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Boston Bruins Take On Chicago Blackhawks

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With the Boston Bruins (20-3-5) continuing their winning streak to 8 games with a win over Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday Night (2-0) in regulation, their were a couple notables to take away from that. 1.) Jaroslav Halak played in his 500th career game, and on top of that he went on to get the win with a shut out. 2.) David Krejci Scored his 200th career goal which is a milestone but the veteran center said “Its just a number.”

Tonight’s match-up against the Chicago Blackhawks (10-12-5) looks like an easy win since Chicago is having the worst start to their season. Wrong… Even though Chicago is on a losing streak doesn’t mean they can’t win. All in all you take a look back at the record between Boston and Chicago you’ll see that these two teams are apart of the Original Six so they have seen each other a lot. To be exact these two teams of played each other 590 times (268W/ 239L/ 79T/ 4OL).

Chicago has a powerful offensive unit with names like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, Duncan Keith, etc. My personal experience and seeing these star players it’s always a challenge for opposing teams. On top of Chicago having goal scoring players, how will the Boston Bruins offense compare tonight?

We all have to admit the past few games Boston hasn’t really been scoring goals until the 2nd or 3rd period. Take last nights game for example. Boston didn’t score a goal till the 3rd with 5 minutes remaining. Then another goal 1 minute and 8 seconds after. Sure they went on to win but they have to start scoring first.

In the net tonight:

Boston- Tuukka Rask

Chicago- Robin Lehner

Tonight’s Game: 7PM- TD Garden, Boston.

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Sports

Eastern Conference Re-Match: Carolina Hurricanes Come To Boston

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Tonight’s match-up is special not for the Boston Bruins (19-3-5) winning streak, or the Carolina Hurricanes (16-10-1) are coming off a win over Tampa Bay. Its special because the last time Boston and Carolina played was in last seasons Eastern Conference Final where the Boston Bruins went on to sweep Carolina in four games. But with that being in the past, tonight is a clean slate for Carolina. Will the Boston Bruins continue their streak, or will Carolina Hurricanes start a streak of their own.

Key factors for the Boston Bruins is health. Patrice Bergeron will remain out and noted as day-to-day. When will he return is solely based on how he recovers. On the brighter side of health and injuries; David Backes returned to the line up last Sunday when the Boston Bruins faced the Montreal Canadiens. In his return he went on to score not only a goal but his first goal of the season. Of course the star for the Boston Bruins this season is hands down David Pastrnak. With 25 Goals on the season he continues to lead the NHL in that category.

On the Carolina Hurricanes side of the story, and what to watch out for is Jordan Staal, and his power play unit where he is accompanied by Nino Niederreiter and Lucas Wallmark. On top of that you also have to be acreful of Teuvo Teravainen, and Andrei Svechnikov. Both very good talent to have on any team. Ex- Bruin Dougie Hamilton is having a spectacular season by leading his team in Shots on Goal (94) and having 26 points in 26 games as well. All and all, Carolina is a strong team and very talented.

Tonight’s game: 7PM- TD Garden, Boston

Upcoming Games:

Thursday, Dec. 5 vs. Chicago Blackhawks, 7 p.m. ET- TD Garden, Boston

Saturday, Dec. 7 vs. Colorado Avalanche, 7 p.m. ET – TD Garden, Boston

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Sports

Pats need leadership on offense; not a sourpuss.

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Let’s get this out of the way:

I know Tom Brady is the Greatest of All Time.  I believe him to be up there with Gretzky and Jordan. 
I know the Pats are 10-2.
‘In Bill I Trust’ is tattooed on my face. 

I believe the Pats will beat the Chiefs next week because I am a homer at heart.  

Also, I need them to win because I’m going over my buddy Spud’s house and he is miserable to watch a game with when our teams lose.  I’m talking you drink twice as much, twice as fast because he is that horrible to be around should the local team be down. 

