Thursday, September 17, 2009
Last night the Bruins were up in Toronto for a preseason game against the Maple Leafs. The GMs of both teams reportedly met for "about an hour" before the game. The major topic of discussion: Phil Kessel. The Leafs might be offering a package that includes a pair of 1st round draft picks. The Nashville Predators have also publicly expressed interest in Kessel.
I'd rather the Bruins send Kessel to Nashville and the Western Conference. You never want to trade a player within your own Conference, let alone your own Division. Just imagine if Joe Thornton were playing for the Senators instead of the Sharks.
The B's will be criticized if they make this move, but what choice do they have? Sacrifice their depth at forward to hang on to one player, who's fairly one-dimensional and has yet to PROVE he's a big-time scorer? I don't think so.
Jets safety Kerry Rhodes had this to say about his team's upcoming game against the Patriots:
"Not just go out there and try to win, try to embarrass them. Try to make them feel bad when they leave here. We don’t want to just beat them. We want to send a message to them, ‘We’re not backing down from you and we expect to win this game, and it’s not going to be luck, it’s not going to be a mistake."
(Source: NY Daily News)
As far as pregame trash talk and bulletin board material, it's not that bad. And I don't see why this is all over Boston.com. He's not guaranteeing an embarrassment, he's just saying what he wants to do.
But at the same time, why talk to the media at all? Why give them even a hint of a story? Or at least give them something about yourself, not an opposing team. I'm just glad the Patriots coaches and players typically keep their mouths shut.
The B's went up to Toronto, and played in front of a near full house at the Air Canada Centre. Marco Sturm, Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara, and Marc Savard did not play, but the Bruins still prevailed over their division rivals.
There's twice as much fighting in preseason games as there is in regular season matches. Guys are trying to impress coaches with toughness, and ingratiate themselves with their new teammates. Steve Begin, for instance, went at it in the 1st. Byron Bitz also got a fighting major after responding to some instigating. Guillaume Lefebvre and Adam McQuaid also fought for the Bruins.
Begin, Brad Marchand, and Andy Wozniewski scored for the B's. Patrice Bergeron had the best game of all with 2 assists, and numerous plays made all over the ice. But it was basically an AHL game with a few NHL guys mixed in. The Bruins are trying to figure out who will be the last 2 or 3 guys on their roster, and also who will be the 1st and 2nd guy they call up from Providence just in case.
Journeyman Quebecois goalie Dany Sabourin looked adequate in net. He made all the saves he should have made, and played smartly. I was particularly impressed with his puck handling, and calmness under pressure. He doesn't have the talent and potential of Rask, but he appears to be a good #3 to have just in case disaster strikes.
The Bruins host the Rangers at the Garden on Saturday. The game is at 4 and will be on NHL Network.
AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Darren Calabrese
The Red Sox used 22 different players to beat the Angels 9-8 last night, in a 4 hour thriller. The last three batters of the game were all short-stops: Jed Lowrie, Nick Green, and Alex Gonzalez. That should tell you how strange this game was.
Paul Byrd had a Paul Byrd start. He's not going to win games for you, but he won't lose them either. That's the role of as #5 starter, and so long as Buchholz and Matsuzaka are doing well, Byrd can have as many 5.1 IP, 3 ER games as he wants.
But the bullpen was awful. Ramon Ramirez blew a 2 run lead in the 7th. Then Daniel Bard blew a tied game in the top of the 9th. Thankfully, there is depth to the pen. Okajima, Delcarmen, and Saito registered 1 quality inning apiece, and the Sox desperately needed those to stay in the game.
Ramirez's runs came after a passed ball 3rd strike by Varitek. Now, if Victor Martinez had made this same mistake, the Cult of Varitek would be all over him, just like they were when he caught a bad Buchholz outing a few weeks ago (how's Buchholz-Martinez worked out since then?). Varitek fucked up and it nearly cost the Sox a big win. Oh yeah, he was also 0 for 2, dropping his average to .213. But at least he's hotter in September (.143 average) than he was in August (.135).
By and large, the Sox performance wasn't impressive. However, their character was. They stuck with this game, despite the Angels' incessant rallying. And in the end, they got the W.
By the way, the Rangers lost, and so did the Rays. Tampa Bay is now 5th in the Wild Card, 14 games behind the Sox. Nice collapse.
The Sox go for the sweep Thursday night as Ervin Santana takes on Josh Beckett. With series like this one, and the weather as chilly as it is, doesn't it feel like October?
AP Photo/Elise Amendola