Monday, December 08, 2008
Although the game ended 5-3, the Bruins were much more dominant than that score would suggest. Up 3-0 after the 1st period, and 4-1 after 2, the Bruins took their foot off the gas just enough to let Tampa Bay get back into the game. But the Bruins clamped down in the end. PJ Axelsson put it away with his first goal of the season, an empty netter. Earlier he had been awarded a penalty shot that was just barely stopped by Mike Smith, so it was nice to see him finally get on the board.
The Bruins didn't have much killer instinct in the 3rd. It's almost as if having a 3 goal lead is a bad thing for this team. They play so much better when it's a 1 or 2 goal game.
Phil Kessel is unstoppable. He had a goal and an assist, extending his goal streak to 6 games, and his point streak to 12. In those 12 games he has 10 goals, 6 assists and is +9. Matt Hunwick added an assist, increasing his point total to 10. Pretty impressive for a defenseman in 15 games.
Wednesday night will be a treat. The Bruins go down to DC to play the Capitals. Washington is 10-1-1 at home and they're the Southleast Division leaders. Weird scheduling quirk, the Bruins are in the middle of a 6 game stretch of Southleast Division opponents.
I don't mind.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
The Pats defense struggled all day, and it nearly cost them a golden opportunity to tie the Jets in the AFC East. Injuries played their part as Ty Warren didn't even dress, Vince Wilfork went out early, Tedy Bruschi left the game in the 1st half, and Mike Vrabel missed a few plays. Junior Seau played much more than he should have and was fully exploited by the Seahawks. Colvin also failed to impress.
But in the end it was the defense that made the game sealing play. Brandon Meriweather, who has looked better and better as the season's progressed, timed his blitz to perfection, went untouched to the QB, and forced a fumble. Seattle was only 10 yards from field goal range so it was a massive play.
The Pats were also inches away from another game changing opportunity. The Seahawks fumbled on a kickoff and Stephen Gostkowski was the closest one to the ball. He got his hands on it, but wasn't able to surround the ball with his body and maintain possession. Two plays later Deion Branch is scurrying all over the field, gaining 63 yards, and just barely staying in bounds when he caught it.
Cassel didn't have a "Player of the Week" type of day, but he was very good throughout. He led the comeback drives nicely, looked poised all day, and avoided pressure. Seattle, at times, put a great deal of pressure on Cassel and he seemed to make the right decision each time. He used his feet to get back to the line of scrimmage, or buy him more time. He threw it away when he had to, and stepped up when he could.
How annoying were the announcers? Did they have to recite the alma mater's of EVERYONE that made a play? Did they have to ballwash their darling Pittsburgh Steelers at every opportunity, somehow giving THEM credit for Seattle having an 8 point lead? Calling Wes Welker "The Slot Machine" and "Mighty Mite" was ridiculous and quite lame. And the way they talked about Deion "Ever Since Tom Brady Stopped Being My QB I've Sucked" Branch as if he were still a relevant player. He juked Junior Seau and had one good game out of 30 in Seattle. Whoopty shit.
And Seattle, you're not the home of the 12th Man. College Station, Texas is home of the 12th man. And get rid of those puke-green gloves and cleats. It's one thing to suck, it's another thing to look bad while sucking.
With the Dolphins beating the Bills and the 49ers beating the Jets, there's a three way tie in the AFC East. If you're curious, Here are the NFL's tie-breaking procedures. All three teams are also a game behind Baltimore and Indianapolis for the 2 Wild Card spots.
The Pats stay out West and play the 3-10 Raiders. Get ready for some tuck-rule whining.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren