Friday, November 14, 2008
It's a shame to waste such a valiant comeback. It's a shame to be forced to comeback so valiantly against a team like the Jets. It's a shame that all the football talk until Sunday will involve Brett The Swashbuckling Gunslinging Ninja River Boat Gambler Pirate Favre, and Eric Mangenius.
It's a shame that Mike Vrabel was flagged for defensive holding, on a call that would have made Bill Polian say "THAT was holding!?!" It's a shame that the Jets won the coin toss. It's a shame the Pats couldn't stop them on 3rd and 15. It's a shame that kickoff return coverage has sucked the past few games. It's a shame the Jets were 9 of 16 on 3rd downs and the Pats were 4 of 14. It's a shame Matt Cassel led the team in rushing. It's a shame Ben Watson put the ball on the ground.
It's NOT a shame that the Pats rallied from 18 down and tied it, despite the efforts of the officials. It isn't a shame that Matt Cassel was 30/51 for 400 yards, 3 scores, and rushed for 62 yards. It's not a shame that Wes Welker had 10 grabs. It's not a shame that Watson and Jabbar Gaffney had their best games of the season. It's not a shame that Jerod Mayo had 20 tackles (16 solo), and Pierre Woods looked good filling in for Adalius.
This loss hurt like the Colts loss, but the Pats were just one play here or there away from victory. And that defensive holding call on Vrabel shouldn't be forgotten. That gave the Jets 3 downs which they used to put up 7, instead of kicking a field goal. The Pats also used up 2 timeouts on plays following the penalty.
A completely bullshit call.
Pats go down to Miami for a game on the 23rd. I remember a certain team from New England having an historical game in Miami on a November 23rd a few years ago. It's also my birthday. And Jonathan Papelbon's.
AP Photo/Winslow Townson
AP Photo/Stephan Savoia
The Bruins' 6-1 pounding of the Canadiens made the Patrtiots' loss a little more bearable.
The B's hadn't beaten Montreal in 12 straight regular season meetings. The Bruins arrived in Boston at 3:00 AM Thursday after a hard fought 2-1 shootout win in Chicago. The Bruins didn't have much of an advantage coming into the game.
But that didn't matter. The 4th line of Shawn Thornton, Stephan Yelle, and Chuck Kobasew combined for 3 goals and 7 points. Manny Fernandez stopped 27 of 28 shots. Marco Sturm broke out with 2 goals. Patrice Bergeron had an assist and pancaked Saku Koivu in the open ice. Milan Lucic fell an assist shy of a Gordie How hat trick by scoring a goal and beating the crap out of Mike Komisarek.
Last year as a fan, I'd dread games against Montreal because the Bruins would find some way to mess it up. They'd get too emotional, fall behind early, and lose 5-1. Or they'd play too physical, rack up penalties, and give up shorthanded goals. Or they wouldn't be physical enough and the Habs would outlast them. But this season, the Bruins have handled Montreal as if they were any other team.
The Bruins are in 1st place and on pace for 118 points. They've won 5 straight and 8 of 9. They've beaten good teams like Chicago, Buffalo, and Montreal in this streak. The goaltending has been outstanding from Thomas and Fernandez. They're scoring goals in abundance. They're playing smart and physical hockey.
It's what we've been waiting for, Bruins fans.
They face another challenge Saturday night as they go down to Manhattan to face the 1st place Rangers.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa