Bruins Fire O’Connell

A couple quick updates…

According to TSN and Boston.com, the Bruins will hold a press conference shortly to announce the firing of GM Mike O’Connell.

You can also check the Herald Bruins Insider and Projo Bruins blog for updates.

Also, former ESPN Boston 890 Program Director Doug Tribou checked in after he was let go by the station this week.

"Overseeing the WAMG/WLLH format change from Latin music to ESPN Radio was an excellent programming opportunity. Having joined the team two months prior the launch in July, I'm very pleased to be able to say the station is already outpacing the early ratings expectations the ownership had laid out for us. There are a lot of great people involved with the project and there's more room for growth. I wish 890 ESPN Boston the best of luck."

Tribou is planning on remaining in Boston and looking for radio opportunities in the local area.

Advertisements

SporTView

March Madness once again reigns this weekend as the field will be pared down to the Final Four come Sunday afternoon. The NCAA Hockey playoffs are also in swing this weekend, being shown locally on CN8.

If you haven’t already, please go and vote in the 2006 BSMW Awards. We’ve had a great turnout thus far (around 1300 voters as of this writing) and are looking to get the largest possible sample size. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get as many people as possible to cast their votes. A week like the one we just went through should really be an impetus for many to let their voice be heard.

Because of the length of the survey, we broke it out into three sections. You can do one section at a time, or all at once. One thing you need to remember, however, you cannot start one section, then submit it, and then go back to finish it. Once you’ve started a section, make sure you answer all the questions in that section before submitting it.

As mentioned, the voting will be open until March 31st. Then during April I’ll be writing up recaps of the voting, and posting them in May.

Here are the sections of the balloting:
032406SporTView.png
2006 BSMW User Poll – General & Radio

2006 BSMW User Poll – TV & Game Broadcast

2006 BSMW User Poll – Newspaper & Internet

Some links for the weekend:

Patriots Daily Links page

Red Sox Daily Links

EagleAction.com

New York Sports pages

This week was a wild one in the Boston media, we had it all. Early in the week, talk centered around the trade of Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena. People questioned whether the Red Sox were dishonest and disloyal to their former pitcher who signed a trade-friendly contract in the offseason. Then as the afternoon wound down on Tuesday, Michael Holley broke the news on the Big Show that Adam Vinatieri had agreed to join the Indianapolis Colts. That dominated the airwaves for the rest of the week, and my thoughts on the coverage are below.

Holley also had word later in the week that Troy Brown was going to re-sign with the Patriots. It took him a full year, but Holley has finally been delivering the Patriots scoops that many thought he would bring to the program when he joined the station last year. On the day that Willie McGinest signed with the Browns, Holley had reported on the air that McGinest would be visiting the Jets. That visit didn’t come about since the former Patriots linebacker signed that day with the Browns. Holley then had the Vinatieri story and the Brown story. Was there a common thread that could reveal where Holley’s sources where? All three players were being represented by Gary Uberstine, which may or may not mean anything. Other than that, it has been rumored that Holley has a new project in the works as a follow-up to “Patriot Reign”. Could he have connections/access from that?

Media Coverage Following the Adam Vinatieri Defection

Jim Baker has a look at how the local media outlets handled the news of Adam Vinatieri leaving the Patriots and signing with the Indianapolis Colts. He takes them to task for their coverage, saying that the viewer/listener got no information as to why Vinatieri left. While I agree that the coverage this week was awful, I think Baker’s focus is off here. Vinatieri is gone, so I’m more focused on understanding why the Patriots let him leave instead of why the kicker left. It seems fairly clear that Vinatieri did what was best for himself. He got more money from the Colts, he gets to kick indoors in a dome for at least half the season, and the division road games are in the southern part of the country, meaning less chances of inclement weather. He could easily extend his career. Should the Colts break through and win the Super Bowl, his legacy will be extended even further. As a guy from the Midwest, he you could see the endorsement coming his way out there pretty quick as well. It’s not hard to see things from his perspective. Yes, he likely was a little upset at the Patriots for having franchised him in the past, but I think he took a more business-like approach to his career and what would be best for it.

