Monday, June 28, 2010


The drama over who would go #1 or #2 sort of fizzled out as it became clearer and clearer that Edmonton would take winger Taylor Hall. The Bruins' #2 overall pick was then a no-brainer.


Get it? Plymouth WHALERS. Anyway, some Bruins fans actually seemed a little disappointed with this pick. "We have too many centahs!" Well, the Bruins are deep down the middle, but they don't have SCORING centers. Savard's a 20 goal guy, max. Krejci's a 20 goal guy, max. Bergeron's a 20 goal guy, max. Seguin scored 48 times in 63 games last season. The Bruins are now overweight at center, which in a salary cap environment means that they must be weak somewhere else (and it's on the wings). It might be time to trade Savard. Although Krejci would bring better value. And I'll be frank, Krejci's a bit too inconsistent for my liking. And how many "quarterbacking" centers does a team without "receiving" wingers need? I think one is plenty.

What will Seguin do for the Bruins right away? I think he will likely play, depending on what the Bruins do with their current top 3 centermen. He could score 20 goals right off the bat if given a full season to play. Long-term, the sky's the limit. 35, 40, 50 goal seasons are not going to be impossible for this kid.


The Bruins surprised a lot of people here. Knight was projected to go much later. His stock fell a few months ago when he was diagnosed with diabetes. But he's gotten that condition under control. He's also got the puck under control, as evidenced by his 36 goals in 63 games. He's only 18, so he's got a few years of developing to do.


Another 18 year old center who scores lots of goals. He's not big. 5' 10" and 172 pounds. But he's fast. The Bruins could use some speed, especially if the speedy guy is also the guy who can score.


The Bruins took their first winger, and took him from Milan Lucic's "alma-mater." He'll turn 20 in September. He didn't come into his own until his 4th year with Vancouver. His points totals have increased considerably with each season of experience. He had 5 his rookie season, then 25 his 2nd year, doubled to 50 in his 3rd, and doubled to 97 this last season. Then again, he was a man amongst boys at that age.


This 6' 3" 195 pound soon-to-be sophomore has a big frame that could one day house a power forward's body. There's some potential there, but he'll need a lot of work to be an NHL calibre guy. He'll also likely need to show some edge (fight), which he won't be allowed to do in college.


He'll turn 18 in August, and he's committed to play at North Dakota, a good training ground for goalies. But it's not like he was a top priority recruit either, so it won't be Zane Zeit (Zeit = German for "time") until maybe 2016.

The Bruins ended the draft with a trade. They sent Vladimir Sobotka for the rights to David Warsofsky. Warsofsky is currently playing at BU. He's 20 years old, from Marshfield, and he's a defenseman. He's only 5' 8" and 160 pounds, but he's an adept offensive player. He scored 12 goals in 34 games for the Terriers last season. He's a sophomore, and should develop well out of BU.

I was hoping Sobotka would find a spot on the 2010-11 Bruins, though. He was a tough guy, solid on the puck, hard to beat when he didn't have the puck. A guy who can play 3rd and 4th line hockey, and maybe even kill a penalty. Not a brawler, but a scrapper and a mucker. Oh well.

Zdeno Chara has 13 inches and 95 pounds on Warsofsky.


The US is out. And to be frank, they deserve to be.

Uruguay 2, South Korea 1

The experts kept calling South Korea "unlucky," because they hit a post or two, and completed a lot of passes in the midfield. But the post isn't part of the net. Uruguay also should have been awarded a penalty which would have likely given them a 2-0 lead. But Uruguay was able to finish it off anyway. And they look like a tough side to beat offensively and defensively.

Germany 4, England 1

This game was much closer than the score indicates. England was screwed out of a goal (there needs to be instant replay in the World Cup, or at least more than 3 refs. Think about it, 3 refs for 22 players in soccer. It's 3 for 10 in basketball, 4 for 12 in hockey, 7 for 22 in football), but Germany was by far the superior team. England adjusted their 1st half defensive woes by focusing more on attack. Germany adjusted their 1st half defensive woes by playing more conservatively in the midfield. Guess which strategy worked out better? Germany, a.k.a. the 1980's Showtime Lakers, then counterattacked and did so with expertise, flair, and composure.

Miroslav Klose scored his 12th World Cup goal, and his 50th for Germany. Podolski scored his 1st of the 2010 Cup, and his 6th career World Cup tally. 20 year old Thomas Müller has only scored three times for Germany, all in this World Cup, and twice in this game.

This is Germany's 15th straight qualification for the Quarterfinals. They've made the Final 8 every World Cup since 1954.

Argentina 3, Mexico 1

Mexico once again lost their opener of the knockout stage. That's 5 straight World Cups that they've lost their first elimination game. And they lost badly. Carlos Tevez scored a pair of nifty goals, and Gonzalo Higuain scored his 4th goal of the tournament. South American teams are 12-1-4 in this World Cup, and 2 have already advanced to the quarterfinals.

Ghana will face Uruguay, and Argentina will face Germany.

Quick previews of remaining games:

Netherlands vs. Slovakia
The Dutch have been the best European side so far. They advance with ease, 3-0.

Brazil vs. Chile
The first South American team to get knocked out will be by another South American team. Brazil wins 3-1.

Paraguay vs. Japan
I haven't seen much from either team, but have to pick the South Americans to win 2-1.

Spain vs. Portugal
An Iberian derby. Spain can prove that they're as good as we all think they are. And they will. 3-2.


The good news is that the Sox took 2 of 3 from the Giants. The bad news is that injury took 2 or 3 Sox from the field.

Pedroia went down on Friday, after fouling a ball off his ankle, breaking his foot. He's likely to be out for 6 weeks, which would mean the Sox would have to play sans-sparkplug until August. Pedroia was in the midst of an insane hot streak. In his last 53 at-bats, he was hitting .490, slugging .849, with 4 homers, 13 RBI and 17 runs. I think he's been the MVP of the Sox to this point, and playing without him will be a struggle.

When it rains, it pours. 10 game winner Clay Buchholz was forced to leave Saturday's game because he hurt himself running the bases, of all things. That's just a really bad beat right there. Fuck the NL, and fuck the idea of pitchers hitting. But I guess the potential sacrifice of a Cy Young candidate is worth seeing pitchers bunt foul for strike 3. The diagnosis is a hyper-extended knee. The prognosis is that he may miss a start, but it doesn't look like a DL stint will be called for.

Bad things happen in threes. Victor Martinez fractured his thumb in Sunday's game, thanks to some foul tips. He's not expected to hit the DL, but it's perhaps still too early to tell. He'll be evaluated again today. V-Mart had also been playing well as of late, hitting .359 in June with a .409 OBP.

So some bad luck, and the stupid, antiquated, boring bad rules they have in the NL all add up to some key injuries for the Sox.


Photo Credit:
Getty Images

GHANA 2, USA 1 (aet)

Ghana is not an inherently superior side than the US. On paper, I'd give the US a slight edge. These are two teams in the same class. So when they meet, it comes down to how well they execute and use their talents. And you'd think with the considerable experience the US Team has, they wouldn't come out as nervy as they did.

Ghana's first goal was inexcusable. For some reason, Ricardo Clark started in midfield. It was Clark who was partially to blame for England's goal in the group stage. Then against Ghana, he's got the ball around midfield, and decides he'll take on the Ghanaian player head-on. This is an 11 vs 11 game, it's at the halfway mark on the field, and this fucking clown decides to be a hero. And in the 1 out of 5 times he beats the guy, does he think he's going to score a 40 meter goal?

Clark, predictably, loses the ball, and this triggers Ghana's impressive counterattack. The defenders and Howard could have done more, but it started with Clark's arrogance. Thankfully, coach Bob Bradley was willing to own up to mistake, and pull Clark after 30 minutes.

Donovan and Dempsey exploded in the 2nd. Their aggressive and composed play earned a penalty, with Donovan getting fouled in the box, and Donovan bouncing it in off the post.

But Ghana settled down, and the US lost its desperate edge. Go into extra time, and a defensive lapse gives Ghana the winning goal.

Then comes a string of countless opportunities that aren't finished. This wasn't bad luck! And the commentators on ESPN need to realize that if you miss the goal, it's a missed shot, not an unlucky shot. Jozy Altidore was crap. A purely turd performance. And an unjustly selfish one at that. Robbie Findlay was also a disappointment at the end. There was no cooperation between the strikers.

We're chokers. Sorry folks, it's true. It's one thing to lose to Brazil or Spain. Losing to Ghana in '06, and in '10 is inexcusable. And allowing all these early goals in a tournament is equally abhorrent. Do you know how long the US played with a lead in this World Cup? About 2 minutes.

The US team is better than that.