Friday, December 17, 2010


It's bowling season. Which means a few dozen games between teams none of us have even seen yet. It means unpredictability. It means surprises. It means tantalizing inter-regional matchups. All three of these bowl games are this Saturday.

2:00 PM - ESPN:
New Mexico Bowl - Albuquerque, NM
BYU Cougars vs. UTEP Miners
Bowl season begins with a pair of 6-6 teams, so you'll forgive me if I don't get too excited. BYU's had a down year, but did have a 5-3 conference record. UTEP lost 5 of 6 down the stretch. I'll go with BYU in this one, purely based on conference records.

5:30 PM - ESPN:
uDrove Humanitarian Bowl - Boise, ID
Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
NIU won 10 games, and ran the table in the MAC until the conference title game. Fresno nearly beat Nevada, and none of their 4 losses came to embarassingly bad teams. I'll pick Fresno State simply due to reputation.

9:00 PM - ESPN:
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - New Orleans, LA
Ohio Bobcats vs. Troy Trojans
An 8-4 MAC team against a 7-5 Sun Belt team. And who says we have too many bowl games? I'll pick Troy out of proximity. They're in Alabama, I think. But I'll still use an Ohio girl.

More picks on Tuesday.


The Bruins are in the middle of what I called "Exam Week." It's an 8 day, 4 game stretch when the Bruins would be playing the Flyers, Sabres, Canadiens, and Capitals. They're 0-1-2 in that stretch, and are in danger of earning an F.

I know they've all been 1 goal games. But the manner by which this team has lost is what's pissing me off. The Philly game was an excellent effort and a fine performance. The Buffalo and Montreal games, were not.

Last night, the Bruins gave up a quick goal. Granted, it was the softest penalty shot call I've ever seen. However, Lucic gave the Canadiens the breakaway with a pass that wasn't worthy of a high school scrimmage.

Lucic had his worst game of the season. He scored a goal thanks to good positioning, and a clever tip-in, but he gave the puck away all night. I honestly felt like he should've been moved to another line. The B's wasted Horton and Krejci's shifts by having Lucic out there. Hopefully he's not hurt, and he remembers how to pass.

I don't expect this team to score many goals. In fact, I was stunned to look at the numbers and see that the B's are 12th in goals scored per game. Doesn't that surprise you? What irritates me is the lack of patience and discipline in the neutral zone, and on defense.

Montreal's 2nd goal was helped by Shawn Thornton failing to do his post-faceoff duty and collapse toward the net. That allowed 3 Canadiens to hover around Thomas, against just one Bruin defenseman. Easy goal. Thornton's not accustomed to playing center, but by this point in his NHL career, he should know the basic defensive duties after a faceoff.

I've praised the 4th line all season, but recently they've aggravated me. They bring energy, with no chance of scoring. Then Thornton has the above brain fart. Then Campbell goes after Subban after a big hit, gets 2 minutes, and Montreal takes advantage with a goal.

Julien gets touted as a great coach because of his disciplined positional style. But I just don't see it. Discipline isn't discipline unless it's consistent. And the Bruins haven't been consistent.

The B's host the Caps Saturday night.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo