “I remember when he was good, back in the days when he was one of us, when he was poor and had a tiny website blah blah” Seriously, c’mon…nobody who has success can possibly stay the same. Likewise, someone who has no success will never be discussed in the same tones like somone like Simmons. Maybe someday you savants could write a “tolkeinesque” book on basketball, unless you prefer brain candy like Dan Brown.

        • Tony

          I never claimed that he wasn’t successful, nor do I begrudge his success.

          My issue is with his ego and his thin-skinned nature, which the blogger pointed out.

          And I was never a huge fan of his writing style to begin with. There were way too many pop-culture references for my liking, and they began to turn me off after a short period of time reading him.

          The fact remains that the guy’s ego is out of control, and I think the criticisms contained in the blog post linked above are pretty much justified.

        • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

          Wow, that was completely unnecessary. So preferring his curreold style to his current style automatically makes us haters?
          Okay.

        • Tony

          Simmons is in the opinion business. When you’re in that business you have to expect criticism from people who don’t agree with you.

          His immature and insulting way of dealing with said criticism warrants the scolding he received from the blogger who wrote that piece yesterday. Simmons, in fact, is no different than Shank when it comes to “responding” to his critics (does “I’m sure you’re at the top of your profession” ring a bell with anyone?).

  • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

    I read the Bingo Bar Blog entry, and I completely understand where he’s going with this, but as someone who does care about ratings and cringes whenever says they like the Putt Putt Twins, I can’t really agree with it. The difference between D and C and T and R is that I think even though they don’t know as much about sports and D and C, Toucher and Rich (and Wallach and Crash and Adolfo) LIKE sports.
    BTW: The Putt Putt Twins talking about the Sopranos? I might be wrong about this, but they spent an entire summer speculating that Sal Bonpensiero was still alive after Tony, Pauly and Sil riddled him with bullets and threw him over board. But yeah, that’s just as ambiguous as the adventure with the Russians, right? Geeesh…