Bruins Break Slump With Home Win Over Devils

The Bruins picked up a home win last night, beating the New Jersey Devils 4-1 at the Garden. Get all the coverage at BruinsLinks.com.

Result works in Bruins’ favor - Steve Conroy has the Bruins overcoming a bit of a slow start before kicking things into action. Joe McDonald says that the little things brought this win.

Bruins fall but get back up - Stephen Harris says that the Bruins may have hit rock-bottom in that first period.

Thomas steps up in playoff atmosphere - Danny Picard has the goaltender turning back a desperate Devils squad.

Lucic standing out in this crowd - Michae Vega has the young forward notching his 30th goal of the season, and continuing to grow before our eyes. Douglas Flynn has more on Lucic reaching this milestone. DJ Bean says that 30 came sooner than expected for Lucic.

Confident Kaberle goes on the offensive - Fluto Shinzawa’s notebook has the defenseman playing without hesitation last night, and getting positive results. The Herald notebook from Steve Conroy has more on Lucic getting number 30. The CSNNE notes from Joe Haggerty have more on Lucic.

Celtics hope toughness rubs off on new guys - A. Sherrod Blakely has the new guys getting plenty of “teaching moments” in recent games. Mark Murphy has Doc Rivers hoping the newcomers get the message. Gary Washburn says there are some positive signs right now.

Celtics battling for home-court advantage - Jim Fenton notes that unlike last year, this edition of the Celtics has plenty to play for at this point. Chris Forsberg has a few things to watch as the season winds down.

Going for Gonzo: Why Red Sox didn’t wait to acquire Adrian Gonzalez - Alex Speier looks at why the Red Sox just didn’t wait until Gonzalez was a free agent to pursue him.

Red Sox, Adrian Gonzalez make progress on deal - Michael Silverman has things looking good on the possibility of a new deal for the slugger in early April. Sean McAdam says that the deal could be just weeks from being done. Nick Cafardo also weighs in.

The shape of the 2011 Boston Red Sox - Mike Fine says that Sox management still has some decisions to make here.

Claiming the A.L. East won’t be a cakewalk - Tim Britton says that once again, the division looks to be highly competitive.

Could Jed Lowrie take Marco Scutaro’s job as Red Sox shortstop? Not a chance - Ron Chimelis doesn’t see the Sox making a change.

Kevin Youkilis turns corner - Scott Lauber’s notebook has the “new” third baseman getting settled in. The Globe Red Sox notebook from Cafardo has John Lackey giving up a pair of homers yesterday.

Patriots’ draft envy of all - Ian Rapoport has the Patriots draft methods and position getting praise from around the league.

Bill Belichick Is a One-Man Trade Machine and 19 Other Patriots Thoughts - Jeff Howe with 20 thoughts/points on the Pats.

Rex Ryan’s snapshot view of Jets-Patriots - Ron Borges has a confident Ryan believing he’s got the Patriots number.

Bill Belichick’s absence insult to peers - Mike Reiss levies some criticism at the head coach for his absence at the media breakfast yesterday.

Role reversal: more athletes, past and present, entering media - Dan Shaughnessy on SI.com looks at former athletes flocking to jobs in the media.

Season of change - Mark Farinella has a shout-out to BSMW this morning…sort of.

Celtics Finish Tough, Outslug Knicks at MSG

The Celtics once again found themselves trailing by double-digits on the road last night, digging themselves an early hole against the new-look Knicks. A taunting New York crowd seemed to fire up Paul Pierce and the Celtics, who closed the game on a 23-4 run in the fourth quarter for a 96-86 victory.  

I’m a little bemused when I see CSNNE and others proclaiming Knicks/Celtics at “Rivalry Renewed.” There hasn’t been a rivalry between these clubs since the Nixon administration (that’s Richard, not Trot). A few competitive games does not a rivalry make. Things have generally been pretty one-sided in either direction for the two teams, with the brief exception of the Bernard King era in the 80′s.

Get all the coverage on this one at CelticsLinks.com.

Celtics tough enough - Julian Benbow looks at a bloodbath at Madison Square Garden, where things picked up another notch when Doc Rivers called his team “soft” at halftime.

A playoff preview perhaps? - Paul Flannery wonders if last night was a preview of the first round of the playoffs.

Let’s not play this game - Gary Washburn says that that there is no need to panic after every loss this Celtics team has. They are after all, well ahead of where they were last year.

Ray Allen hits the bloody deck - Mark Murphy’s notebook has Allen shaking off a seven-stitch cut on the head to return to the game. The CSNNE notes from A. Sherrod Blakely has the Celtics winning with hustle. The Globe notebook from Gary Washburn and Julian Benbow has the agent for Jeff Green saying that his client is already comfortable in Boston and open to a longer-term stay. NESN’s Evans Clinchy has a Shaq update and six other Celtics thoughts. The ESPN postgame notes from Chris Forsberg has Kevin Garnett talking about green squirrels.

Sox swim in deep end - For the second straight day, a Herald columnist gushes over Theo Epstein and the team he has put together. Today it is Gerry Callahan’s turn.

Tough guy Callahan this morning called Paul Pierce “selfish” and “gutless” for not naming the guy who stabbed and nearly killed him back in 2000.

This after a conversation with the attorney for Brandon Meriweather, who said that no one who witnessed the shooting incident in Florida initially reported it to the police, including Meriweather, and that this sort of thing was “not unusual” in that situation and environment. Callahan couldn’t grasp that people might have doubts that they or their family could be adequately protected in situations like these.

Red Sox prospect has special moment - Gordon Edes has an obscure Red Sox prospect getting the chance to stand in against Roy Halladay.

Agent Boggs wades right in - The Globe notebook has the agent for Adrian Gonzalez checking in on his client. The Herald notebook from Scott Lauber has Matt Albers looking good this spring. The Red Sox Journal from Tim Britton has Jon Lester with mostly a positive outing yesterday.

Tyler Seguin’s improved play could improve chances of staying in the lineup - DJ Bean has the rookie getting better late in the season. Joe Haggerty says that Seguin is starting to “get it.”

Boston Bruins running out of time to correct problems at home - Mike Loftus has the Bruins looking to make a stand at home.

N.H. scribe’s vile Plan B - Kevin Cullen weighs in on the guilty plea of former Union Leader sportswriter Kevin Provencher.

Bill Belichick’s passion shows through - Mike Reiss has the Patriots coach talking about proposed rule changes.

Typical Bill Belichick, little to say - Ian Rapoport had a different take on the coach’s comments yesterday.

This morning at the NFL Meetings, Belichick was the only one of the 32 NFL coaches who did not meet with the media at breakfast. This of course kicked off a wave of Twitter whines among Patriots reporters:

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Can you really blame him?

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I love this one. Belichick won’t talk??? I’m going to run and tell on him and see if he can get fined!!!

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So really, the reporters don’t care whether Belichick talks or not, it’s about the FANS. THEY deserve better. What’s he going to tell us? What is he going to say that he didn’t say yesterday?

National, too:

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If there were an actual rule about this, maybe this clown would have a point.

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Yup, this guy is credible. In his next Tweet, he proceeds to sing Rex Ryan’s praises.

Seems like they just went and brought up Belichick’s absence to other coaches as well:

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Bill Belichick has clearly once again committed crimes against humanity.

Update: What’s great about all of this, is that Belichick later came down and spoke to reporters.

Bruins Week Ahead

Think the rematch this week with the Canadiens is highly anticipated? It’s 118% more than the Devils game and 35% more than the Rangers game, and 176% above the Bruins home average.

NH Sportswriter Blames Prostitution Arrest on Newspaper Cutbacks

Former New Hampshire sportswriter Kevin Provencher, a four-time winner of the New Hampshire Sportswriter of the Year award who worked for the Union Leader for 23 years has pleaded guilty to running a prostitution business which operated out of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Sportswriter says pay cut led to prostitution business

At his court appearance Provencher said he needed the extra money to make up for a pay cut because of the downturn in the newspaper business.

