Patriots Add Good Solder To Front Line

What? You were expecting Bill Belichick to do something sexy and unexpected last night?

The Patriots used the 17th pick in the first round last night to select massive Colorado tackle Nate Solder. By all accounts he’s a “Patriots type” of guy – smart, versatile, athletic, and of good character. The Patriots then traded their second first round pick to New Orleans for a first rounder next season and a second rounder today (#56 overall).

The moves didn’t quite generate the outrage and headscratching among fans and media that we saw last year, when the Patriots traded down twice and then drafted Devin McCourty, but there still seems to be a bit of disappointment out there. Let’s see how the rest of the draft goes, OK?

Sold on Solder – Shalise Manza Young with a look at the newest Patriot, and for those wondering why the Patriots didn’t select Anthony Castonzo of Boston College instead, Young notes “it’s interesting to note that Scarnecchia ran the position drills at BC’s pro day, so he got an up-close look at Castonzo.” More on Solder from: Mike Reiss | Ian R. Rapoport | Jim Donaldson | Christopher Price | Tom E. Curran | Tim Whelan Jr. | Jeff Howe | Mark Farinella | Jennifer Toland | Hector Longo | Nick Underhill | Glen Farley  (Did I get everybody?)

Every second counts – Greg A Bedard says that today is when the Patriots need to make their hay on defense.

Day 2 picks are key to Patriots’ draft – Mike Reiss agrees that these picks tonight are crucial.

Bill Belichick Passionately Defends Drafting Philosophy, Sticking to What He Believes In – Jeff Howe notes that the Patriots head coach is used to hearing negative feedback about his draft-day performances.

League tells teams to open doors – Ian Rapoport’s notebook has the NFL opening for business at 8:00 am this morning. The Globe Patriots notebook has more on this, and a look at the trade with the Saints.

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat series preview: In-depth statistical breakdown – Tom King with a detailed look at the upcoming series.

Legacies on the line: Paul Pierce and LeBron James – Paul Flannery looks at what is on the line for both teams.

Green’s turn has come – Amalie Benjamin has the young forward feeling more at ease and ready to contribute.

Smooth C’s lie ahead – Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics can beat the Heat if they stick to their plan. Scott Souza says that planning and execution are key for the Celtics, as opposed to the Heat, who can win on talent.

Adrian Gonzalez: Home runs will come – Gordon Edes talks to the Red Sox first baseman about his home run draught thus far this season.

Reddick is unfazed by crowded outfield – Michael Vega’s minor league notebook has the Pawtucket outfielder staying positive.

Bruins vs. Flyers matchups: Who has the edge? – DJ Bean previews the next round.

Series has redeeming quality – Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins looking for payback.

Edwards passion is undeniable – Chad Finn’s media column has the Bruins voice defending his on-air style.

Boston Bruins Madness Hits Boston – My SB Nation Boston media column looks at the TV schedule for the next rounds for the Bruins and Celtics.

Bruins/Canadiens Game 7 Sets New Ratings Record for NESN

From NESN:

NESN set a new single-game ratings record for Bruins hockey last night with a 17.7 average household rating in the Boston DMA.

The game peaked at a 26.6 rating during the 10:00 PM quarter hour as Nathan Horton scored the game winner in overtime to propel the Bruins into the Eastern Conference Semifinals. NESN’s previous best-ever single-game hockey rating was a 14.1, set two years ago on May 14, 2009 in a Game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

 NESN’s ratings numbers in most of the key demographic categories also set new network records, including a 21.5 in Men 25-54, 18.3 in Men 18-49, and 15.6 in Adults 25-54.

Best Playoff Series in NESN History

NESN’s coverage of the Bruins-Montreal first round playoff series dominated the Boston television market over the past 2 weeks.  NESN’s 7 telecasts averaged an 11.9 household rating, which made it the highest-rated Bruins playoff series in network history. NESN’s Bruins coverage was the top-rated program in the Boston DMA on 4 of the 7 nights. The previous ratings record for a series was set in 2009, when NESN garnered a 9.9 average household rating for the Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Playoff Pre and Post-Game Shows Also Enjoy Ratings Success

NESN’s ratings success extended beyond the games with impressive pre and post-game ratings throughout the series. Bruins FaceOff LIVE presented by Hess expanded to 60 minutes for the first round of the playoffs and averaged a 2.1 household rating during the series, including a 2.7 before last night’s deciding game. NESN’s post-game show, Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE, averaged a 4.1 household rating that was highlighted by an 8.4 after the Bruins’ exciting Game 7 victory.

Bruins Take Game 7 In OT, Eliminate Canadiens

The Bruins jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead last night, only to see Montreal tie things up and send the game to overtime, tied at 3. Nathan Horton, who had been one of the Bruins big offseason acquisitions last year did what the Bruins got him to do, putting the puck in the net 5:43 into overtime, to give the Bruins a 4-3 win which clinched the series, and saved the jobs of many of the Bruins – at least for the moment. Get all the coverage at BruinsLinks.com.

Bruins break from losing script – Mick Colageo has the Bruins finally breaking through in a game 7. Kevin Paul Dupont has more on the Bruins getting their first game 7 win since 1994. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins just never make it easy.

Victorious Bruins benefit from Julien doing things ‘My Way’ – Matt Kalman has the Bruins coach rewarded for doing things his way, and sticking with the players he has confidence in.

Nathan Horton, instant hero – Rich Thompson has Horton getting his second OT goal of the series, in what was his only shot of the game. More on Horton from: Michael Whitmer | Jeff Hamrick | Amanda Bruno | Mike Petraglia | Danny Picard | James Murphy | Steve Conroy

After sensational series, Kelly’s critics now singing a different tune – Jesse Connolly has Chris Kelly (six points in seven games) proving to be a good midseason pickup for the Bruins.

After changing Game 7 history, Bruins must now change history vs. Flyers – DJ Bean looks at what is next on the redemption tour for the Bruins. Joe McDonald says that the Bruins know that the Flyers are the real target right now.

Recchi an old pro at playoffs – Barbara Matson has the 43-year-old winger notching his 57th career playoff goal last night.

Final count 0 for 21 on power play – The Globe notebook from Fluto Shinzawa has the gruesome final tally for the series. The Bruins Notebook from Conroy has more on the contributions of Chris Kelly. The ESPN Boston postgame notes from Brendan Hall have more on the hustle of Kelly.

Patriots should go rushing after Quinn – Greg A Bedard thinks that the Patriots should move up and select Robert Quinn of North Carolina. Karen Guregian agrees that the Patriots need to grab a game-changer.

Patterns emerge in Pats’ draft-day trade plans – Tom E Curran attempts to find the method in the madness.

Humble draft suggestions for Patriots – Jonathan Comey has a few suggestions for the Pats.

Open to all options – Ian Rapoport says that the Patriots are ready for any scenario that may present itself.

Next step for some is limbo – Shalise Manza Young looks at the uncertain situation for those who would normally be undrafted free agents.

It was Giveaway Night for the Sox – Sean McAdam has the Red Sox giving one away last night in a 5-4 loss to the Orioles. Check RedSoxLinks.com for all the coverage.

Head-scratching: For now, parts not adding up for Sox – Alex Speier has the Sox stumbling after seemingly righting themselves on the West coast.

It had to happen: Breaking down Celtics series with Miami – Paul Flannery previews the second round.

Celtics counting on Green to help defend LeBron – Tim Britton has the Celtics reserve being counted on in this series. Amalie Benjamin has the entire bench looking to elevate their play. Scott Souza notes that the team is feeling comfortable with the new pieces.