Thursday, October 29, 2009
The 2009 home opener for the Boston Celtics couldn't have gone much better. The C's blew out the Charlotte Bobcats 92-59 last night to improve to 2-0. The night got even better as the Raptors beat the Cavs and the Phillies knocked off the Yankees in Game 1 of the World Series.
Yes you read that correctly, Charlotte (0-1) was held to a franchise-low 59 points. It was a pathetic performance but my best friend and I (who were there to witness it first hand) ate it up. There are plenty of bad girls high school basketball teams that can put up more than 59 points (in a shorter game).
It probably sounds absurd but the Celts didn't even play that well, making you wonder how much they could have won by if they shot the ball better (43.4%)?
In the second night of a back-to-back stretch to open the season and with the Bulls coming to Boston tomorrow night, the Celtics starters did what they had to do and were rewarded with plenty of rest in the fourth quarter.
Ray Allen led Boston with 18 points, Paul Pierce scored 15, Rajon Rondo had a double-double with 10 points, 11 assists and three steals while Kevin Garnett added 10 points, seven boards and three blocks. Kendrick Perkins had nine points, seven rebounds and four blocks and Rasheed Wallace scored nine off the bench.
Perhaps the only memorable part of the game (besides Charlotte's no-show) was the play of Shelden Williams. The former lottery pick from Duke continued to look good as he takes up a lot of the minutes that would have gone to Glen Davis.
Williams had 12 points and nine rebounds but he'll still only be the second best basketball player in his house since he's married to Candice Parker (who's probably better than half the scrubs in the NBA).
It didn't look like the Bobcats would get a player in double figures but Gerald Wallace checked in with 10 points and 12 rebounds. It was hard to figure out many things about Charlotte: A) who is their go-to guy; B) what is their offense; C) how long before Larry Brown bounces?
Things should get much harder tomorrow night as the Celtics and Bulls renew the rivalry that started this past spring with their intense seven game playoff series.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
It is hard to believe but the NBA season is off and running and what a way to start it as the Celtics went into Cleveland and beat the Cavs 95-89 at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Big Three are back together with a healthy KG and Boston's (1-0) newest additions of Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels and Shelden Williams all played roles in the impressive comeback win.
Predictably Cleveland (0-1) came out on fire with a 21-7 run to open the game. LeBron James (38 points, 8 assists, 4 blocks) looked every bit like the MVP he was last season. However, despite what every "expert" believes, Shaq (10 points, 10 rebounds) at this late stage of his NBA career does not make the Cavaliers better. Nope, his plodding offense and foul-prone defense doesn't help the Cavs develop into anything other than the one-man team they were exposed as in the Eastern Conference Finals last spring vs. the Magic. Three Cavs other than LeBron had double-digit points but they were 12, 10 and 10.
The Celts cut the lead to 28-21 after one quarter and they really made their move in the second quarter, outscoring the Cavs 30-17.
Paul Pierce led the C's with 23 points and 11 rebounds, Ray Allen scored 16 points, Kevin Garnett had 13 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks while Rajon Rondo added eight points, 10 assists and six rebounds.
With Glen Davis out indefinitely following surgery on his broken thumb, the acquisitions of Wallace, Daniels and even Williams look even better since more will be expected of them. Wallace led the bench with 12 points, Daniels had seven and Williams scored four points.
Boston continued their hot stretch into the third quarter but the Cavs made it interesting at the end with LeBron hitting a couple ridiculous shots.
Kendrick Perkins (9 points) had a big three-point play off a nice feed from Pierce late in the fourth quarter and Pierce sealed it with eight points down the stretch, on his patented mid range jumpers.
You couldn't ask for much more on Opening Night as the Celts won in Cleveland for the first time in five seasons. The Cavs only lost twice on their home floor in the regular season last year.
The Charlotte Bobcats come to the TD Garden tonight for the Celtics home-opener.
Monday, October 26, 2009
In my semester in London during college, I never recall a single day that was totally boring. I'm just glad between all the pub and booze-filled nights that I didn't have the chance to waste my money on a shitty NFL game like the one yesterday at Wembley Stadium. The Patriots beat the Bucs 35-7 in a game that wasn't half as close as the blowout score indicates.
It was the second straight week that New England (5-2) faced one of the sisters of the poor in the NFL, of which there are many this season, and they made quick work of wretched Tampa Bay (0-7).
On the first drive of the game, Bucs quarterback Josh Johnson threw a pick-six to Brandon Meriweather (his first of two interceptions), who returned it 39 yards.
Later in the quarter, the Pats went up 14-0 on a typical Wes Welker (10 catches, 107 yards) 14-yard catch and run. When Sam Aiken went the distance on a 54-yard catch early in the second quarter, this game lost all competitiveness.
Sure Tom Brady was picked off twice, but he still had 308 yards and three touchdowns.
Antonio Bryant had the Bucs' only offensive highlight on the day with a 33-yard touchdown catch from Johnson with 1:14 left in the half.
The second half had the feel of a preseason game as the crowd was completely disinterested (besides cheering for the Bucs smokeshow cheerleaders) and backups littered the field.
Brady hooked up with Ben Watson (who's always good for one nice catch) on a 35-yard touchdown in the third quarter. In his first start as the feature back, Laurence Maroney (13 carries, 43 yards) was up to his old dancing with the stars ways. He had a completely meaningless 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that nobody but him will ever remember.
Both teams get now get a bye week since they had to deal with the travel and time change with going to the UK. The hapless Bucs surrendered a home game just to go to London and get embarassed. Good times.
Things figure to get much harder for New England in November with a brutal five game stretch: vs. Dolphins, at Colts, vs. Jets, at Saints and at Dolphins. After a couple of those games we might be able to start to figure out what this team is all about. Right now, it's like a top college team in the beginning of the year after they play a couple of joke schools.
Monday, October 19, 2009
One of the main reasons that ESPN and most mainstream sports media these days is a joke is that they make snap decisions after one game or a very small sample size.
No doubt, after yesterday's 59-0 win over the Titans at snowy Gillette Stadium, most Patriots fans as well as pundits will be quick to say Tom Brady and the Pats are back.
To quote the esteemed Lee Corso, head college football bozo on Gameday, "not so fast my friend." So while yes, the events of yesterday's contest were quite pleasing, let's keep in mind what a perfect storm of shit the Titans faced: coming in 0-5 (their season was already over), there was an unexpected snowstorm, on the road against an offense and team looking to breakout and playing without three of its top guys in the secondary.
Only later in the season will we be able to say if this game was a blip (like last season's thrashing of Arizona in somewhat similar circumstances) or a positive sign of things to come from Brady (380 yards, 6 TDs), Wes Welker (10 catches, 150 yards, 2 TDs) and Randy Moss (8 catches, 129 yards, 3 touchdowns).
Recapping the play by play of this one would be pointless. I'll just talk about the New England scores and some other random thoughts.
After Sammy Morris got hurt in the first quarter (with what looked like a knee injury), Laurence Maroney subbed in and had a big game with 16 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown. Second year back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had his first playing time of the year and he looked good, rushing for 67 yards and making two catches for 11 yards.
After Stephen Gostkowski missed a 39-yard kick, Maroney opened the scoring with a 45-yard run. Gostkowski hit a 33-yard kick as the Pats (4-2) led 10-0 after the first quarter.
The second quarter was something we'll never see again in our lifetimes. Brady set an NFL record with five touchdown passes in those 15 minutes.
He started it with his two best passes of the season: a 40-yard flea flicker to Moss then a 28-yard pass to Moss in the back of the end zone when Brady was about to be drilled.
Kevin Faulk turned a screen pass into a 38-yard touchdown then Wes Welker got his two touchdowns: from 30 and five yards.
The only real intrigue after the half (the biggest deficit in NFL history) was how much longer Brady would play (one series) and if the Pats would get the shutout (since I was facing them in fantasy football).
Brady's day was done after a 9-yard touchdown pass to Moss. Rookie backup quarterback Brian Hoyer got his first NFL action and made it memorable by scoring on a 1-yard QB sneak for the final mark.
Poor Chris Johnson had 128 yards rushing for the Titans (0-6) but Kerry Collins (2 for 12, -7 yards, fumble, interception) and Vince Young (0 for 2, interception) looked like they'd never played football before or seen snow. Collins must have fallen off the wagon yesterday because no sober NFL quarterback could play that bad. As for VY, he continues to rapidly regress as he only worries about partying shirtless in clubs.
Patriots rookie cornerback Darius Bulter had his first NFL interception and so did rookie safety Patrick Chung. In addition, New England's defense recovered three fumbles.
I thought Arizona's turd salad was the worst performance I'd ever see in the NFL but in less than a year, that was topped. It's hard to imagine any loss being worse than yesterday.
Next on the schedule, New England and Tampa Bay (0-6) meet in London on Sunday for another stupid NFL in the UK matchup. Earth to Roger Goddell: nobody in the UK gives a shit about American football. Never have, never will. Time to move on from this stupid experiment.
The Pats shouldn't have any trouble with the hapless Bucs and they'll cruise into their bye week at 5-2. Some other good news coming from yesterday was that the Jets continue to fall apart as they lost to Buffalo in overtime. It was a pathetic loss that dropped the Jets to 3-3, losers of three straight. Your New England Patriots now rest atop the AFC East.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
For the fourth time in five games to start the '09-'10 season, the Boston Bruins did not play well. They lost 4-3 to the Colorado Avalanche yesterday in a Columbus Day matinee at the Garden.
The Avs (3-1-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period thanks to some juicy rebounds by Bruins goalie Tukka Rask (18 saves).
At 6:15 Milan Hejduk scored a power-play goal from Matt Duchene and Kyle Quincey. Rask blocked the initial shot but the rebound went right to Hejduk who backhanded it in the net.
37 seconds later, Colorado made it 2-0 when Scott Hannon scored from David Jones and Ryan O'Reilly.
The B's (2-3) regrouped during the first intermission and started playing up to their capabilities with two goals in the second period. Mark Recchi one-timed one home after a nice pass from behind the net by Patrice Bergeron. Chuck Kobasew also assisted on that goal.
Then Blake Wheeler tied it after a beautiful pass by Michael Ryder (and David Krejci) that Wheeler deflected out of mid-air and past Avs goalie Craig Anderson (29 saves).
Special teams killed Boston as Colorado scored another power-play goal. Marek Svatos did the honors from Wojtek Wolski and Brett Clark.
Easily the pivotal play of the game was late in the second period with the Bruins on a power-play. Some miscommunication led to three Boston players going after one Avalanche player near the benches. Somehow T.J. Galiardi came out of the scrum with the puck and sent it up ahead to Jones on a breakaway. He scored and that proved to be the game-winner.
Ryder cut it to 4-3 in the third with a backhander (from Milan Lucic and Krejci) but the B's couldn't find the tying goal.
After a few needed days of practice, the Bruins head out on their first road trip of the season: Dallas on Friday and Phoenix on Saturday. Both are very winnable games so hopefully Boston starts to find its identity before it comes back to the Garden next week.
Monday, October 12, 2009
The whining, irrational Boston fan is beyond played out so I'll try hard not to fall into that familiar archetype. Still, yesterday was not the best day if you like sports and are a Boston fan.
The Sox were swept by the Angels (at Fenway no less) in the ALDS and the Patriots went into Denver and choked away a 10-point lead in a 20-17 overtime loss.
New England (3-2) led 17-7 at the half as they efficiently held off the Broncos (5-0).
Wes Welker (8 catches, 86 yards) caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady and Stephen Gostkowski added a 53-yard kick to give the Pats a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.
Denver woke up in the second quarter as Brandon Marshall (8 catches, 64 yards) caught an 11-yard TD from my favorite party animal/starting quarterback Kyle Orton.
Ben Watson sent the Pats into the locker room on a high note as he caught a 5-yard touchdown with five seconds left in the first half.
Former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is the best young coach in the game and he showed why as his team outscored the Patriots 13-0 in the second half and overtime.
Deadspin has made a living off of Orton but give the guy props: he'll never be an All-Pro but he is a solid NFL QB. He was 35 of 48 for a season-high 330 yards and two touchdowns.
Marshall and Eddie Royal (10 catches, 90 yards) did their best Randy Moss and Welker impression. In fact, Denver's duo was much better than New England's since Moss (1 catch, 36 yards) was a complete non-factor.
Broncos rookie running back Knowshon Moreno had 88 yards rushing and 36 yards receiving in his first NFL start.
The Pats defense did a good job once again of limiting touchdowns. Matt Prater hit a 24-yard field goal in the third quarter and Marshall tied it up with an 11-yard touchdown catch.
For whatever reason, Tom Brady (19 for 35, 215 yards, 2 touchdowns) had his worst game of the season. In the second half, the offense had a bunch of chances but they couldn't move the ball.
When Denver won the toss in overtime, it was clear they were going to march down the field and score. Prater hit a 41-yard field goal to win it.
Jerod Mayo played and Vince Wilfork seemed back to full strength. Fred Taylor had ankle surgery last week so he's out for a while. Sammy Morris continued to play well with 68 yards rushing and 39 yards receiving.
The winless Tennessee Titans (0-5) come to Gillette next Sunday for what could be a trap game but more likely will be a comfortable Patriots win.
Well that didn't take long. The Red Sox' 2009 season ended abruptly yesterday afternoon at Fenway Park as they suffered their most bitter loss of the season, 7-6 to the legit. Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels proved (like I said after game 1 of the ALDS) that the one-sided past history didn't mean anything as they rallied from a 5-1 deficit and scored three runs in the ninth against Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon (who had never allowed a run before in 27 postseason innings).
As surprising as the loss was, it looked like game 4 was a certainty, it didn't take long to move on after the loss since you knew this team wasn't winning three in a row against the Angels and also, the Patriots played just minutes later at the Broncos.
There is no sport like baseball. With 162 regular season games, not to mention spring training and the playoffs, you spend way more time with your team than in any other sport. Like family, friends and co-workers, you get to know the players since you are right there for their ups, downs and everything in between.
Dustin Pedroia gave the Sox a 2-0 lead in the third with a two-run double. Victor Martinez knocked in Pedroia with an RBI single. Angels starter Scott Kazmir was on the ropes but he held on to go six innings. He allowed five runs on five hits with three walks and a strikeout.
In his postseason debut, Red Sox youngster Clay Buchholz pitched well given the circumstances. He went five innings, giving up two runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Kendry Morales cranked a solo homer to right in the fourth to get the Angels on the board but J.D. Drew more than answered in the home half of the inning with a two-run bomb to dead center.
The Angels scored in the sixth on a double-play ball since they had the bases loaded.
Los Angeles' real damage started in the eighth as Papelbon was touched up for a two-run single by Juan Rivera which cut it to 5-4. Papelbon inherited the runners from Billy Wagner.
Pap got out of the eighth by picking off Reggie Willits and it really looked the Sox would survive as Mike Lowell's opposite field RBI single in the eighth made 6-4.
The Angels' rally in the ninth started with the bases empty, two outs and No. 9 hitter Erick Aybar at the plate. He singled, Chone Figgins walked, Bobby Abreu hit an RBI double, Torii Hunter was intentionally walked and Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run single, making up for a terrible series by him.
