Bruins Rolled In Tampa

The Bruins had absolutely nothing last night and were rolled by the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1 in down in Florida.

Bruins shockingly bad – Stephen Harris has the Bruins saying the right things before the game and still stinking the place up.

Seriously, it looks like the Bruins are going to lose the division – DJ Bean says that it sure looks like Ottawa will overtake the Bruins for the division.

Time for Bruins to learn from their mistakes – Joe Haggerty says that the Bruins are either falling into a very troubling pattern, or living out the definition of hockey insanity.

Marty Turco plan a net loss for one night – Harris’ notebook has the backup goaltender proving to be a massive disappointment last night. The Globe notebook from Kevin Paul Dupont has more on Turco.

The Patriots were quiet in the first afternoon/evening of free agency, choosing not to make a big first-day splash with some of the big name, high-priced free agents available. Mike Reiss has reaction from some impatient fans, with one calling the Patriots approach “shameful” and others demanding action.

No frenzy at Foxboro – Ian Rapoport has the Patriots taking care of a couple of in-house items, but mostly just biding their time.

Curran’s knee-jerk reactions to Day 1 of free agency – Tom E Curran weighs in on yesterday’s events.

Mario Williams Signing With Buffalo Bills Could Be Treacherous for Patriots and 19 Other NFL Thoughts – Jeff Howe also has some thoughts about what’s going on.

Wes Welker’s value seemingly on rise – Most of the talk this morning seems to be about how all the big money deals given to wide receivers will impact Wes Welker’s negotiations with the Patriots. Reiss looks at the situation here.

‘Wolf pack’ of Sox catchers have been inseparable – Tim Britton has a good look at the bond between the six catchers in the Red Sox camp.

Red Sox 5th starter Power Rankings: Felix Doubront takes the lead – Ron Chimelis thinks that the young lefty has the edge.

Valentine is happy inside – Hey, what you know? Another article on Bobby Valentine in the Globe. This one, from Peter Abraham has the manager talking about the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry.

Celtics still on the phones, but nothing imminent – A Sherrod Blakely has Danny Ainge doing a lot of talking, but a big deal seems unlikely. Gary Washburn has the Celtics weighing their options.

Paul Pierce, Ray Allen dealing with reality – Steve Bulpett has the Celtics resigned to the fact that they’re probably not going to get any help this season.

Interesting to hear Michael Cap is Crap Felger complain yesterday about the amount of “dead money” the Patriots are carrying on the cap (because of overpaying players of all things,) and how he says it is limiting their options in adding to the roster.

If that were true, wouldn’t that be the very definition of “cap hell” or “cap jail?”

Also, Jermaine Wiggins has no idea who Mike Reiss is? Way to be plugged in, Wiggy.

  • Mark

    Wiggy’s a one trick pony….and the pony forgot how to do that trick.

  • Lance

    Did George Cain really tweet Reiss that the Patriots not making a huge splash on the first day of free agency is shameful? Sheesh, the ignorance is blinding. Belichick’s record in free agency is predictable; the beat writers can use the first day of free agency as a holiday as BB makes his moves when the market loses its initial hysteria. Always.

    • Scott B.

      I notice George didn’t say which receivers or cornerbacks they ‘should have’ signed yesterday nor did he say how much they should have paid them and how the team might mitigate the impact of those signings on Welker and other indispensables like Gronkowski and Hernandez who will come up sooner than later. I guess it must have been the 144 character limit on Twitter that prohibited him from doing so. Shameful, Twitter.

      • bsmfan

        I think what he was trying to get across is that they need to shore up their own team before anything (lawfirm, etc). One thing that is not mentioned:

        When Gronk/Hernandez come up for contracts, they’re going to command 9/m yr and it’d be untenable to keep both or at least one going on how they do both. Yes, they have cap room, but ill give the benefit of the doubt for now because some of these moves like Tampa Bay has been doing could easily come back to bite them. TB overpaid for Nicks as did the Chargers for their pickups.

        • StringerBell

          I just read through George Cain’s Twitter account and I need an Advil and probably two shots of whiskey. He is the epitome of the worst type of fan.

        • latetodinner

          I don’t understand why people think the Pats can’t afford two $9 mill TE’s. It just means they may not pay big money for a WR. Its certainly possible that the Pats look at Hernandez as a WR and pay him with money allocated for WR’s and then pay Gronk with TE money. This is not that complicated. If they want to keep both then they will.

          Two other things to keep in mind come 2014 the new TV money kicks in so there will be more cap space just in time. Second Brady will be 38 by then who knows what identity the pats coaching staff will want with regards to their offense.

      • Scott B.

        So what you’re saying is that they shouldn’t have signed Cortland Finnegan because the price was too high? Well then the first day of free agency was a success.

        That’s the only thing you wrote just now that I could make out. The rest was gibberish.

        George, whatever your day job is, don’t quit it.

    • Rick

      “Shameful” that in the first 10 hours of free agency they didn’t run out and sign a player? Grow up and either learn what the word means or learn to have some perspective.

  • latetodinner

    Bruce:

    I heard what Felger said about the dead cap money in real time. He was commenting more on the Pats “lousy” job of player personnel procurement than he was claiming the Pats would be hamstrung…that line was more tongue in cheek.

    I am sure by now Felger realizes that his cap is crap argument is just plain silly. The Jets, the Raiders, and the Colts have either been forced to make wholesale changes or not be able to pursue the FA’s they want because of cap situations. Felger will continue to beat the Cap is Crap drum however because he knows that if a team really wants a single player they can manipulate their cap to fit one player. It often means putting off dollars into future years but other than BB no GM in football knows whether they will have a job in a few years.

    Lastly, about the Pats and day 1 Free Agency…the pats need to spend 15 mill (We Welker’s 9.4 mill is already calculated as part of the cap. If they sign him to an extension even at 4 years 40 with 20mil guaranteed his cap number this year would go down giving the Pats even more money to spend. They will spend it. They will just do so carefully and on their terms.

    • bsmfan

      Unfortunately, it seems like good WR’s have been pricing 8-10m, excluding the massive megatron deal. It looks like they’d have to do 4×8, guarantee 60% or something around there. I can see why it’s a gamble but do they really want to do this each year?

      And, yeah, I heard the “cap is crap” stuff you mentioned in response and Bruce above (kudos also to Bruce formentioning the Wiggens stuff since I thought it was astounding..). Isn’t it funny he won’t recant?

      • Scott B.

        I can’t resist.

        “Bottom line the Pats are going to have start locking guys up earlier. AKA GRONKOWSKI, once they get to contract year it gets too expensive. Mankins, Wilfolk, maybe Welker.”

        George, you realize they signed Mankins and Wilfork, right? Then evidently it wasn’t too expensive. Unless you think the Pats should be paying less than everybody else for Pro Bowl players.

        I thought your ‘bottom line’ was that it was shameful that the Pats didn’t sign anyone yesterday. Now its that they don’t sign players early enough, and as evidence, you point to Mankins (6 year deal in 2011) and Wilfork (5 year deal in 2010). Good point. They really lost out by not signing those guys earlier.

        You are all over the road George. What if you took all the time you spend commenting on-line and put it into learning something about the subject?

      • latetodinner

        I think the blanket statement of “The Pats will have to start locking players up earlier” is both ignorant and stupid. You sound like a “yahoo” fan. What the Pats have to do is identify players they project as “core” players, approach them early and see how amenable they are to trading long term max dollars for contract stability and slightly larger dollars during arbitration eligible years. The Pats did that successfully with Mayo. I am sure they have approached Gronk and Hernandez about similar things. They did it with Wilfork. They tried to do it with mankins and were told it was all about being paid top dollars. They had a similar conversation with Samuel. The reason why I think your statement is moronic is that it takes both sides to agree to that type of contract. When the player does not jump at the Pats offer, then the Pats start to wonder if football is the most important thing to the player. Logan Mankins was the only exception to this I can think of in the BB era. When they tried to sign up Branch and he held out for money…they let him go. Same with Milloy, Law and a few others.

        I do agree the Pats need to TRY and do something with both Gronk and Hernandez and I think there is space. Both guys are on rookie contracts for 2 more years. The Pats could trade more money in the near term for cost certainty in the long term. But to demand the Pats lock these guys up shows ignorance. Likewise, it might not be int he players best interest to sign long term for less money. You don’t know the family situation, the agent’s advice or any other extenuating circumstance that might make the player want to go to FA. Look at Wes Welker…you would have thought 4 years at $32 mill with 20 guaranteed would have gotten him signed prior to yesterday. Now I am not sure 4 years at $60 mill with $30 guaranteed gets it done considering the ludicrous money teams were paying WR’s. Lincoln freed the slaves, the players earned free agency, some of them try and maximize their value regardless of what the teams wants, says or does.

  • Tony

    The handwringing over the Pats not doing anything yesterday is hilarious. Seriously, the only major names that changed teams were wide receivers—the least important position on a football field aside from punter/kicker (though, with the rules changes, running backs are quickly joining that category as well). Teams ALWAYS overpay for WRs, and they almost always live to regret it. The deal Vincent Jackson–a true headcase with off-field issues–got from a team, Tampa Bay, with HUGE problems everywhere else on its roster was just plain silly.

    And you know, as much as I’d love to see the Pats get Mario Williams, if the Bills or Bears are willing to give him $100 million, then more power to them. It’s not smart business over the long term, and it’s not going to make either of them Super Bowl contenders in 2012 (the Bears mainly because Green Bay is in their way in that division; the Bills because Williams only helps with their problems, he doesn’t solve them all, which are legion, starting with inconsistency at the QB position).

    The Pats just came within one dropped pass or one Rob Gronkowski ankle injury (take your pick) from winning the Super Bowl–they really don’t need to go crazy in free agency; they just need to plug a few holes with FAs and draft picks that make the most sense for them.

    Let the Redskins win their 10th straight “offfseason champs” trophy. (That much money for Pierre Garcon, really? That’s a nice double-whammy to go along with mortgaging their next three drafts for an unproven rookie QB.). I’d rather see the Patriots playing for a post-season championship, and they’re already well-positioned to do so.

    Mmmm….Kool-Aid.

  • bsmfan

    The “slump” has made Yahoo’s popular PuckDaddy blog:

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/boston-bruins-hangover-part-ii-may-just-cost-161747765.html

    If you’re a hockey fan and don’t read puck daddy, you need to. They have a Twitter feed and RSS if that’s your fancy.

  • Beaker

    Wilfolk? Panene? Do you even watch these games? If you’re bucking for fill in host on EEI, you’re certainly on the right track.

  • Scott B.

    Think again George. Think again.

    • Scott B.

      I wouldn’t call it a disagreement George. In fact, I’m challenging your bona fides when it comes to the certitude with which you make your string of wild and often illogical assertions. Just as one example, your statement earlier that you don’t care where the help comes from, be it FA, draft, or wherever, just as long as it comes. Wasn’t it just yesterday that you termed no deals in the first 12 hours of FA as shameful?Those statements aren’t in the least bit consistent, yet you made them both. Further, your claim that Welker would have jumped at 4/32 if the Pats had just offered it. You have no idea that they didn’t, and you have no idea whether he would have accepted. The spate of WR activity in the last day might suggest that this wouldn’t have been the wisest business decision by Wes, yet you don’t acknowledge this in the least. You just state definitively that he would have jumped on it. You’re talking out your *ss and claiming its fact.

      I’m not disagreeing with you George, I’m saying you’re full of shit. I’m saying you’re just another hack that’s trying to get a nut in the new media without a whit of the kind of thought and reason that might make these contributions worthwhile. There’s a difference.

  • George

    Late for dinner you could not be more wrong. But first let’s be honest, using words like moronic doesn’t make you anymore right. That most important thing is Pats propaganda. Believe me the Giants didn’t win the Sb because football was more important. Osi wanted to be traded all pre-season because of his contract. They caved to Mankins and made him the highest paid lineman. The NFL money is going up, the Jets are probably psyched the got Revis for what they did, he’s worth 15 mill a yr based on what Finnegan just got. You still didn’t make a point. No doubt, in writing the last few years I have realized the Patriot fan just gets a little too emotional in defending this team. It’s a sports debate always. People like yourself want to make it personal. I just think people still give way too much credit to the system and really don’t see how much the brilliance of Brady and Belichick cover up talent gaps. This team strongest suit is not the offseason.

    • latetodinner

      George…I am not wrong in either my analysis or my calling your blanket statement moronic. If you want to take it personally that is all on you. You made the statement in a vacuum and I called you on it. I hear that statement a lot from mediots and fans alike who do not understand the business side of the sport. They think the team has control…they can just lock up a player early. They forget that it is a negotiation, a give and take…that there has to be incentive for the player to agree to the “home town discount”. That incentive is ALWAYS security.

      The Pats went to Welker and made him security offers. Rumors are that they were apart on money and years for the better part of the year long negotiation. Welker played the last 3 years for $10 mill total. He thought he was worth that per year. The Pats didn’t and the Pats had the Franchise tag as leverage. So the only thing Welker could do was force the use of the of the Tag, not sign the tender, see what the market settles at, and then if he wants either negotiate a new deal or play for $9.4 guaranteed. There was nothing the Pats could to “Lock him up earlier” other than set a market which they would have been stupid to do. Once the Pats and Welker figured out they were not going to agree on numbers both gambled and Welker won…good for him.

      The problem I have and the reason why I used terms like moronic and idiotic, George, is that you consistently spew things like that which are devoid of critical thinking. I have defended your writing and your ideas on this board. I find your long form stuff to be of higher quality than your responses here. Perhaps you take more time to think them out or form the ideas, perhaps your long form stuff is usually more media critical than sport specific. Whatever the reason your analysis of the Pats and what they should do is idiotic, unsophisticated and quite frankly usually wrong. I very seldom make arguments personal but I did this time because I was hoping you might see how bad your logic was and stop saying things that make you look like a fool.