However;
The only time the Pats have had success at the expense of the opponent in the last 4 weeks has been in the No Huddle.  Where was that yesterday? Was it the 3rd string centers fault? Does he not know the drill? I highly doubt it. How about 5 wide?  

I’m willing to accept, without knowing who was actually sick, that we can rightfully blame some of the play on the flu.  When I have a cold, you’d think the plague had struck me and I was at the point of last rites. No chance I could play tackle football with the plague or a cold.

With that, I’m hoping that Marcus Cannon was sick and therefore found himself to be a turnstile on passing downs. 

Tell me Sanu was ill and that is why his routes and hands were so sloppy.  Tell me his head was stuffed so that he didn’t have the energy to yell over at the sidelines and ask for a replay after he was so clearly interfered with in the 4th.  

Please tell me that Josh McDaniels had the plague and that is why, when the Texans went up 28-9 with 9:53 left in the game, he went into garbage time mode.  The offense messed around with clock bleeding runs and short tosses up the middle. That left them with 50 seconds after the Pats brought it to 28-22 instead of the extra 3 minutes or so the Pats ran off the clock.  Inexplicable. 

As for Tommy Sour Puss; hey kid, at what point are you going to accept that it’s December and nobody else is walking through that door.  Who are you mad at? How about turning some of that mad at yourself because you have sucked for whatever reason these past 4 weeks. You want to blame it on everyone else or are you going to live up to your standard interview answer and ‘be hardest on myself for a bad performance’? 

Enough moping about AB.  Your man let you down by threatening a woman.  The Pats tried and he failed. For all you dunderheads who are saying the Pats should bring him back now, a news flash:  He threatened a woman via text and the NFL would never let him take another snap this season. Get that through your skull and dream of Gronk dancing around in a Lakers cheerleader uniform. 

Unhappy with the rookie receivers?  Not on the same page? They make rookie mistakes?  Gee, if only there was a ‘get to know you’ training where you could initiate the newbies to how you would like them to approach the game.  Oh wait, there is! OTAs! That’s right, you were right down the street so you couldn’t go to the OTAs what with all the playdates and TB12 appearances.  Shucks!

This whole benching of a rookie after one mistake is absolutely counter to adult learning processes.  First of all, the ball should have never been thrown. That’s on the 42 year old adult. Second, you spent a 1st round draft pick on N’Keal Harry.  When you bench/ignore him after a gaff, he doesn’t learn how to be better.

How about sending him right back out there and run the same play the way you did with Sanu when he first got here?  How about, instead of scowling at him, you shake him by his shoulder and say ‘forget about it kid, we’re on to the next set of downs.’  The kid is 6’4” 225 and you have him sitting down on an 8 yard curl. He’s already showed you he knows the sideline, back shoulder route.  You gotta be kidding me with this nickel and dime poop with this kid. Coach the kid from the huddle! As Frank Slade said in ‘Scent of a Woman’ 

Let him continue on his journey.

You hold this boy’s future in your hands, Committee.

It’s a valuable future, believe me.

Don’t destroy it. Protect it. Embrace it. It’s gonna make you proud one day, I promise you.”

Look, I know the Pats are 10-2 and that is a great record.  I love that 3 of the 4 remaining games are at the Razor. However two of those games are against the Chiefs and the very good Bills.  The Bills have that defense that can penetrate the Pats susceptible O-Line and rattle Tommy Five Steps.  
Forget the fellowship of the miserable, there are reasonable people who are concerned that the Boogeyman have been Ghostbuster’d and that Tommy Four Two is playing like any man his age.

Is this the week that Brady realizes it isn’t leadership to piss and moan about your receivers and he puts on show with what he has? 

I think he will.  I think the KC defense is just what the doctor ordered for a struggling offense. 

Soog. Out. 

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Sports

It’s time to give Dwight Evans his due

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It’s time to give Dwight Evans his due.

The 2020 Modern Era Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot candidates are:

Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker

My ballot would be punched for Dwight Evans, Thurman Munson and Marvin Miller.

As has been the case in recent years, voters compare candidates who are on the bubble to the ‘worst’ Hall of Famers at their position.  That’s why the Hall of ‘Very Good’ now has undeserving members such as Tony Perez, Jack Morris, Bert Blyleven, Bruce Sutter, Andre Dawson, Craig Biggio, Allan Trammell, Mike Mussina and Harold Baines.   

I’m looking at where the former Sox right fielder stacks up with all of the HOF Right Fielders.  What I found is that, except for Batting Average, Dwight is smack dab in the middle of the HOFers in most major statistical categories.  Let’s take a look.  

There are 26 right fielders in the HOF.  Here is how Dewey stacks up versus Right Fielders currently in the Hall of Fame.  Get ready for a statistics headache.

WAR (Wins a player adds over average player at that position)

  • Evans WAR is better than 14 current HOFers.  
  • HOFers WAR Average- 71.5;  Dwight-67.1

WAR7 (Sum of the WAR of the best 7 seasons.  Need not be in a row)

  • Evans WAR7 is better than 11 current HOFers
  • HOFer WAR7 average-42.1; Dwight- 37.3

JAWS (Contains WAR/WAR7 to compare to average HOFers)

  • Evans JAWS is better than 14 current HOFers
  • HOFer JAWS Average- 56.8; Dwight- 52.2

Certainly, one of the main reasons Dewey isn’t already enshrined is his .272 batting average.  Only Reggie Jackson’s .262 is lower amongst right fielders in the Hall. However, no baseball player had more extra base hits in the decade of the 80s than the Sox right fielder

How does Evans stack up against current right fielders in the Hall of Fame in the more traditional metrics?  Let’s take a look.

385 Home Runs tops 17 of the 26 Right Fielders in HOF
.470 Slugging % tops 11 of the 26 Right Fielders in HOF

.840 OPS tops 12 of the 26 Right Fielders in HOF

127 OPS+ tops 8 of the 26 Right Fielders in HOF

.370 OBP tops 12 of the 26 Right Fielders in HOF

1384 RBI is more than 14 of 26 HOF RFs

2446 Hits is more than 8 of 26 HOF RFs


Dewey drew the 8th most walks of all Right Fielders ever which is better than 21 of those right fielders in the Hall which boosted his OBP.  Evans actually drew 16 more walks than Reggie Jackson while playing in 214 fewer games than Reggie Bar. 

It’s nearly impossible to be a better defensive right fielder; especially in what was one of the most difficult right fields in the game.  Evans is famous for patrolling the tricky Fenway outfield with an adroit glove and rocket arm. The strength and accuracy of his arm is often the first tool mentioned whenever Dwight’s name is invoked. 

Dewey graduates.  It’s time.  

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Sports

Another Rival Match-Up: Boston Hosts Montreal

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Big talk out of Boston is health issues: Good and bad but mostly bad, with Bergeron still out but on the bright side David Backes makes a return after suffering an upper body injury he revived back on November 2nd. Backes is excited to return to the line up but with his return, Jack Studnicka was dropped back down to Providence to make the room necessary. The Boston Bruins (18-3-5) host the Montreal Candiens (11-9-6) in another rival match-up.

Coming off a Thanksgiving match-up against the New York Rangers and a huge overtime win with a goal by David Krejci keeps the Bruins on track with a spectacular winning streak. Boston Bruins hope to keep that trend going, but to do so they will have to play just as they did against Montreal last Tuesday night. They went to win that game 8-1!

