Well, if we’re looking to be positive, we can say that the Bruins penalty killing in this series has been outstanding.
Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins pushed to the brink of elimination with their 1-0 shutout loss to the Canadiens in last night’s game four of their first round series. Steve Conroy has the Bruins lack of offense putting their season in jeopardy of coming to an end. Douglas Flynn has Bruins coach Claude Julien hoping he can engineer a repeat of what he did with his Montreal club in 2004, when he brought the club back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Bruins. Bud Barth says that the playoffs are essentially a lost cause for the Bruins with last night’s defeat, despite solid play from the B’s. Ryan Lambert says that with his play in this series Tim Thomas “is emerging as one of the top goalies in the league on its biggest stage.”
Kevin Paul Dupont says that the inability to generate any offense is clearly proving to be the Bruins undoing right now. Stephen Harris says that some of the Bruins offensive struggles can be attributed to Montreal goaltender Carey Price, but more should be blamed on the “Bruins’ simply atrocious ability to finish plays.” Mick Colageo says that Montreal’s best has just been a little better in this series. Mike Loftus has the Bruins in desperate need of offense. Rich Garven has more on the Bruins offensive struggles.
Dan Shaughnessy chats with Harry Sinden about the series, and gets his thoughts on some of the current Bruins. Sinden is apparently not a fan of Marc Savard. Steve Buckley gives the Bruins an “A” for effort in this series, even though they’re likely to fall short in the end.
Harris has Terry O’Reilly expressing his approval of the play of Bruins rookie Milan Lucic. Matt Porter has Tim Thomas unable to get a break, even on his birthday. Barbara Matson has 20-year-old Montreal rookie goaltender Carey Price playing like a seasoned veteran in the postseason. Buckley writes that Patrice Bergeron is already a feel good comeback story when you consider just how far he has already come in terms of his recovery from the concussion suffered in October.
Shinzawa’s notebook has Phil Kessel as a healthy scratch last night for the third straight game despite the Bruins being badly in need of offense and Kessel being fifth leading scorer this season. Conroy’s notebook examines the struggles of Glen Murray who has been unable to convert shots that he would’ve buried in his prime. Colageo’s notebook says that Kessel simply doesn’t have enough grit in his game at this point for the postseason. Lambert’s notebook has Marco Sturm unable to take advantage of a shorthanded chance most forwards can only dream of. Barth’s notebook has Julian confident that Kessel’s game won’t be hurt by his benching.
For the second straight night in Cleveland, the Red Sox got a ninth inning home run which propelled them to victory. Last night was Jason Varitek’s turn as the captain came off the bench to hit a pinch hit to give the Sox the lead.
Amalie Benjamin has Varitek once again proving to be invaluable to the Red Sox, even when he was supposed to have had the night off. Michael Silverman has Terry Francona hesitant to use Varitek last night, but certainly glad he did in the end. Sean McAdam has Varitek and rookie Jed Lowrie leading the Sox to a two game sweep of the Indians last night. Tom Yantz has Varitek coming off the bench without any swings in the practice cage to hit the game winner for the Sox. Bill Ballou has the Sox moving into first place behind Varitek’s blast.
Rob Bradford has Jed Lowrie making a sterling debut with a hit and three RBI in his first start in the majors. Jon Couture has Lowrie wasting little time in taking advantage of his big league opportunity. Joe Haggerty has Manny Delcarmen emerging as one of Terry Francona’s go-to guys in the bullpen. Bradford has Curt Schilling backing away from his Doctor’s statements on the radio yesterday and giving an update on how his rehab is progressing. Schilling also posts on 38 Pitches in reaction to the uproar over Dr. Craig Morgan’s claims that Schilling is furious at the Sox and willing to pitch for the Yankees next season.
The Pawtucket Times queues up the latest edition of Red Sox Fan vs. Yankees Fan in time for tonight’s game between the two teams in the Bronx. Bill Burt says that the Ortiz jersey incident reflects poorly on the Yankees.
Benjamin’s notebook has more on Schilling denying his Doctor’s claim that he would consider pitching for the Yankees next season. Silverman’s notebook has Alex Cora heading to the DL to give his elbow injury time to heal. McAdam’s notebook has more on Cora’s injury and trip to the DL. Yantz’s notebook has Lowrie tying a 61-year-old Red Sox record with three RBI in his major league debut. Ballou’s notebook has the Sox DL getting another addition with Cora being added.
Dan Snapp has a new column over at Patriots Daily, Trust Me: Don’t Trust Me looking at the folly of forming opinions of players in the draft without having seen them play. Mark Farinella reports on the annual meeting of the Patriots Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
Christopher L. Gasper and John Tomase each have a look at the Patriots 2008 schedule, which was released yesterday. Hector Longo has the Patriots going 12-4 off that schedule. Glen Farley and Jeff Howe also have a look at ’09 slate.
Marc J. Spears has Dominique Wilkins believing that the Hawks can upset the Celtics in the first round. Steve Bulpett has a look at just how much of an impact player James Posey is for the Celtics…more than even Doc Rivers thought that he would be.