Original story at time of arrest – Union Leader reporter faces prostitution-related charges

Celtics, Bruins Trying To Find Their Way

The Celtics and Bruins both are looking to find their way as they approach the postseason, each team dealing with recent struggles, and integration of new personnel.

The Celtics are in New York tonight to take on Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks. Boston is coming off a much-needed comeback win in New Orleans on Saturday night.

Rivalry reshuffled: Knicks look different in rematch - Greg Payne has more on the new-look Knicks.

Celtics benefit by good night’s West - Mark Murphy looks at a huge contribution from Delonte West Saturday night, and the boost he can give the Celtics. A. Sherrod Blakely has more on West.

Krstic and Pavlovic are a good matchup - Julian Benbow has the two fellow countrymen helping each other out here in Boston.

Rajon Rondo rounding into form - Jackie MacMullan has the Celtics point guard feeling like he’s close to turning a corner.

Bruins forced to work overtime as slump continues - Mike Loftus has the Bruins putting in extra time to try and get things straightened out. Rich Thompson has more on Claude Julien giving the Bruins a workout.

It’s time for the Bruins to step up - Joe Haggerty says that the time is now for the Bruins.

After lackluster efforts, they know the drill - Fluto Shinzawa’s notebook has more on the Bruins extra work.

Jacoby Ellsbury has long-ball potential - John Tomase says that the Red Sox centerfielder has potential to add power to his swing. He looks at a number of speedsters who have done it in the past.

Theo Epstein blessed, brilliant - Can you imagine Ron Borges writing a column like this about the coach of the Patriots?

Sox let imaginations run - Peter Abraham says that Ellsbury and Carl Crawford will make life on the basepaths exciting this season.

College teammates Bard, Miller are together again - Tim Britton has the young pitchers enjoying their reunion with the Red Sox. Sean McAdam has Miller willing to do what it takes to succeed here.

Dice so nice again - Tomase’s notebook has the Japanese righty with another strong outing. The Globe notebook from Peter Abraham has more on Matsuzaka. The Red Sox journal from Tim Britton has the Sox showing off what could be pretty close to their everyday lineup.

Symbolic setting for NFL meeting - Mike Reiss looks a some critical annual meetings for the NFL.

Patriots shouldn’t even think about bringing back Moss - Glen Farley votes against a Randy Moss return.

Attemping The Friday Megalinks

I’m going to try to finish off the megalinks tonight while watching the NCAA Tournament. This is not guaranteed to work, but I’ll do my best.

The Weekend Viewing Picks have everything you need for your TV planning.

Let’s get to your links.

National

USA Today’s Dueling Mikes return, Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy argue whether a player-less NFL Draft would make for good television.

Mike McCarthy notes the ratings for the first real day of NCAA Tournament action on the networks of CBS/Turner.

Mike says CBS broke into the NCAA Tournament to air the President Obama statement on Libya today.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says CBS/Turner will likely change Charles Barkley’s role for next year’s NCAA Tournament.

The St. Petersburg Times’ Eric Deggans, writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, says the March Madness on Demand app is not without its glitches.

Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter notes that Damon Wayans will play the lead character in a sitcom based on ESPN Radio hack Colon Cowherd.

Michael Malone of Broadcasting & Cable says CBS local affiliates are sad they can’t air schools from their local markets, but they understand the new TV landscape.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News notes the increase of visitors to the NCAA’s March Madness on Demand platforms this year.

Mike also looks at the increased ratings for the opening day of the NCAA Tournament, their highest in 20 years.

Alex Frutkin of Mediaweek says Speed has set its summer schedule in stone.

Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid notes that CBS/Turner NCAA Tournament sideline reporter Jaime Maggio has caught the eye of many viewers.