  • Major

    That’s it. S’over.

  • Tony

    Regarding Welker…I said the same thing last week but it bears repeating. He blew out his knee in the third year of his five-year deal in 2009. That pretty much put the kibosh on the Pats offering him a long-term deal until he proved that he could play at a high level again during the 2010 season. Once he did that, the Pats began contract talks. However, once you get into the last year of a player’s deal, anything can happen and the player often begins to see the FA dollars down at the end of the road, that final season on his deal, and he may not be amenable to signing an extension at that point. That’s quite likely what happened with Welker in 2011, but again, I really don’t think the Pats can be criticized too harshly for this one, because you had a case where the player suffered a devastating knee injury midway through the original deal, and the team had to wait a full season to see if he had, in fact, recovered sufficiently enough to still be a key cog in the offense.

    • latetodinner

      Tony…one caveat to your post, which I mostly agree with, Even with the knee injury the Pats offered Welker a long term deal. The issue has been money since the first time Welker led the league in receptions. The problem has been how to set the market for a player who has no real peers as no slot receiver in the league is as productive as he is. Probably hasn’t been one since Steve Largent. Welker has been underpaid every year he has been in the league and now he wants to catch up.

      • Tony

        Did they offer him a LT deal in 2010? I wasn’t aware of that, but if that’s the case then clearly the issue here is what’s the “value” of a guy like Welker anyway? It’s a difficult number to ascertain because his skill set is unique and, let’s face it, playing with one of the three of four greatest QBs ever for the last five seasons has perhaps skewed his value as well. I mean, in Miami in 2006 he caught 67 passes from guys like Dante Culpepper and Cleo Lemon—pretty good production, but not the other-worldly production that he’s had since coming to NE. What would his numbers be if he signed with the Raiders and played with Carson Palmer? Would they be the kind of numbers that warrant a $9M or $10M per year deal? Is he Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald or even Desean Jackson? Most people would say no, but his value to the Patriots probably is higher than it is to other teams. His age has to be taken into consideration now as well–guys like Jackson, Johnson and Fitzgerald still have the bulk of their careers ahead of them; Welker is on the back nine, even though he may still be on just the 12th tee. I wouldn’t “overpay” for him if I’m the Pats, but I wouldn’t want to see them lose him either—tough call here for the organization, obviously.

        • latetodinner

          From what I have read the Pats started “conversations” with Welker as early as 2010. We, of course, will never know what the “conversations” entailed. It could have been “Wes we would like you back” “Gee Bill I would like to be back” or it could have been “What would it take to get you to sign long term””Not sure I will get back to you”…They definitely offered him a real contract last year. He definitely came back with a counter that was either too rich or too long in terms of years for the Pats tastes and the yet the Pats were comfortable paying him $9.4 in guaranteed dollars for 2012.

          I think you are 100% right, his value to the Pats is different than it would be to any other team because of Tom Brady and the offense the Pats run here. Likewise I think Welker would be foolish to leave NE and then see his production fall off a cliff. Both sides know this is the perfect marriage. The problem is they can’t agree on money…which sounds like most marriages.

  • mallen

    Every year, E-V-E-R-Y year, there is a sort of blind panic that the Patriots will not sign someone they desperately need and simply cannot be replaced by anyone else, EVER. Or that they will let someone walk whom they desperately need to keep. it is about match-ups and value, and overall, their track record is pretty solid.

    Just like the media need something to talk about every day, even if it means conjuring up strawmen, so do some posters, here.

    • Tony

      What drives me nuts is that so many people who should know better (media types) seemingly ignore the fact that in 4 years between Super Bowl appearances Belichick almost completely rebuilt the roster, with only 5 players who appeared in Super Bowl XLII appearing in last month’s game against the Giants — and he did it while never once winning fewer than 10 regular season games (2009, with 10 wins, was the “low” point). To not think that is an incredible accomplishment in the salary cap/free agency era is to not think very deeply at all. I know we’re all frustrated that they haven’t hoisted another Lombardi since 2004 (yet), but that can be ascribed more to bad luck and bad bounces in the last two Super Bowl losses than to anything else…in my opinion anyway. I’m confident that BB will add some parts in free agency, then add some more parts in the draft, and maybe even toss in a “big” trade down the line that no one sees coming until it’s already announced. He knows how close the Pats are to going on another dominant run, and he no doubt is working towards finishing the job as we speak–but he’ll continue to do it his way, which will continued frustrate some and provide fodder for others (media types).