I’m more interested in analysis of what the Patriots are doing and what their plan is. This is where the local media has utterly failed the consumer. There is little to no insight offered, especially on television. Instead of reasoned analysis of the team in the big picture, we get hysterical screaming by reporters who tell us the sky is falling, that Bill Belichick has “personality flaws” that the Patriots organization is “arrogant”, (term used on more than one show this week) “cheap”, and “bottom feeders” and that the team is falling apart. In indignation of these so-called “experts” is nauseating. Michael Smith on Friday’s Dale & Holley show was one of the worst offenders. The ones who attempt to rationalize what the Patriots are going don’t show any great grasp of the matter either. They mostly repeat the same statements about how the Patriots won’t “set the market” for any player, and that they “set a value for each player and won’t go beyond that.” Shouldn’t there be some more detailed talk about the approach that the Patriots use to build their roster? More specifically why that approach meant they would let Vinatieri walk?

The word “cheap” is thrown around quite a bit when it comes to the Patriots. However, is it that hard to understand that when you overpay one player, it means you have to underpay another guy on the roster? An ambitious reporter would do well to pour over the NFL rosters and see that the Patriots pay the middle to lower end of their roster as compared to the league average at those slots. It’s not too hard realize that their numbers for those players are likely going to be higher than other clubs. They may pay their “stars” a bit less, but the overall depth of the roster can be better because they can pay those players more than other clubs do. The depth and talent on the roster is what has made the Patriots Super Bowl champions three times this decade. I really don’t think that concept is that difficult to grasp, however many media people in this region seem to be just unable to understand that. That’s why the term “bottom feeders” is the most ludicrous of all, since the bottom of their roster is likely better paid than most clubs.

Much of the media coverage this week has been self-serving, lusting after “storylines”. Thing that will make their jobs easier. The possibility of Mike Vanderjagt kicking for the Patriots was quickly eliminated when he signed with Dallas, but in the interim you had media guys saying it would be great to have him in the locker room to see what he would stir up in there. You had others hoping for Keyshawn Johnson to come in. When did we reach the point in sports coverage when the media is calling for players to be brought in, not because they’d be a good fit for the team, but because they would give great quotes and make their jobs easier?

Chad Finn tries to collect his thoughts on this whole Adam Vinatieri situation, but can’t quite figure everything out right now.

Sports Radio NH

Sports fans in Southern New Hampshire will soon have another option in sports radio. WKBR AM 1250 in Manchester, which had been operating under an “Oldies” format is converting to an all-sports format. The station will be a Fox Sports radio affiliate. National programming will be mixed in with local shows, one of which is “The Home Team” with Michael Mutnansky and Pete Tarrier which is currently broadcast from 4-6 PM weekdays on ESPN 900 in Nashua. The show will be simulcast between the two stations, according to General Manager Jerry DiGrezio. Mutnansky incidentally has been heard doing weekend sports flashes on WEEI in recent weeks. “Game Night NH” with Tarrier will also be simulcast on the two stations. “Game Night NH” airs from 6-7 weekdays. Fox Sports Radio national programming is currently airing on 1250, and simulcasting will begin on April 2nd.

Painful Radio Moment of the Week: Despite the Adam Vinatieri hysterics, Dale Arnold skinning the cat story wins top honors. The story, which originated out of an innoculous reference to the saying “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”, involved a high school aged Arnold and friend finding a roadkill cat, taking it to school, boiling it in a pot in the Home Ec classroom, and then trying to gut and skin the poor deceased creature. Ugh.

