David Scott has some GateHouse thoughts; a look at the week of Bob Ryan and some changes at CN8’s Out of Bounds in this weeks edition of Scott’s Shots.

After struggling for so long with the concept, it appears the Bruins are finally getting this whole “shootout” thing. After losing 10 of their first 12 games decided by the format, Bud Barth informs us that they’ve now won three in a row under the new format, including last night’s 4-3 win over the Lightning, where rookie Phil Kessel was the seventh Bruin to take a turn at cracking the tie. Tim Thomas stopped seven shots on the other end, giving the Bruins their third win in a row overall. Fluto Shinzawa has coach Dave Lewis giving credit to Thomas for the win. Stephen Harris says the Bruins are starting to show that they can win even when they’re not at their best, which is a sign of a good team. Joe McDonald looks at Kessel giving the Bruins the win, with help from Thomas. Douglas Flynn has number 7 proving lucky for the Bruins.

Bob Duffy has Andrew Alberts giving Zdeno Chara credit for really helping him improve his game, and the results are showing on the ice. Steve Conroy looks at another impressive performance from Tim Thomas, especially in the shootout. Duffy looks at a little back and forth between two University of Vermont alums, on and off the ice last night in Thomas and the Lightning’s Martin St. Louis.

Harris’ notebook says Coach Dave Lewis couldn’t bear to watch the final round of the shootout, but he was all ears. Shinzawa’s notebook has Jason York fighting off injuries to get back into the lineup. McDonald’s notebook garners reaction around the Bruins locker room on the one year anniversary of the Joe Thornton trade. Flynn’s notebook has Brad Stuart reflecting on his year in Boston. Barth’s notebook looks at the thin defensive unit that took the ice for the Bruins last night.

Patriots

The now four man group of the BSMW Game Day Roundtable has gathered once again to share their wisdom on the current week of Patriots football.

John Tomase has a good mini-feature this morning on Patriots assistant head coach Dante Scarnecchia, who is once again working his magic with the offensive line. A sidebar notes that Scarnecchia is second among coaches in service time to a franchise. Christopher L Gasper looks at the pass interference rules, which have really burned the Patriots in recent weeks. Albert Breer looks at the emphasis by the Patriots on holding onto the ball, especially after the turnovers of the last few weeks. Jennifer Toland has more on the Patriots placing an emphasis on ball security. Tom King has Bill Belichick not viewing the Lions as a pushover.

Shalise Manza Young looks at Tully Banta-Cain, who is looking to step into the linebacker hole created by the season ending injury to Junior Seau, and make the most of the opportunity. Michael Parente has more on a whirlwind year for the young linebacker. Alan Greenberg says that the Patriots only productive receivers have been Ben Watson and Reche Caldwell, and tries to figure out what has happened to Doug Gabriel. Hector Longo says that Mike Vrabel has been prepared for the change to inside linebacker for quite some time now. Glen Farley has Vrabel willing to take on whichever role he is needed at. Eric McHugh has Kevin Faulk saying the the receiving mark that he set last week really does mean a lot to him. Mark Farinella has Ken Walter taking a business approach to his Patriot return.

The Globe takes a look at the playoff picture in the AFC.

Susan Bickelhaupt looks at the NFL Network and its battle with cable companies across the country.

Gasper’s notebook has Tully Banta-Cain preparing for his increased role as a starter in the absence of Seau. Breer’s notebook has Asante Samuel choosing not to talk about his upcoming contract. Toland’s notebook has a look at Roy Williams, who will certainly be a focus of the Patriots defense come Sunday afternoon. Young’s notebook has Belichick talking about the two years he spent with the Lions as a young assistant coach. Parente’s notebook also leads with that angle. McHugh’s notebook has the Patriots taking the Lions seriously.

Dan Shaughnessy submits another dreadful effort this morning, apparently he’s out of story ideas for the current time, so he writes a column about a Cowboys/Patriots Super Bowl on February 4th. As usual, even though he is attempting humor, Dan gets most of it wrong, showing just how out of touch he really is with most things. Just awful.

Red Sox

Gordon Edes reports this morning that a source with ties to the team has told him that the Red Sox are likely to offer outfielder Trot Nixon salary arbitration. He says this could be a sign that a Manny Ramirez trade, possibly for Padres starter Jake Peavy is moving closer to fruition. Joe Haggerty looks at the Sox getting ready to head to the winter meetings. Art Martone has a look at Curt Schilling’s statement that he believes Manny Ramirez will not be a member of the Red Sox in 2007. Jeff Goldberg also looks at Schilling’s claim that Manny wants out.

Michael Silverman reports on the signing of Japanese lefthanded reliever Hideki Okajima. He also says the Drew deal could be announced at the start of the winter meetings on Monday. Alex Speier says that the Red Sox got a bargain in Okajima. David Borges says that Okajima will bring some unique pitching mechanics to the Red Sox. Jeff Goldberg says that the Red Sox beat out at least five other teams to sign Okajima. Edes also looks at the signing of Hideki Okajima bolster their bullpen. Haggerty also looks at the signing of Okajima. Joe McDonald’s Red Sox notebook also looks at the signing.

Chad Finn lays out what he thinks the Red Sox 25 man roster is going to look like.

Celtics

Michael Muldoon has Brian Scalabrine confused about why the Boston fans don’t like him, and bothered by the boos he hears when he enters the game. Mark Murphy has the Celtics enduring a painful video session yesterday reviewing the end of the Nets game. Shira Springer has Doc Rivers believing that his team is “close” to putting it together.

Check back later for a weekend preview…

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