There was a lot of optimism around the Bruins heading into last night’s playoff opener. Then the game started. The Canadiens scored twice in the first two minutes of the game – the first goal just 34 seconds into the contest – and skated off with a 4-1 game one victory over Boston.

Fluto Shinzawa points out that the Bruins bread-and-butter defense, the box-plus-one formation, proved to be their weak spot last night. Steve Conroy points out that last night’s start of the second season looked an awful lot like the old one.

Kevin Paul Dupont says that the Bruins were not nearly good enough on any level to hang with the top seeded Canadiens. Stephen Harris says that we all knew Montreal had more speed and more pure skill than the Bruins, but last night they were tougher as well. Mick Colageo points out that that “there is a déjà vu that goes well beyond the losing” with last night’s result. Mike Loftus says that the Bruins will need to make some changes before game two.

Dupont says that while Patrice Bergeron is feeling better, he is still not quite ready to play yet. Conroy reports that not much has changed regarded Bergeron’s status. Sean Farrell says that the poor start proved to be the finish for the Bruins.

Conroy’s notebook has Tim Thomas getting his playoff baptism by fire. Shinzawa’s notebook has Marc Savard showing some rust in his first game back.

Red Sox

Jeff Horrigan has the Red Sox offense breaking out with a couple of big innings last night in the 12-6 Boston win over the Tigers. Gordon Edes has the Sox breaking loose, and then hanging on, needing to bring in Jonathan Papelbon in the eighth to nail down the game. Joe McDonald has the Sox taking care of business last night. Art Davidson has the Sox coming out on top after a 3-hour and 44 minute struggle with the Tigers. Paul Jarvey has the Red Sox stifling a late uprising by the Tigers. Joe Haggerty has J.D. Drew as the hot bat in the Boston attack last night.

Amalie Benjamin has David Ortiz remaining silent on and off the field as his struggles at the plate continue. Rob Bradford looks at Sean Casey, who had three RBI in the win last night and is getting used to his role with the Sox. Carolyn Thornton also has look at Casey coming through in a reserve role. Mike Petraglia says Casey is looking forward to his first dose of Red Sox/Yankees. Jeff Goldberg has Julian Tavarez making things interesting last night. David Willis has Dontrelle Willis saying that he’s not surprised at anything that ex-teammate Josh Beckett does.

The Yankees come to town tonight and Steve Buckley says that even with the Red Sox having won two titles this decade and Joe Torre no longer at the helm of the Yankees, this rivalry is still plenty alive. Alex Speier says that it is still the same old song for the Sox and Yankees. Benjamin says that there are plenty of old feelings to be renewed this weekend. Paul Kenyon has Clay Buchholz ready for his Yankee baptism tonight. Bob Stern says that we can expect the usual drama and emotion this weekend. Dom Amore lists 18 things to remember about Red Sox/Yankees. The Pawtucket Times has another installment of Sox Fan vs. Yankees Fan.

You can always get the latest newspaper and blog headlines on the Sox and Yankees at RedSoxLinks.com and NYYankeesLinks.com.

Horrigan’s notebook has Mike Lowell being placed on the 15-day DL with this thumb injury. Edes’ notebook has more on the Red Sox injuries and a Baseball Beanpot update. The ProJo notebook has Jed Lowrie getting the call to the majors with Lowell going on the DL. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Lowell. Jarvey’s notebook has the Yankees hurting as well coming into this series.

Celtics

Marc J. Spears says that the Celtics are glad to have home court advantage sewn up for the postseason. Mark Murphy says that the Celtics still have some work to do in the final regular season games. Jim Fenton reports that the Celtics are set to break a team attendance record tonight.

Misc

John Connolly and Nancy Marrapese-Burrell report on Boston College knocking off North Dakota last night to advance to the NCAA Hockey Championship game.

Connolly’s notebook and Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook each look at the strong play of Eagles netminder John Muse last night.

Jim McCabe and Karen Guregian report on yesterday’s first round of The Masters.

Bill Reynolds says that Travis Ford’s rejection takes a lot of shine off the Providence College coaching job.

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