Dan has the great video of Gus Johnson’s call of the frantic ending of George Mason-Villanova. Great call from Gus.

Matthew DeGeorge of SportsGrid says a San Diego sports anchor almost got run over during a live shot in Arizona.

Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser talks with MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds.

Marcus says an MMA blog has been banned from an upcoming UFC event for leaking photos of a Playboy photo shoot of ring girl, Arianny Celeste.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell notes that Gus Johnson has trademarked his own catchphrase.

Darren questions the annual story that the NCAA Tournament hurts work productivity.

Puck The Media’s Steve Lepore isn’t too happy about NBC’s NHL decisions.

Gossip Sports lists the Top 10 Gus Johnson moments in college basketball. These are totally great moments.

Jim Weber of Lost Letterman explains why despite Gus Johnson’s popularity, he won’t call the Final Four as long as Jim Nantz is at CBS Sports.

The Sports Media Watch says the MLS season opener did quite well for ESPN.

SMW says ESPN received record ratings for Championship Week.

And SMW notes that ESPN had a very good week for the NBA.

Ken Kerschbaumer from Sports Video Group says ESPN’s E:60 will produce 3-D features for the ESPN 3D audience which totals about 25.

East and Mid-Atlantic

The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn celebrates 30 seasons of Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn as TV voices of the Celtics.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette talks about a Brave New World for airing the NCAA Tournament.

Newsday’s Neil Best discusses how this year’s CBS control room was more relaxed for the NCAA Tournament as compared to past years.

Neil says a YES analyst is expected to return this season after a year’s absence.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is wary of athlete apologies.

The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for ESPN NBA analyst Jon Barry.

From Fishbowl NY, Jerry Barmash reports that long time WCBS-AM Sports Director Jared Max is leaving the station.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says a local radio has the NCAA Tournament covered.

Pete looks at the combined ratings for CBS/TBS/TNT/truTV on the first day of the NCAA Tournament.

Pete asks why not have a Red Zone Channel for the NCAA Tournament?

Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog looks at Donovan McNabb working as a college basketball analyst.

Cindy Boren of the Post’s Early Lead says NFL Films President Steve Sabol will undergo surgery for a brain tumor. Let’s hope all goes well.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner takes a look at the American LeMans racing series airing races live on ESPN3.com, then having its races air in condensed format later.

South

To the Miami Herald and Barry Jackson who looks at the local sports radio scene.

The St. Petersburg Times’ Tom Jones talks with CBS’ Ian Eagle who has to really do his homework for the four games he called Thursday for the NCAA Tournament.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle writes that the staggered tip times have helped the early ratings of the NCAA Tournament on CBS/Turner.

David talks about how CBS/Turner handled the President Obama statement on Libya during its NCAA Tournament coverage.

Jenni Carlson of the Daily Oklahoman says the NCAA Tournament is tempting fans to stay home and watch the games instead of attending them in person.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer instructs readers how to find NCAA Tournament games on Saturday.

Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press looks at some of the sports media oddities to arise from this year’s college basketball postseason.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel loves the way CBS/Turner is handling the NCAA Tournament.

Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers.

Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune says an ESPN Chicago host who was arrested on DUI charges has entered rehab.

Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch likes the CBS/Turner collaboration on the NCAA Tournament.

Dan says former Rams offensive tackle Orlando Pace has bought a piece of two local sports radio stations.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says CBS is big into BYU’s Jimmer Fredette.

And Scott says the Utah women will be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday.

John Maffei from the North County Times has San Diego Padres and San Diego State University basketball voice Ted Leitner amazed at the ride he’s been calling this season.

Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News talks with CBS/Turner’s Steve Kerr about working the NCAA Tournament.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders if TSN can make a dent in the local sports radio scene.

The Canadian Sports Media blog critiques TSN’s first year of handling the NCAA Tournament.

And we are done with the megalinks.

Bruins End Up Prey For Predators

The Bruins dropped one on the road last night, losing 4-3 in OT to the Nashville Predators. Check all the coverage over at BruinsLinks.com.

