Sunday, April 13, 2008
This is what the Montreal Canadiens do. They "get their knees dirty" for their teammates, and thousands of voyeuristic Quebecois perverts cheer them on.
Over-time playoff losses are always heart-breaking, but I'm taking a lot of positivity from last night's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens. Ever since the first few minutes of Game 1, this has been a relatively even series. Some might argue that the Canadiens are simply turning "it" on when they have to, but they didn't do much of that in the regular season. During the year, when they got up 3-0 against the Bruins, they poured it on and would get 5, 6, 7, 8 goals.
The Bruins are not out of this series. They got to Montreal last night. They scored a couple of goals in the 3rd, and nearly pulled a win out of the Bell Centre, which is tougher than stealing steak from a bear.
The Bruins have a good chance of winning tonight. It's pretty stupid that in the playoffs they have to play back-to-back nights with travelling in the middle. Actually, it's beyond stupid, it's retarded.
It will be interesting to see who gets the start in net for both teams. Alex Auld is a very good backup, and could come up with a huge game. The Canadiens might stay with Carey Price (who may be tired after an OT game), or go with backup Jaroslav Halak, who had good numbers in extremely limited playing time.
With the back-to-back games, and the Bruins confident after forcing overtime last night, the Bruins win this game, and win it with relative ease.
Dave Sandford/Getty Images
After being snubbed for the Hobey Baker award (college hockey's Heisman), Nathan Gerbe went out and proved why he is the best player in college hockey, as BC rolled over Cinderella Notre Dame 4-1. Gerbe had two goals and two assists.
Gerbe scored at least one goal in all four of BC's tournament victories, compiling a total of 7 goals and 4 assists. Added to his Hockey East Tournament numbers, he had 11 post-season goals and 9 assists.
After two years of failure in the NCAA finals, the BC Eagles finally returned to the promised land, winning their third national title. This is also coach Jerry York's second national title at BC as a coach, and his third overall.
I worked at every BC home game this season, and it was nice to see one of the teams I work for actually win a championship.
AP Photo/Jack Dempsey
Josh Beckett looked like Josh Beckett yesterday. Kind of. It wasn't his most dominant start, but it was still a good outing. And it was certainly good enough to beat Mike Mussina.
Remember when the Yankees got Mussina? And seemingly in a panic, Duquette and the Sox signed Manny to a massive deal. Well now, 8 years later, how have those two signings panned out?
Manny's hit 256 HRs since becoming a Red Sock, and knocked in 811 runs. He's been named to 7 All-Star teams, won the 2004 Hank Aaron Award, won 6 Silver Sluggers, and won the 2002 batting title. Manny also has hit .321 in 9 playoff series with Boston, hit 11 post-season homeruns, knocked in 28 runs, and was the 2004 World Series MVP.
Mussina, on the other hand, is 103-65 with the Yankees, which averages out to a slightly mediocre record of 14-9 per year. He's also got a mediocre ERA of 3.95 with New York. He's never been to an All-Star as a Yankee, although he has won a pair of Gold Gloves. His mediocrity extends into October, as he's 5-7 in playoff baseball with the Yanks.
I think it's safe to say now that the Red Sox signing of Manny Ramirez has worked out much better than New York's signing of Mussina. We got Manny in his prime. They got Mussina in is decline.
And Manny was the big hero on Saturday, going 2 for 4 with a double, a homer, and 3 RBI (all coming with 2 outs). Manny's only hitting .277, but he's tied for 3rd in the AL with 11 RBI this season.
Beckett still has room for improvement, and eventually will return to being the Ace that he is. He wasn't bad against New York, just not great enough to win it by himself.
I don't know why some select people were worried about Jonathan Papelbon performing this season. The guy's been sick out of the gate. Yesterday was another difficult save, facing 4 batters, striking 3 of them out, getting the other to groundout. He got A-Rod, Giambi, Posada, and Cano. That's hard. Papelbon is averaging 2 Ks an inning.
Daiskue Matsuzaka looks to build on his strong starts tonight as he faces Phil Hughes in the rubber game.
AP Photo/Winslow Townson
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images