Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Really? REALLY?!? Another fucking loss?!?

Give credit to Steve Mason and Columbus. Mason recorded his 9th shutout of the season, which leads the NHL. Pretty good for a 20 year old. And even though the refs fucked up all night (only 2 minute penalty when Mark Stuart's nose was bleeding, no diving penalty for Kristian Huselius' embellishment of Chara's hook, no call when Thomas was accidentally hit behind the net, no interference call when Kessel was bowled into the boards before he even touched the puck), Columbus played a good, tight hockey game.

But wasn't it typical Bruin luck? Thomas gets run into, his helmet pops off, hits the ice, and breaks. He has to either use Manny Fernandez's helmet, or Manny Fernandez has to come into the game. The Blue Jackets get a power play score from an awkward angle, a shot Thomas typically stops. A shot that he perhaps stops if he has his own mask.

At the same time, the Bruins score 0 goals, which is the best way to avoid winning.

The Bruins can watch this game, among with several others, and find many examples of how they messed up. Early in the 2nd, Kessel had a clean breakaway, just him and the goalie, and he didn't even get the shot on net. Seconds later, he Savard, and Lucic bungled a 3 on 2 opportunity.

David Krejci and Marc Savard have both turned into turnover machines, not the high percentage playmakers they were in the first 50 games of the season. Phil Kessel can't finish anymore. PJ Axelsson flat out sucks. Why was Axelsson on the ice longer than Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler? With 2:04 left, why was Axelsson on the ice AT ALL?

I keep waiting for this team to emerge from this funk. And if it doesn't happen on Thursday when the 26-29-10 Senators come to Boston...

it may never happen.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Jay LaPrete


The Patriots allowed the 2nd most passing TDs in the NFL last year, and the 2nd most 40+ yard pass plays. This off-season, there's been a concerted effort to improve the pass defending elements of the defensive alignment.

Last week they acquired veteran Shawn Springs, and today they signed Leigh Bodden formerly of the Detroit Lions.

Neither of these guys are shutdown corners, neither of these guys are big playmakers, but neither of these guys are Deltha O'Neal. Springs is a 13 year old veteran, and Bodden has 7 years in the League. They don't make big mistakes. They don't blow coverage schemes. They'll help the younger CBs, like Terrence Wheatley, develop into solid CBs.

But once again this year, the quality of the pass-defense will be determined by the consistency of the pass rush. Pass rushing isn't just about sacks, it's about forcing hurried throws, and not allowing the QB to go through his progressions. The front 7 will determine how many passing TDs and 40+ yard passes the defense allows, more so than the DBs.