Thursday’s loss exactly the kind of game Bruins should winDJ Bean says that there are still plenty of questions to be answered about this Bruins team.

Kampfer’s rookie mistakes cost the B’sJoe Haggerty has the young defenseman with a pair of costly mistakes which led to the Predators victory. Douglas Flynn has more on Kampfer’s mistakes, and some growth from Tyler Seguin.

Brad Marchand must sit 2Stephen Harris’ notebook in the Herald has the Bruins forward getting a two-game suspension for his hit on Columbus’ R.J. Umberger. The Globe notebook from Fluto Shinzawa has more on the suspension. The CSNNE notes from Joe Haggerty has Seguin taking a hit last night, but shaking it off and playing well.

Back to the Marchand hit for a moment, looking back – and this is total hindsight here – the hit barely registered among the local writers following the game. The only reference I can find to it is a passing note in Kevin Paul Dupont’s notebook, where he says “Brad Marchand looked a bit more engaged in the offense, landing five shots, and delivering an after-the-whistle elbow that nearly ignited a fight.” It was only the next day when the hit became a big topic. The only account I can find where it was pointed out the night of the game was from Matt Kalman on TheBruinsBlog.net. Kalman wondered if the league would look into the hit, and dole out some discipline to Marchand, which it did.

On second thought, Francona taps LackeyPeter Abraham has John Lackey being named the #2 starter behind Jon Lester. Chuck Frye has the Sox staff falling into place.

Red Sox rock the voteJohn Tomase has the Red Sox taking part in an informal poll about their teammates. Here is the full ballot - Survey says.

Boston trims roster, Iglesias, Anderson heading to PawSox - Tim Britton’s Red Sox Journal has the Sox send five players to the minors. The Herald notebook by John Tomase has more on Lackey. The Globe notebook from Peter Abraham has Jonathan Papelbon getting roughed up again.

Danny Ainge feels Celtics’ pain - Steve Bulpett has the Celtics boss putting his team’s health first among its goals.

Impact players: What the return of West and the O’Neals means for Celtics - Paul Flannery looks at how important it is to the Celtics to get those three players back. A. Sherrod Blakely reports that Shaq will be joining the Celtics on their road trip which begins tonight. He is not expected to play tonight, however.

Delonte West, Jeff Green’s History Stretches From Coast to Coast Over Past Decade – Evans Clinchy provides some interesting background on the two players, as they’ve got connections all over the place.

Happy 30th for Celtics tandemChad Finn looks at the Celtics broadcasters being honored with a CSNNE special tonight – “30 Seasons Of Mike and Tommy”

CBS shares NCAA Tournament loadBill Doyle looks at the new broadcast arrangements between CBS and Turner Sports.

Media Roundup: During NFL Lockout, Fans’ Voice Heard Like Never Before - My SB Nation Boston sports media column looks at why this lockout is different from any other work stoppage in professional sports history.

Work stoppage may be good for PatriotsGlen Farley thinks that the Patriots might have an advantage coming out of the lockout.

The Ohio playersBob Ryan with a feature on the favorites to win the NCAA Championship, THE Ohio State Buckeyes and freshman sensation Jared Sullinger.

 

NESN To Air Both Bruins/Maple Leafs and Hockey East Championship

I apologize for the lack of regular links this morning – work emergency.

With both the Hockey East Championship game and the Bruins/Maple Leafs on the schedule for Saturday night, NESN will activate NESNPlus for that evening, so that both games can be broadcast live.

The Bruins vs. Maple Leafs game will be seen on NESN throughout New England while live coverage of the Hockey East championship game from TD Garden will be available on NESNplus throughout New England. Outside New England, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks will carry the Hockey East championship game on NESN National while DirecTV and Dish Network will carry the game nationally on NESNplus.

Here is the schedule for NESN and NESNPlus on Saturday night:

NESN Schedule for Saturday, March 19th

6:30 PM – WB Mason Bruins FaceOff LIVE
7:00 PM – Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs (L)
9:30 PM – Bruins Overtime LIVE (L)
10:00 PM – NESN Daily (L)
10:15 PM – Hockey East Championship Game (replay)

NESNplus and NESN National Schedule for Saturday, March 19th

6:30 PM – Hockey East FaceOff LIVE
7:00 PM – Hockey East Championship Game (L)
9:30 PM – Bruins Overtime LIVE (L)
10:00 PM – NESN Daily (L)
10:15 PM – Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs (replay)

Find a complete list of NESNplus channels at NESN.com/NESNplus.

Celtics To Honor 30 Seasons of Heinsohn and Gorman

The Boston Celtics will honor the CSNNE broadcast duo of Tom Heinsohn and Mike Gorman prior to tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers.

During a pre-game ceremony, Celtics CEO and Co-owner Wyc Grousbeck and Celtics Captain Paul Pierce will present commemorative Celtics jerseys with the number “30” to Mike and Tommy on center court.

Comcast SportsNet will have live coverage of the presentation and special features throughout its telecast of the game.

On Friday at 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet will debut 30 Seasons of Mike & Tommy, a special retrospective on Mike and Tommy’s broadcast career. 30 Seasons of Mike & Tommy will relive their best highlights and signature calls; include a candid sit-down in which Mike and Tommy interview each other; and tributes from celebrities, players and NBA dignitaries. The special will also feature segments on their beginning, the Garden, the 90’s, Tommy vs. the referees, Tommy Points, “I love Walter,” “Got It,” and their 1000th game.

On a related note, the website Awful Announcing has an interview with the decidedly-not-awful Gorman.

 

Seguin, Rask Get Bruins Back in “W” Column

Two of the Bruins’ younger players, both of whom had struggled at times this season, provided the team with the needed plays to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 last night out in Ohio. Tuukka Rask had 34 saves and Tyler Seguin scored the game-winner in the shootout for the Bruins. Get all the stories at BruinsLinks.com.

Bruins are lucky, not goodKevin Paul Dupont has the Bruins fortunate to be even remotely close to a victory last night. Douglas Flynn has Claude Julien pulling all the right strings last night.

Numbers don’t lie: Why Tuukka Rask is a stopper in more ways than oneDJ Bean notes that Rask has put an end to a number of Bruins skids this season.  Stephen Harris has Rask stealing one for the Bruins.

Ryder told to take a seatDupont’s notebook has the slumping winger benched. James Murphy’s Rapid reaction has Rask bouncing back from his tough night in Montreal. Harris’ Bruins Notebook has the move to play Seguin paying dividends for Julien.

Out of spotlight, Yastrzemski stays in game his wayDan Shaughnessy with a feature on Carl Yastrzemski, who wants nothing more than to work with anonymous young hitters and then go fishing or golfing.

After early debut, Kalish looks to make lasting impressionTim Britton has the young outfielder looking to build on his experience of last season.

From closer-by-committee to committee of closers - Alex Speier has the Red Sox bullpen built with several potential and proven closers.

Tiger’s tale — he’s thankfulNick Cafardo’s notebook has Victor Martinez with no grudges towards the Red Sox. The Herald notebook by John Tomase has Daisuke Matsuzaka with his best outing of the spring yesterday. Britton’s Red Sox Journal has more from Martinez.

Rondo struggling without a true backup - A.Sherrod Blakely has the Celtics point guard wearing down. Gary Washburn says that Rondo’s play is a point of concern for the Celtics.

Delonte West vows he’s back for goodChris Forsberg has the Celtics guard looking to return for the duration of the season starting tonight.

Patriots Should Consider Logan Mankins as Good as Gone and 19 Other NFL Thoughts – Jeff Howe pitches 20 NFL-related thoughts.

Protests all talk, no action – Mark Farinella says that any NFL “fan revolt” will not succeed – or even get off the ground.