Gordo’s Not Happy

In response to a question in a Boston.com chat earlier this week, Gordon Edes appears to have “issues” with a fellow media member. The question was about David Wells making an “idiot” comment directed towards Terry Francona, and why that term is used so much in regards to the Red Sox. Edes’ answers:

You may have noticed that you didn't read about the 'idiot' business under my byline for the last week, and that was not by accident. I think the whole thing was a manufactured attempt at controversy created by a reporter who began the week with a sensationalized story about Wells not in camp, implying that he was unhappy. Turns out that Wells had an excused absence to attend a charity event on the other side of the state, which the reporter eventually got around to reporting. Then, IMO, he misrepresented some stuff that Francona had said to Wells-- who we all know has a big mouth anyway, and Wells popped off. The whole thing was bogus. In any event, Wells met with Francona and apologized. The one thing that was true is that Wells didn't want to get skipped over in the rotation, but now he's accepted that his first start will come April 12.

David Heuschkel of the Hartford Courant had the Wells/Francona “idiot” business last weekend. It appears that Edes believes Heuschkel made too much of the incident.

Sports Media Columns

Mike Reiss, Boston Globe – Packer picks apart matchup.

Andrew Neff, Bangor Daily News – Sea Dogs undergo changes.

Richard Sandomir, New York Times – Waiting on Deck in Rights Lineup.

Bob Raissman, New York Daily News – Yank voices avoid ‘roids.

Neil Best, New York Newsday – Mets covering Hispanic bases.

Phil Mushnick, New York Post – ESPN Hits New Low for ‘Highlights’.

Andrew Marchand, New York Post – NFL Net Huddles with Bryant.

Michael Hiestand, USA Today – Wallace raring to add insight to IRL races.

Jim Williams, Washington DC Examiner – Tark not shocked by mid-major success.

Dave Darling, Orlando Sentinel – Nantz, Packer stand firm.

Chris Zelkovich, Toronto Star – Fans take advantage of Mouse Madness.

Barry Jackson, Miami Herald – ESPN’s Stark apologizes for Cuba remarks.

David Barron, Houston Chronicle – Thrills keep coming for Tournament viewers.

Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News – Packer backers few and far between.

Larry Stewart, Los Angles Times – Sunderland Moves On After His Laker Setback.

Jay Posner, San Diego Union Tribune – Chandler cooks up tasty tales of Padres.

Extras

This week’s issue of Sports Illustrated contains an article entitled “Writing up a Storm” with Bill Simmons featured prominently as someone who put internet sports writing on the map. The Bill Simmons interview link which was posted here yesterday was the entire session that Simmons had with the author, Chris Ballard. Much of that interview did not appear in the SI article

The Article contains a box entitled “Welcome Sites” which they tout as “SI’s list of go-to dotcoms.” Here are links to the sites on the list:

Newsprint Alternative

SportsPages.com

Hard-Core Gossip

HoopsHype

ProFootballTalk

Softball Gossip

BenMaller

SportsByBrooks

Humor

SportsPickle

Field Guides

Ballparks

GolfClubAtlas

Surfline

Police Blotter

BadJocks

Way To Get To Know An NBA Owner

BlogMaverick

Reference Libraries

databaseBasketball

BaseballLibrary

Pro-Football-Reference

HockeyDB

High School Coverage

Scout

Rivals

Insight Into The Media

SportsJournalists

Quick Links

Quick links for this morning:

Patriots Daily Links page – plenty of Vinatieri coverage and snide remarks from various objective reporters.

Red Sox Daily Links – Foulke, Papelbon have their roles solidified by Terry Francona.

EagleAction.com – Coverage of the Boston College Eagles, who play the #1 seed Villanova tonight.

New York Sports pages – NCAA coverage and keeping an eye on the Yankees.

Scott’s Shots has a look at the NCAA coverage, NESN stuff, and NECN getting in on the blogging craze.

Check back later for BSMW SporTView…

03.23.06 Afternoon

Tom Curran mentioned in his notebook this morning that the Patriots were close to re-signing both Troy Brown and Stephen Neal. Michael Holley on WEEI today reports that Troy Brown will re-sign with the Patriots.

A few afternoon links, Dale and Holley referred to a couple of online articles. Here is the article from Cold Hard Football Facts that looks at why the Patriots were right to move on from Adam Vinatieri and not give him the contract he wanted. They also referred to the section on the Football Outsiders website which makes the same case. It was written prior to free agency and the section regarding Vinatieri is down in the Patriots section. Tom King says that the departure of Vinatieri marks the end of an era for the Patriots.

Mike Reiss has some of Vinatieri’s comments from his introductory press conference in Indianapolis. Update: Reiss reports that Tom Ashworth has signed with the Seahawks.

Apparently I missed out on Mike Barnicle, Dan Shaughnessy and Ron Borges talking about Bill Belichick’s many “character flaws” on the 96.9 FM airwaves this morning. Quite a topic for that esteemed trio to be talking about. I’m told that it was also brought up by Borges that “People don’t realize that limited short term success, just like limited failure, is sometimes based on luck”. Good stuff if true.

Rob Bradford says that there is hope on the Celtics horizon. Mike Fine looks at how the Celtics have suffered with the injury to Al Jefferson. Win Bates looks at the Celtics win over the Raptors last night. Fine also looks at active offense of the Celtics leading them to the win. Bradford also talks to Ryan Gomes and Charlie Villanueva about the pro prospects of Boston College’s Craig Smith.

SI.com has a Q&A session with Bill Simmons.

Boston Radio Watch reports that ESPN Boston is bringing in a new program director, Len Weiner:

Weiner replaces Doug Tribou who was with the new sports talker since its launch last July. Weiner arrives from Chicago where he had been program director for WGN-AM since June 2005, and, prior to that, ESPN Radio-owned ESPN 1000 (2003-2005).

In Chicago, Weiner helped ESPN 1000 grow into the city's top rated sports radio station, overseeing a 41% ratings increase in the key men 25-54 demo during his tenure.

Celtics Finish Strong

Another reminder: If you haven’t already, please go and vote in the 2006 BSMW Awards. We’ve had a great turnout thus far and are looking to get the largest possible sample size. Here are the sections of the balloting:

2006 BSMW User Poll – General & Radio

2006 BSMW User Poll – TV & Game Broadcast

2006 BSMW User Poll – Newspaper & Internet

The Celtics capped off their 110-96 win over the Raptors at TD Banknorth Garden last night in style, with Gerald Green taking a pass off the backboard from Tony Allen and converting a ridiculously athletic one handed jam. The likes of which these eyes have not seen from a Celtics player…ever. Shira Springer says the dunk might stick out to the Raptors as well, who may recall it to memory next week when the two clubs meet up north of the border. At times last night, the Celtics put on a ball movement clinic. Steve Bulpett notes the ball movement was most evident down the stretch of the ballgame as the Celtics put away the Raptors. Shalise Manza Young says that the ball movement and defense of the Celtics was so successful last night that they might want to consider trying to those things again sometime. Bill Doyle notes that the Celtics have been very successful against teams in their own division this season, especially at home. Doug Smith of the Toronto Star has coach Sam Mitchell upset at his team’s inability to control Paul Pierce.

Frank Dell’Apa says that the Celtics made a statement with their passing last night, he talks with Delonte West, who says that the C’s “simplified the game to its basic principles”. Bulpett has Larry Bird weighing on on Tommy Heinsohn’s comments that Paul Pierce could be the greatest offensive player in Celtics history. The Legend is characteristically sharp with his wit, noting that he played nine months a year, while Pierce has usually only played six. Good job by Bulpett calling Bird up and getting his reaction. Scott Souza looks at the Celtics getting the win to remain within possible striking distance of the final playoff spot.

Springer’s notebook has the Celtics shutting down Al Jefferson and his balky ankle for at least the next three games in an attempt to try to get it to heal up. Bulpett’s notebook has more on Jefferson being forced to rest his ankle. Young’s notebook also looks at Jefferson, who is disgusted by his inability to move on the floor and admits it hurts his already shaky defense. Souza’s notebook also looks at ankle sprains, leading with those of Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins instead, both of which are much less severe than Big Al’s. Doyle’s notebook has more on Jefferson.

With all the hand-wringing over the departure of Patriots players this offseason, Tom E Curran notes the following:

Since 2001, the Patriots haven't been wrong about letting a player go. Despite much hand-wringing that they would be.

That may end in 2006. But the Patriots track record to date makes that a risky bet to make.

That’s quite a track record, and Curran is in sharp contrast to many members of the media in the region who are resorting to hysterics over the losses of Givens, McGinest, Vinatieri, et al. It seems that most of them simply are not capable of understanding how the Patriots carry out their business, nor are they even interested finding out. Case in point one: Nick Cafardo. The longtime Globe scribe who has made his reputation on getting close to players…too close it would seem as he is incapable of separating feelings from business. For Nick, it’s about the touchy-feeling stuff, such as contacting Vinatieri’s father as he does in this morning’s Globe, no doubt trying to get him to rip the Patriots. The hysterics that have been on the airwaves this week, on FSN and WEEI have been nothing short of embarrassing. John Tomase says that Vinatieri’s new agent, Gary Uberstine appears to have been central in directing the kicker to the Colts. Bill Reynolds says that we saw two examples this week that the relationship between players and teams these days is strictly business.

Michael Felger says that adding Mike Vanderjagt to replace Vinatieri would be a bad, bad move. Tim Weisberg says he is off of the Bill Belichick bandwagon after the decision to let Vinatieri go. Michael Parente reminds the panicked that there is still time this offseason to build the Patriots roster with quality players. Tomase’s notebook has Vinatieri saying goodbye to New England. Curran’s notebook looks at the Patriots re-signing CB Chad Scott.

The Red Sox and Yankees renewed acquaintances last night, and got things off to a testy start, as pitchers from each side took turns drilling batters. Chris Snow looks at the players getting acclimated to the rivalry and there is plenty of Johnny Damon in the mix as you might imagine. Jeff Horrigan looks at warnings being tossed and tempers flaring last night in Tampa. Dom Amore also looks at the one and only spring meeting between the teams. Sean McAdam notes that the Red Sox have a couple of spare parts on their roster at the moment, namely Tony Graffanino and Dustan Mohr, and will need to work out something to address the situation.

Tony Massarotti looks at the Yankees thin rotation which has got to worry Joe Torre, even if he won’t admit it. Horrigan looks at Jonathan Papelbon, who is willing to pitch wherever the team needs him. Massarotti looks at Manny Ramirez, who asked to make the trip and be put into the lineup so he could get some practice batting under the lights. Horrigan has more from Johnny Damon, who continues to be perfectly willing to tell anyone who will listen that the Red Sox pushed him into signing with the Yankees. David Borges also looks at Damon, who is happy to be in pinstripes.

There’s plenty more Red Sox/Yankees coverage as well as stories on Gary Sheffield’s alleged steroid use as documented in the book “Game of Shadows” on the New York Sports Pages.

Snow’s notebook is quite extensive, leading off with a look at Jonathan Papelbon who may start getting ready to work out of the bullpen. He also gives a Juan Gonzalez update and a look at Manny Ramirez’s spring thus far. In the Gonzalez section, Snow quotes the agent for Gonzalez as dismissing rumors that the former MVP had decided to sign with the A’s instead. He says Gonzalez is under contract to the Red Sox. Horrigan’s notebook reports that Gonzalez has signed with the A’s. Who to believe? McAdam’s notebook has Damon toning down the negative remarks toward his former club. Borges’ notebook has more on Papelbon.

Bob Ryan looks at the 16 teams remaining in the NCAA men’s tournament and the makeup of those teams. Zach Roca takes a look at the matchups for this coming weekend. Mark Blaudschun also has a look at the 16 remaining teams, which feature a high number of mid-major schools. Michael Vega looks at the Boston College bench, which has provided a spark in getting the Eagles to the Sweet 16. Mark Murphy looks at BC’s flex offense, which is gathering attention around the country.

Steve Conroy says that the Bruins failures this season can be boiled down to an inability to hold on to leads and finish out teams. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that the clock is ticking for the frustrated Bruins.

CBS has Duke/LSU at 7:00 and UCLA/Gonzaga at 9:50.

03.22.06 Afternoon

More fallout from Adam Vinatieri bolting the Patriots for the Colts…

Eric McHugh talks to Gino Cappelletti about the loss of Vinatieri. Apparently Gino hadn’t heard the news yet and McHugh had to convince him that he really was gone when he called Cappelletti for comment on it. Mike Reiss has his latest Ask Reiss Mailbag and he tries to answer fans who just don’t understand what is going on down in Foxboro. The Ask PFW mailbag is full of similar outcries of panic. Glen Farley also looks at Adam leaving for Indy. Bill Burt says that Bill Belichick and the Patriots only pay for future performance, not what you’ve done in the past. McHugh wonders if anyone will want the job of following Vinatieri in Patriots history. Hector Longo says that Adam Vinatieri goes to the Indianapolis as the greatest player in New England Patriots history. (!)

Mark Farinella looks at the impact Paul Tagliabue had during his tenure as NFL commissioner.

Mike Fine looks at the encouraging play of Tony Allen as of late. Christopher Young wonders if the Celtics can or should make the playoffs.

Mike Loftus looks at another weak finish spelling doom for the Bruins. Loftus’ notebook has Mariusz Czerkawski getting more comfortable with his new team.

Thanks for the Memories…

A reminder: If you haven’t already, please go and vote in the 2006 BSMW Awards. We’ve had a great turnout thus far and are looking to get the largest possible sample size. Here are the sections of the balloting:

2006 BSMW User Poll – General & Radio

2006 BSMW User Poll – TV & Game Broadcast

2006 BSMW User Poll – Newspaper & Internet

Yes, it’s true. Adam Vinatieri will be leaving the Patriots and signing with the Indianapolis Colts, of all teams. Michael Holley was the first in the nation with the scoop yesterday, which he gave to WEEI on a call to the Big Show yesterday afternoon. As you might expect, there is a lot of doom and gloom in the papers this morning. A little overwrought for my taste. Tom E Curran has perhaps the most level-headed look at the departure of the kicker, whom he says was boiling beneath the surface at his plight with the Patriots. Albert Breer has a very interesting article this morning, where he looks at how the Colts as the “mystery team” swooped in on Vinatieri, leaving smoke screens behind, he also looks at evidence that perhaps the Patriots confidence in Vinatieri was wavering a bit and points to a pooch punt in the Jacksonville playoff game as evidence.

Most of the rest of the articles are of “the sky is falling”, the “apocalypse is upon us” variety. Nick Cafardo says that the bad times just continue to roll for the Patriots. Michael Felger says that Patriots fans felt like “projectile vomiting” when hearing the news last night. Alan Greenberg says that Vinatieri’s departure was in large part due to the fact that he felt that the Patriots took him for granted. John Tomase says that the Patriots offseason is officially a disaster. Yes. In March. Without seeing who they draft, who they sign, who they trade for. Patriots shouldn’t even show up next season. It’s over. Michael Parente also looks at the departure of Adam.

Ron Borges has a predictable look at the situation, lauding Vinatieri, saying the Patriots have a right to conduct business as they wish, and closes with a comment about Bill Belichick watching spring baseball while his roster defects. Lenny Megliola looks at Vinatieri as simply a winner, a guy who was a cold hearted killer on the field and a “sweetheart” off the field. Jim Donaldson says that this one hurts a lot more than the losses of David Givens or Willie McGinest. They’re celebrating in Indy, as Mike Chappell reports on the Colts acquiring the three time Super Bowl champ.

Tomase looks at who might be out there as a replacement for Vinatieri, with former Viking and Bear Paul Edinger seeming like a strong candidate. Curran’s notebook has more on kicking options. With the departure of Vinatieri, Christopher Price looks at the Top Ten Exits from Boston by star athletes.

Chris Snow looks at Wily Mo Pena’s debut with the Red Sox, and an impressive debut it was, both in batting practice and in the game. Jeff Horrigan says that Pena’s first impression with the Red Sox was certainly a hit. Sean McAdam says that Pena’s arrival will mean less time, perhaps even no time on the field for Dustan Mohr. Mike Fine writes that in Pena, the Red Sox got themselves a player with plenty of potential. In exchange, they gave up a deceptively tough pitcher. Jon Couture notes that Pena is raw, but he is certainly worth taking a chance on. David Borges has more on the debut of Pena.

Jef Horrigan has a disappointed Bronson Arroyo dealing with his exit from Boston. Gordon Edes has more on Arroyo expressing his sadness at leaving Boston. David Heuschkel also looks at Arroyo coming to terms with having to leave Boston behind. Kevin Gray looks at the Nashua Pride’s pursuit of Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd.

The notebooks all lead with David Wells. Snow’s notebook has David Wells seemingly resigned to his fate of being skipped in the early season rotation. Horrigan’s notebook has Wells setting a goal of 20 wins for himself this season. McAdam’s notebook has Wells holding his tongue. For a day anyway. Heuschkel’s notebook has Wells feeling good about his knee and his outing yesterday despite poor results on the scoreboard. Borges’ notebook has Wells deciding to grin and bear it as far as being skipped in the early season rotation.

Dan Shaughnessy is still milking the WBC, expressing shame that the U.S. lost at its own game in the event.

Joe McDonald looks at the Bruins displeasure with the officials after their 5-4 shootout loss to the Atlanta Thrashers last night. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that last night’s game should never have reached the shootout phase, as the Bruins twice blew two-goal leads. Steve Conroy says this might have been the most exasperating loss of a frustrating season for the Bruins. Douglas Flynn says it looks there will be no postseason for the Bruins, which is fine as this team seems to quit early anyhow.

McDonald’s notebook has Hannu Toivonen still hoping to make it back before the end of the season. Burrell’s notebook has coach Mike Sullivan moving Mariusz Czerkawski to right wing and seeing the move pay off with a goal. Conroy’s notebook has more on Czerkawski’s switch and goal.

Michael Muldoon says that in the Kobe vs. Pierce argument, he’ll take Pierce as he has shown himself to be much more of a team-oriented guy. Peter May looks at Tony Allen busting out for his best game of the season Monday night against the Lakers, and updates his criminal case, which appears ready to go to trial this summer. Shalise Manza Young also looks at the second year guard, who seems to have found his game and his role in the past week. Steve Bulpett has Tommy Heinsohn gushing, not for the first time, that Paul Pierce could be the greatest offensive player in the history of the storied franchise. Keith Reed looks at Verizon going to court for the right to be able to broadcast FSN Celtics games on their new FiOS TV service.

Mark Murphy has a look at BC point guard Louis Hinnant, who is proving to be a driving force among his teammates. Michael Vega looks at season ticket prices jumping for BC after their successful first season in the ACC. William Maloney blogs as a BC supporter living in Atlanta. Murphy’s notebook says that Jared Dudley could be up for a big game against Villanova.

David Scott weighs in with a pair of new posts, one on women’s NCAA hoops and another on NESN and the Red Sox going for more sex appeal. John Molori’s Media Blitz reports that Doug Tribou could be out at ESPN Boston, which would be a surprise move.

FSN has Raptors/Celtics at 7:30. NESN has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00. ESPN has Pistons/Heat at 8:00 and Spurs/Nuggets at 10:30. ESPN2 has NIT action.