Papelbon was yanked in favor of Hideki Okajima and the Fenway Park crowd was stunned, the season was over. Boston went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth as Angels closer Brian Fuentes recorded his second save of the series.
The Yankees also advanced last night with a sweep of the Twins and they'll host the Angels in the ALCS beginning on Friday in what should be a great series.
The biggest question facing the Red Sox in the off-season is whether to re-sign Jason Bay. He's been a very durable, productive player and he deserves a big contract. Hopefully, another team (ie. the Mets) doesn't throw a ridiculous offer at him.
David Ortiz and Mike Lowell continue to rapidly age while Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek might not be back next season. The pieces are there for another great season and a better run in the playoffs. Josh Beckett wasn't himself for the second half of the season. Jon Lester was a rock and Buchholz finally showed his ability on a consistent basis in Boston.
Once the starting pitching fell apart in the middle of this season, this team's margin for error got smaller and smaller. Other than Bay and Kevin Youkilis, no other offensive player exceeded their expectations at the plate. Jacoby Ellsbury had 70 steals, Pedroia was very solid and Victor Martinez was a revelation after coming over from the Indians.
Papelbon is still good but there were plenty of signs during the season that something like yesterday was inevitable in a big moment. He's not Mariano Rivera, a robot that is impervious to age and still as unhittable as ever.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
After pointing out in my last Bruins post how irrelevant the NHL is right now, I am going to do a 180 and tell you what a big win it was last night over the Islanders.
Boston (2-2-0) was completely lifeless at the Garden and faced a 3-0 deficit in the third period before they tied it up with three goals in a little over five minutes. The B's kept the good vibes going as they outscored the Islanders (0-0-3) 2-1 in the shootout.
Looking for a spark, Bruins head coach Claude Julien started talented backup goalie Tukka Rask. It wasn't really his fault as New York scored three goals in the second period.
Jon Sim scored on a power-play goal, Radek Martinek tallied a goal and No. 1 draft pick John Tavares rounded out the scoring for what is expected to be one of the NHL's worst teams.
At 11:59 in the third period, Marc Savard finally got the B's on the board with a goal from Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic. Byron Bitz cut it to 3-2 with a pretty spin and shot that deflected off an Islanders defenseman's skate, past goalie Dwayne Roloson. Steve Begin and Matt Hunwick assisted on the goal.
Through four games, Boston's best line by far has been the fourth which consistently brings energy and pressure.
Less than two minutes later Hunwick tied it with his wrist shot that went top shelf through a ton of traffic in front of Roloson (27 saves). The Garden crowd went nuts as the Bruins had improbably come back from a seemingly insurmountable hole.
Blake Wheeler scored first in the shootout and Rob Schremp answered for New York. Savard was the last shooter to score as the Islanders last two shooters missed the net.
Rask finished with 35 saves in his first win of the '09-'10 season. It should be the first of many this season as along with Tim Thomas, the Bruins possess one of the best goalie tandems in the league.
Boston hosts Colorado tomorrow afternoon in a Columbus Day matinee at the Garden.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Yikes. In a carbon copy game of the night before, the Boston Red Sox got another decent start by its starting pitcher but couldn't get anything going offensively against the Angels' starter and as a result lost 4-1 in game 2 of the ALDS.
Through two games, Boston has combined for eight total hits and one run. It's baffling. Most expected this to be a tough series since the Angels had to beat the Sox in the playoffs at some point but this is just pathetic.
Victor Martinez actually gave Boston a 1-0 lead in the fourth as he singled home Jacoby Ellsbury (2 hits), who had led off the inning with a triple.
Other than that, Jered Weaver was lights out. The lanky, stereotypical Southern Californian went 7.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Josh Beckett was cruising until the seventh inning. The Angels tied it in the fourth when Kendry Morales knocked in Bobby Abreu with a sacrifice fly.
Maicer Izturis gave his team a 2-1 lead in the seventh with an RBI single but Erick Aybar (2 hits) had the big play of the night. He hit a two-run triple to center over Ellsbury's head and the Angels grabbed a three-run lead (4-1). Just like in game 1, once Los Angeles went up by more than a run, you had a feeling that was goodnight.
Boston's bats can't get anything going. They're seeing a lot of pitches but they're not working walks or starting rallies.
Jonathan Papelbon threw a scoreless ninth (hopefully its not the last time he's used in the series) but the Angels bullpen was better. Darren Oliver got a strikeout, Kevin Jepsen recorded two outs and Brian Fuentes notched the last two outs in the ninth for the save.
The 2009 Red Sox season could end tomorrow afternoon at Fenway. It's crazy to think that a team that many considered a dark-horse to get to the World Series has been so lifeless. Still, it's only a 2-0 deficit which is doable (four teams have come back from it; including the Sox in '99 vs. the Indians and '03 vs. the A's) if Clay Buchholz pitches well tomorrow and they start making a couple big plays.
Former Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir gets the start for the Angels tomorrow as they try to move on to the ALCS.
Friday, October 9, 2009
The Angels are good and they're bound to beat the Red Sox in a playoff series at some point in my lifetime.
In game 1 of the ALDS last night at Angel Stadium, John Lackey pitched much better than Jon Lester and Torii Hunter hit a three-run homer.
There's not much else to say about a pretty cut and dry game. Lackey went 7.1 shut out innings, allowing only four hits with a walk and four strikeouts while Lester (6 innings, 3 runs, 4 hits, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts) was doomed by Hunter's bomb.
Lester was able to deftly escape some earlier jams but Hunter came through in the fifth with Erick Aybar and Bobby Abreu (4 walks) on base.
Kendry Morales' RBI single in the seventh inning scored two after Jason Bay's throwing error.
Boston's bats were non-existant as they couldn't do anything against scrub Darren Oliver, who got the last five outs of the game.
Josh Beckett opposes Jered Weaver tonight as the Red Sox try to climb back into the series before they head back to Fenway.
For the second time in three games to start the 2009-2010 season, the Boston Bruins submitted a complete clunker.
Last night they went down 6-1 to the Anaheim Ducks at the TD Garden, in a game that the Bruins strangely enough led 1-0 after one period and looked fine.
The B's no-showed against the Caps in the season-opener (4-1), smoked the Hurricanes (7-2; I was there, maybe that's the missing ingredient) and then last night's pathetic display while everyone in New England waited for the Sox game to start.
Marco Sturm put the Bruins (1-2) up 1-0 in the first with a goal from Marc Savard and Dennis Wideman.
Anaheim (1-1-3) popped in three goals in both the second and third periods leaving the Garden quiet and empty by the end of the proceedings.
99-year-old Teemu Selanne started it off with two power-play goals 1:13 apart early in the second period. Corey Perry gave the Ducks a commanding 3-1 lead later in the second.
Evgeny Artyukin and Bobby Ryan put it out of reach and finally Perry notched a short-handed goal that was initially stopped by Bruins goalie Tim Thomas but then bounced off Perry's helmet into the goal. Haha, it was that kind of night.
Backup goalie Tukka Rask deserves a start tomorrow night at the Garden as the Bruins take on the New York Islanders.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Nobody is talking about them nationally but the Patriots defense is legit. For the second week in a row, they beat a previously unbeaten team as they knocked off Baltimore 27-21 yesterday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
Unlike the Falcons the week before, the Ravens (3-1) are for real. Not much separated these teams and essentially it came down to a dropped pass on fourth down by Baltimore receiver Mark Clayton.
Tom Brady had his best game of the season, 21 of 32 for 258 yards, a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown. Randy Moss (3 catches, 50 yards) scored his first touchdown of the season and Wes Welker (6 catches, 48 yards) returned after missing the past two games.
What this game will be remembered for is the Patriots' (3-1) defense making more plays than the much-hyped Baltimore D. On the opening kickoff of the game, New England's special teams caused and recovered a fumble. All they could get out of the great field position was a 32-yard kick by Stephen Gostkowski.
The next Ravens drive was the Joe Flacco (27 of 47, 264 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception) and Derrick Mason (7 catches, 88 yards) show. The ageless receiver had six catches for 77 yards on that drive alone. He finished it off with a leaping, 20-yard touchdown catch when he held on despite landing awkwardly on his head.
Ray Rice showed off his skills with 103 yards rushing and 49 yards receiving.
New England put together its best two drives of the game in the second quarter as they scored two touchdowns in the red zone (which has been the team's biggest issue).
Brady finished off the first with a quarterback sneak up the middle for a yard. Sammy Morris' 12-yard run gave New England a 17-7 halftime lead.
Baltimore's defense got it back into the game with a fumble recovery by Dwan Edwards in the end zone. Terrell Suggs strip-sacked Brady on that play.
Moss put the lead back to two scores (24-14) when he caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Brady. It wasn't a beautiful throw or play but Brady did what he had to do as the Ravens were coming on a blitz. He simply threw it to Moss who had the inside position on Dominique Foxworth.
The Ravens wouldn't go away, a sign of how good they are, as Willis McGahee scored on a 13-yard catch and run.
Brady and the offense had one more score in them as Gostkowski added the final points on a 33-yard field goal.
The scoring defense has been impressive for the Patriots but they had been lacking big plays, until yesterday. Leigh Bodden recorded his first interception for New England and Mike Wright had two sacks.
Brandon Meriweather continued to develop into the playmaker that the secondary desperately needs as he had a team-high nine tackles. Rookie cornerback Darius Butler saw his most playing time of the season and he delivered with a few key pass breakups.
Another test awaits next Sunday as the Patriots travel to Denver to face the 4-0 Broncos and ex-offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Friday, October 2, 2009
When the Bruins Stanley Cup champions DVD comes out next June, it's doubtful that it will feature any footage from last night's pathetic Opening Night.
Two-time MVP Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals came in and thoroughly dominated the Bruins 4-1 before a sold-out TD Garden (yes the fucking name changed for the 100th time in the last calendar year).
The loss wasn't surprising since if you'll recall last season, the Caps absolutely owned the Black and Gold, going unbeaten in four games against them (two losses which I saw in person).
Funny thing about the Bruins this season is that they actually have some hype around the city and New England in general, not to mention nationally. Both Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine (where I get all the hockey info. I need) predict that the B's will win the Stanley Cup this season.
Who cares? Nobody but lazy sportswriters and low-life fans.
Until further notice, Pittsburgh and Washington in the Eastern Conference are better than the B's.
After a fast-paced first period, Washington jumped on top with a power play goal from Brooks Laich. Nicklas Backstrom and Ovechkin assisted on the goal with 2:45 left in the first period.
Ovechkin showed off his crazy Russian moves in the second period when he smoked a snap/wrist shot past Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (30 saves). Alexander Semin and Backstrom assisted on that tally.
Boston's fate was sealed at the end of the second period as captain Zdeno Chara took a stupid cross check penalty after going after Ovechkin. Mark Recchi had been leveled by Ovie and Chara took exception.
16 seconds into the third period, on the power play, Washington cashed in again as Laich scored another power play marker from Backstrom and Semin.
A minutes and 41 seconds later Ovechkin scored off a one-timer from Tom Poti (and Laich).
Patrice Bergeron gave the home crowd something to cheer about as he scored a goal from Steve Begin (newly acquired scrub from the Canadiens) and Mark Stuart.
The only remaining thing that was slightly noteworthy was a fight between Shawn Thornton and Capitals tough guy John Erskine.
Washington goalie Jose Theodore only had to make 19 saves in the win.
Boston and their fans can act like this game never happened by showing up to play tomorrow night against the Hurricanes.