Tonight’s Line Ups:

Boston Bruins

Brad Marchand–David Krejci–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–Charlie Coyle–Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork–Sean Kuraly–David Backes
Joakim Nordstrom–Par Lindholm–Chris Wagner

Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk–Connor Clifton

Tuukka Rask

Montreal Canadiens

Tomas Tatar–Phillip Danault–Brendan Gallagher
Artturi Lehkonen–Max Domi–Nick Suzuki
Nick Cousins–Jesperi Kotkaniemi–Joel Armia
Charles Hudon–Natw Thompson–Jordan Weal

Ben Chiarot–Shea Weber
Brett Kulak–Jeff Petry
Mikey Reilly–Cale Fleury

Carey Price

Tonight’s Game: 7PM- TD Garden, Boston

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Sports

Post Thanksgiving Match-up: Rangers Coming To Beantown

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The Boston Bruins (17-3-5) host the post Thanksgiving match up and will take on the New York Rangers (12-9-2). What we have in store today is just incredible. Another Original 6 match-up, Chance to win six straight, and donning of the new sweaters.

Key Factors going in to todays afternoon game:

The New York Rangers look to extend a streak of their own to wining four in the row if they can do it today. Artemi Panarin putting up good numbers with just 32 points through 23 contests. Rangers are sixth in the metropolitan division just behind the Philadelphia Flyers and ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Boston Bruins are going to have Patrice Bergeron sit out the game today. As the mentioned they are going to take it easy with the center as he still battles a lower body injury. As we know he did not travel to play in any of the last two games. With that being said it looks like the line up will consist of David Krejci taking Patrice Bergeron spot, and Jack Studnicka will pair up with Charlie Coyle and Jake Debrusk. Bruins look to extend their win streak to six games and on top of that they look to extend their game point streak to 10.

Game Starts- 1PM- TD Garden, Boston

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Bruins Stay North: In Ottawa

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With the Boston Bruins (16-3-5) coming off a tremendous win against Montreal last night with an 8-1 victory, they will follow up by taking on the Ottawa Senators (11-12-1). Bruins looking to continue the winning streak to five tonight, if they can pull it off.

As we know Patrice Bergeron wasn’t making the road trip this time around due to a lower body injury, and with Jaroslav Halak in net last night, Tuukka Rask will take over tonight. On top of a Boston Bruins win last night, David Pastrnak gained his 7th career hat trick. At the rate Pastrnak is going with 23 goals on the season in 24 games he is set to lead the rest of the season.

Along with top players such as Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak you have to give credit where credit is due. Rising stars such as Jake Debrusk, Charlie Coyle (both with a goal in last nights game), it’s nice to see that such young talent on the team and producing so much offense is going to be great for the future of the team. Personally, we’re going to be unstoppable with healthy players, young talent, and passion.

Game tonight- 7PM- Canadian Tire Centre

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The Rivalry: Boston Bruins V.s Montreal Canadiens

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The Boston Bruins (15-3-5) will travel north of the border to take on the Montreal Canadiens (11-7-5). We all know you have the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees rivalry, the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears rivalry. But the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens is something a little more special.

Since the beginning of the NHL and the original six originated Boston and Montreal always seem to stick out. Sure, you had other teams such as the Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, and New York Rangers to complete the original six and each team having their own separate story lines. Boston and Montreal have played against each other more times in the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs than any other combined teams (924 Times).

I won’t get to far in depth with the history because, who knows. Maybe I might have to write a book. So enough with the shortened history lesson, this is what we have to look forward tonight.

Patrice Bergeron will not be traveling with the team due to a lower body injury but will hopefully return Friday to the lineup to face the New York Rangers. Already it seems Bergeron is having a hard time staying healthy and coming back for games here and there will not help with his season statistics.

Other news going into tonight’s game; Tuukka Rask will sit the bench tonight to get him ready for Ottawa tomorrow so that means Jaroslov Halak will mind the net tonight (4-1-3 / 2.57GAA / .924SV%). Also Jack Studnicka will make his NHL debut coming up from the Providence Bruins.

Game starts: 6PM- Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada- Tune in to NESN.

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Smart Wills The C’s To A Win

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… Marcus Smart is, and has been for a while, the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics. Last night with Kemba, Hayward and Theis out, he willed this team to a win. 

Marcus shot 7-12 from the field and finished with 17 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 5 steals and a block . On a night where the C’s two main ball handlers/distributors were out, they desperately needed someone to run the offense and boy did Smart step up. From no look passes to taking his man off the dribble to the cup, he truly did it all last night. His defense, as always was impeccable. He caused two 24-second violations and at one point was manned-up against the Kings’ center and had him absolutely locked down. I mean, who else in this league can not only guard 1 through 5 but can actually lock them up? Not many. For some reason, Marcus doesn’t get the recognition he deserves nationally but here in Boston we know what he brings to the floor every night and we love him for it. 

With under a minute to go in a tie game, he took his man off a pick and roll and hit a fade-away to put the C’s up 2. A couple of possessions later, he put his head down and went to the cup with a beautiful spin and lay in to again give the Celts the lead. On the ensuring Sacramento possession, he stole the ball and drew the foul which resulted in a side out. 

He always brings the intensity on defense but last night he brought efficient offense to the dance and in that 4th quarter willed his undermanned team to a win. How lucky we are to get to watch this guy play his heart out every night.

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Pats vs ‘Boys: Hopes and Expectations

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If the Pats want to go 5 wide today, it’s going to look something like N’Keal Harry/Edelman/White/Jakobi Meyers/Matthew Slater.  As for the passing game in general, knowing what we know of Tom Brady, Edelman will see more throws than everyone else combined except James White whom you should start on your fantasy team.  This is a James White game.


Cowboys are 7th in Pass Defense and 15th in Run defense.  James White and his understudy, Rex Burkhead are going to be active in the flats.  They will also take their shots running at the right side of the Dallas line. Dallas #58, Quinn and #99 Woods have been particularly generous to opposing runners.  Now, the question is can the Pats come up with a formation that gets those blockers off the line. Isaiah Wynn if finally back!!!!! I mean anything he has is better than the turnstyle before him right?  

In terms of the Pats passing game, aside from the beating Edelman is going to take today with the absence of Sanu; TB is going to have to forgive all the errors in practice from the kids.  Let’s take N’Keal out for a spin today and stretch him out a little. Let’s forgive Meyers turning the wrong way last week and be confident he won’t do it this time. After all, most, if not all of TB’s 5 INTs were on him and not his target.  Time to give them the benefit of the doubt. Meyers is the guy who can take the load off of JE and JW. Stick with the short stuff. Set up up for that TE go route where Watson can grab his one catch up the field for 25 and some YAC. See if N’Keal is up for a long sideline back shoulder for 30 and YAC. 

Otherwise, you are at home, which is the biggest advantage of all.  Keep it simple game manager.

Defense have their hands full.  Wicked full.

Remember the Ravens game?  This QB is better at that type of game.  Deatrich Wise is on the the spot this week as he has got to establish that edge and seal it off.  Think about it. Prescott and Elliott back there on every play. Yikes. On whom do you spy? It’s not like you can afford a Safety here or linebacker there when you are looking at a 11 personnel consisting of WR Amari Cooper, Micheal Gallup, Randall Cobb with the aging Jason Witten.  Hoodie usually likes to double elite receivers and put Gilmore on the second biggest threat. I think this week they will mostly have Gilmore on Cooper depending on the situation. Instead of doubling up any of the receivers, I look for the Pats to employ a spy on (D.McCourty/ Collins) on Prescott. 

With the #1 Passing Offense, Dallas should expect NE to be looking to shut down Cooper.  The Pats run defense isn’t as terrible as the the fellowship of the miserable might have you believe (#10th in the NFL).  I think the Pats would be happy taking away Cooper, trying to minimize big plays from Elliot and leave Zac with dunks and sideline stuff. 

Oh, let’s hope this glorious New England weather holds up because our QB and Savior doesn’t lose when the ball is wet.  Let’s see how that indoor team with the explosive offense plays with wet wicks. I like the Patriots in this one.

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