It’s Bruins/Flyers In Round Two

The Montreal Canadiens came through for Bruins fans last night, defeating the Washington Capitals in game seven last night, ensuring that Boston will face the Philadelphia Flyers in round tw0, with home ice advantage, rather than the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Bruins/Flyers Preview: Bruins take it in six games – Joe Haggerty says that the Bruins can take this series in six games and advance to the conference finals.

Bruins say Flyers are dangerous – Joe McDonald says that the Bruins aren’t taking the Flyers lightly.

Boston Bruins face tough playoff test in Philadelphia Flyers – Mike Loftus has more on the series, which begins on Saturday.

Got his shot, having a blast – John Powers profiles defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who is getting his chance to shine in this postseason.

Red Sox

Jon Lester returned to form last night, as the lefty allowed just one hit over seven innings while striking out 11 in a 2-0Red Sox victory in Toronto. Check RedSoxLinks.com for the full coverage.

Lester in top form – Amalie Benjamin has Jon Lester with his best outing of the season.

So far this season, it’s Buchholz who’s pitching like the ace – Brian MacPherson looks at the encouraging start to the season for the young righty.

Since call-up, he’s tattooing it – Peter Abraham has Darnell McDonald again coming through for the Sox.

After back stiffness, Papelbon pitches well – Sean McAdam’s notebook wraps up a number of items.

Celtics

Breaking down the Celtics-Cavs series – Paul Flannery previews the next round for the Celtics.

Dislike is apparent between Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers – Jim Fenton says we can expect plenty of extracurricular activity in this series.

Rough times toughen C’s resolve – A. Sherrod Blakely’s notebook has the Celtics learning from the tough regular season.

Maturing Glen Davis key to Celts bench – Mark Murphy says Davis could be a huge key in this series. Steve Bulpett says Marquis Daniels could be big too, after sitting most of the Heat series.

Patriots

Discovering Devin McCourty  – If you’ve been following his blog, you know Ian Rapoport has been tracing the roots of the Patriots first round pick. He pulls it all together in a feature today.

New England Patriots hope Price is right at wide receiver – Glen Farley with a look at the Patriots third round pick.

Cunningham’s skill could fill Pats’ need – Mike Reiss looks at whether the second round pick is the answer to the Patriots pass rush needs.

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  • Lance

    Great time of year for football fans when y

    Of course the only way we really know how good a player will be is when the pads are on and the hitting begins. Still one local writer failed to see the value on drafting McCourty by writing “A kick returner is definitely a need for the Patriots, but in the first round?”
    (sorry Bruce but you set yourself up for that)

  • Tony

    Good article by Reiss (what else is new?).

    I like the fact that it points out that Cunningham went against several top-flight offensive tackles during his career in the SEC (guys who were first round draft picks in the NFL), and fared well against them…….that’s not something that can be measured by a 40 time or vertical leap measurement at the combine.

  • mandb97

    I read Rapoport’s article on Devin McCourty. It was a terrific read. You can see why the Patriots loved him. He had a great upbringing and is very determined. The one thing that was left out which Mike Reiss brought is that Mr. McCourty may have a mean streak in him which is a great thing.

    A couple of days ago Reiss tried to find a common denominator with the Patriots draft and he said it was toughness. From McCourty, a physical D-Back, to Spikes, a face raker, to Zoltan Mesko, a 6-4 240 pound punter who likes to hit. He will battle for the spot versus a former Aussie Rules player. These are players who remind of the teams of the early 2000’s. They were vicious hitters who all had a mean streak.

    I remember back in 2004 when the Patriots were about to have their 21 game win streak broken by Pittsburgh, Phil Simms said the quality he liked best about Richard Seymour was not his great technique but his anger. He was the personification of tough as was the rest of the team. In my opinion, the reason for the Patriots early 2000 success was not just Tom Brady, he was important, don’t get me wrong, it was a big, tough, ferocious defense that actually would intimidate their opposition that I felt was a difference maker. In 2003 I remember a game against Cleveland that ended 9-3. It was the most lopsided 9-3 game ever. Why, because Cleveland got the ball mid-field only once and that was because of a turnover. There was never a doubt. The Patriots need to get this back and this maybe the beginning of it.

    • Tony

      Toughness has DEFINITELY been lacking since they decided to emulate the Colts after the 2006 AFC title game loss. They’ve been getting softer and softer, in fact, ever since the Giants hit them in the mouth, repeatedly, and stole their lunch money (and appointment with history) in the Super Bowl.

      I never thought I’d see the day where the Colts were actually a tougher, grittier team than the Pats, but last year that actually happened.

      I am very, very pleased that BB decided to draft “tough guys” with this draft haul.

      Perhaps the message he’s sending is that the days of the Pats being “Indy East” are over (nobody ever did that style of offense better than Manning and the Colts, anyway), and it’s now time to get back to playing “Patriot football.”

      We can only hope.

    • Lance

      Along with Tony I agree. The team used to have the Bryan Cox’s the type of player you didn’t want to see on the street at night and I think the D guys they drafted are like that. The dropoff also is a result of Rodney retiring as he was another “look out” guy.

      The Pats might have too many guys you’d want your sons to grow up to be (I include McCourty in this group) but really you want to be worried that some of these guys are going to start a fight with a freight train. I think Spikes and Cunningham could be those guys. And Hernandez may rub some of that ‘tude on offense too.

  • Chris

    If the Bruins want any hope of doing well the rest of the way, they’ll have to make quick work of Philadelphia…five games, six games max. If this goes the distance, neither team will have much in the tank for whomever comes next (probably PIT).

  • Angry Old Bastard

    Once again, I heard some of the media BUFFOONS trying to turn a GOOD THING into a BAD THING…..that is, some of them trying to say a series against PITTSBURG would have been better because of the Matt Cooke/Mark Savard incident……”OH THE DRAMA!….OH THE STORYLINES!”……..ggod grief, these ass clowns really do think it’s all about THEM……..

  • Jason Coyote

    AOB, you’re going to have to name names, because everyone media type I’ve heard/read has said they would much prefer the B’s to play Philly in this round.

    The particular ‘BUFFOON’ you’re referencing must’ve been up against deadline and submitted a ‘panic column’.

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

      My fear about a B’s/Pens series is that the Bruins would spend all their time trying to “get” Cooke and less time trying to keep down the Crosbys/Malkins/Stahls of the world.
      At least with the Flyers, we know that they’re all a bunch of hacks which makes it easier. Bring back Ron Hextall!

      • Tony

        Forgive me for not staying “current” with other NHL teams, but is the guy who nearly decapitated and killed Patrice Bergeron a couple of years ago still with the Flyers?

        If he is, I’d say the B’s have just as much of a bone to pick with him as they would with Cook on the Penguins.

        If the media is going to try to play up that Cook storyline, they may as well play it up with Philly, too.

        No one in their right mind should think that playing the defending Stanley Cup Champs in the 2nd round would be preferable to playing the 7th seed and having home ice for the series.

  • L3s

    Farley’s just does a solid job all the time. Not the most investigative guy, but he tells a good story and gets it right. More of these small-paper guys deserve a nod Bruce. Just sayin…

    • Bruce

      I try to give a good mix of large and small papers each day. There’s a lot of good ones out there.

  • Chris

    I’ll be driving back from Maine tomorrow night so I set my DVR to record the Bruins game at 7pm. But it says ‘Red Sox.’ Do we know which game is on NESN and which is on NESN alternate?

  • Jason Coyote

    Chris, I’m assuming your question isn’t a joke so I’ll answer. Bruins-Flyers Game 1 is Saturday afternoon on NBC/Ch. 7 at 12:30, to be preceded by a 30-minute Amorosino/Ridley/Rhett pre-game breakdown at noon. Sox (NESN) and Celtics (TNT) go H2H Saturday night.