We’ve got a four-sport edition to kick off your Columbus Day morning, but only one team played any meaningful games this weekend, so the B’s draw the lead-off spot.
Some bad news and then some good news this weekend, as the B’s fell to the Phoenix Coyotes in their season-opener in Prague, 5-2, on Saturday, but came back strong with a 3-0 win yesterday. After some terrible play in the opener, Stephen Harris labels yesterday’s victory a textbook showing of aggressiveness behind a 29-save shutout for Tim Thomas. Douglas Flynn calls it a case of old and new stepping up, as Thomas records his 18th career shutout and both Nathan Horton and rookie Tyler Seguin lit the lamp. Kevin Paul Dupont says that for all the puck-chopping in Saturday’s loss, yesterday will be remembered for improved puck management. Mary Paoletti marvels at the difference 19 hours can make.
James Murphy has Thomas sending notice to the hockey world that his hip is fine after offseason surgery. D.J. Bean is already rethinking his goals prediction for the rejuvenated Horton, who netted two in Saturday’s loss and another one yesterday. Mike Cole has former teammate Stephen Weiss saying Horton has the talent to be among the league’s best. Harris’ Bruins Notebook recounts Seguin’s first NHL goal.
Joe Haggerty says those days of goal-scoring sinkholes are gone, as the Black and Gold are rolling out some offensive firepower this season. Harris’ Bruins Beat calls the B’s well nigh unbeatable when they play with an identity and confidence.
It looks to Dupont’s Bruins Notebook that Blake Wheeler is ready to mix some grit into his tool kit.
The lively experiment that is this Celtics preseason continued yesterday, with the C’s downing the Toronto Raptors, 91-87, at TD North. Kevin McNamara has Doc Rivers’ decision to pull back on his starters paying off in this win. Paul Flannery thinks things have been working out just fine in Doc’s master plan of letting the second unit close games out.
Mark Murphy credits the C’s bench, led by Marquis Daniels, for delivering yet again yesterday afternoon. Evans Clinchy has last year’s tentative Daniels replaced by this new go-to version following some big fourth quarter buckets against the Raptors. A. Sherrod Blakely has Jermaine O’Neal exhibiting the defensive-minded, shot-blocking skillset that made him so coveted this summer. Chris Forsberg‘s Postgame Notes has more on Jermaine’s defense and Shaq’s Garden debut.
Bob Ryan revels in this fourth season of the three-year window for a championship, courtesy of a 94-second span in Game 7 that left us all a bit soured. Murphy has Nate Robinson no longer needing old Knick plays inserted into the C’s offense for him. Dan Duggan has Stephane Lasme playing for a locker.
As we hit the quarter-pole, it’s been an action-packed season for Ian R. Rapoport so far, both on and off the field. Timing is everything, as Robert Lee has the Pats’ bye week coming at the perfect time.
You know we’re in a bye when hair disputes become newsworthy. Rapoport brings the Randy Moss camp’s denial over his alleged hair tiff with Tom Brady. Bathed in purple, Nick Cafardo has Moss feeling the love in Minnesota, and not wanting people to think this thing can ever go sour. Jeff Howe has his ex-teammates in New England routing hard for Moss . . . tonnight. This piece by Christopher Price in which Brady’s personal passing mentor talks about the Moss trade’s effects on his protege broke on Saturday night, but it garnered some talk on the airwaves yesterday, so we’re bringing it to you this morning.
You may not see him on the field, but Mike Reiss has Shawn Crable making an impact in practice. Ryan is two-sporting it this morning as he looks behind the scenes as Ron Jaworski’s search for the seven games that have shaped today’s NFL.
Given the injuries to the Red Sox last season, Michael Silverman calls the bench play in 2010 a resuscitation order that worked to keep the team alive throughout most of the summer.
Brian MacPherson thinks Carl Crawford could be the next franchise-changing free agent, and believes the Sox may have the best chance to get him.
Things are ugly on The Heights, as Mark Blaudschen tells us where the Eagles are struggling after three increasingly embarrassing losses, the most recent on Saturday, 44-17, to North Carolina State.
John Shimer brings us some internatinal finance intrigue, as John Henry attempts to fold the Premier League’s Liverpool Reds into his New England Sports Ventures empire without crippling the franchise on the field in the process.
Finally, despite the pain involved, Rich Levine can’t stop paying attention to Brett Favre. Knock yourself out tonight, Rich.
Whether we’ve found you at home, on vacation, or at work this morning, have a great Columbus Day. May Randy torch Darrelle Revis and that Jets secondary tonight, and we’ll see you here again one more time tomorrow morning.