Where have you gone, Jumbo Joe? Bruins nation turns its lonely eyes to you…The Bruins young captain finds himself facing the question of whether he can step it up in the playoffs. Jackie MacMullan says Joe has possibly just one last chance tonight to step forward and at least “salvage his reputation as the leader of this hockey team. I agree that Joe needs to show us something, but “salvage his reputation”? Isn’t that stretching it just a tad? The kid is 23 years old. He’s going to get better. Steve Conroy also focuses on Thornton, noting his frustration, but also showing that his teammates know he can handle the load and the pressure. Joe McDonald doesn’t think things look too good for the Bruins tonight, as evidenced by a lackluster practice yesterday. In the other locker room, Mark Blaudschun reports that the Devils are simply preparing for the game tonight in their usual workmanlike fashion. Douglas Flynn says the Bruins just need to be simply in survival mode right now. James Murphy records a moment from practice yesterday that could’ve been taken from the movie “Slapshot”, and wonders where enforcers like PJ Stock have been in this series, to help get the Devils off Thornton’s back. Rich Thompson says that Jamie Langenbrunner and the Devils learned from last season’s first round exit at the hands of the Hurricanes. Marvin Pave looks at the preparations the Bruins are attempting to make to stave of elimination. Jon Wallach says that the Bruins troubles are much bigger than just being in danger of being swept out of the first round. Steve Buckley’s pay column this morning is a look at Mike O’Connell’s game in putting himself behind the bench, in the line of fire, when he must’ve known there was a good chance the B’s would be facing Pat Burns and the Devils. Conroy’s notebook looks at the protection Martin Brodeur appears to get from the referees, at least from the Bruins perspective. Pave’s notebook looks at Jeff Hackett attempting to keep the Bruins alive tonight.
Sox get back in action tonight with Casey Fossum taking the mound. Michael Silverman says a sign that things are getting better for Fossum after a terrible spring is that its now safe to joke about him. Bob Hohler notes that Fossum learned a big lesson from his last time out, against the Blue Jays. Paul Doyle also submits a piece on the Sox young lefty. Steven Krasner has an extensive look at local son Rocco Baldelli making his Fenway debut tonight. Bill Reynolds recalls his first time meeting Baldelli. Lenny Megliola has a very simple message for Pedro: “Pitch, don’t bitch.” Gerry Callahan’s column today says that Pedro’s encounter with the infamous booing fan behind the dugout is just another example of Pedro finding something to use as motivation. Hohler’s notebook looks at Mike Cubbage’s scare Saturday night in his own words. Silverman’s notebook says Robert Person is keen on the idea of becoming the go-to guy in the Sox bullpen.
Nick Cafardo weighs in on the Tebucky Jones trade, hoping that the Patriots use the money they saved to sign up his pal Damien Woody. Michael Felger looks at the Defensive Linemen the Pats might be looking to package picks to trade up and get. Tom Curran says the Patriots don’t have a safety to play in coverage now that Jones is gone, and doesn’t see any in the draft to replace him, either. Cafardo has a profile of probably the top safety in the draft, Troy Polamalu, who played for Pete Carroll at USC. Michael Parente looks at the safety position, and where things might end up.
Steve Bulpett chats with Bob Cousy, who isn’t optimistic about the Celtics chances of going deep in this years playoffs. If you’re looking for profound answers to how the Celtics can succeed in the playoffs, Shira Springer’s article isn’t going to provide them. Terms like good fourth quarter play, making the extra pass, getting a good shot every time down, and solid on defense abound throughout the piece.
Peter May reports on a forum in which representatives of the ownership of the four major league sports teams in Boston discussed marketing opportunities and ideas. Among the things discussed, selling the naming rights to Fenway Park. WEEI is running an on-line poll in which you can vote on their war coverage. Apparently you can vote as many times as you want which will pretty much invalidate the results. Bill Griffith tells us where to look for the Sox game tonight, looks at ESPN’s new deal with Wimbledon, and has Masters numbers. Jim Baker also gives us the numbers of the Masters, and adds this note in his Short Takes section:
A clarification: Sunday's commentary on the glut of low-rated TV-radio sports gab did not include WEEI numbers, which will be out with the Arbitron book next Tuesday. Arbitrends have not included the period in which WEEI has aired war commentary.
I’m not exactly sure what that means, but this is what Baker wrote on Sunday that apparently needs clarification:
WEEI's repeated war critiques by sports hosts passing themselves off as combat strategists have one thing in common with the glut of TV sports gab: They're a waste of time. They cry out to be ignored - and multitudes of test cases are doing just that, judging by rancid recent ratings that have to make sponsors wonder why they're supporting such an endeavor.
Roy Williams announcement last night that he was leaving Kansas for his Alma Mater of UNC no doubt left new WWZN morning co-host Holden Kushner a bit red faced. His “scoop” of last week turned out to only be half right, and after a dime was dropped to me, it turns out the half he got right wasn’t much of a scoop, either. Last Tuesday’s Kansas City Star had an article by Jason King with the title: “Source: Roy likely stays if Hadl or Konzem is A.D.” Apparently Dale & Neumy on WEEI had read from that article Tuesday morning, the day before Kushner went on with his “scoop’.
NESN has Bruins/Devils at 7:00.(ESPN Nationally) If you’re in the Boston market, Red Sox/Devil Rays will be on UPN38. If you’re outside the market, it will be on the alternate channel lineup, which would include whichever version of ATT3 that you have. Who knew this stuff was so complicated? ESPN2 has Lightning/Capitals at 7:00 and Stars/Oilers at 10:00.