For the second day in a row, I’m only too happy to lead off with the Bruins, who again last night came away with a pair of points, beating the New York Islanders in Nassau Coliseum, 2-1, for their seventh straight road win.
Stephen Harris was less than impressed with the B’s effort against the last-place Isles, excepting goalie Tim Thomas’s outstanding play. Kevin Paul Dupont counted 1,001 lost footraces as part of the B’s malaise, but he also counted 40 saves by Thomas that proved the difference. Joe Haggerty credits last night’s performance to coach Claude Julien for keeping his goalies fresh. Harris’ Bruins Notebook has Thomas keeping cool after losing his shutout bid, and offers some interesting reaction to yesterday’s crash landing of a U.S. Airways jet on the Hudson River.
Dupont’s Bruins Notebook has right winger Michael Ryder’s game getting back on the road after a season and a-half in the ditch. James Murphy says the B’s should hold their rich inventory of youth and talent rather than laying them down for Vincent Lecavalier.
Amalie Benjamin and Tony Massarotti report on Kevin Youkilis’s new 4-year contract. Sean McAdam also has the details, which could shore up the right side of the infield for the next five years. As for behind the plate, Curt Schilling states his case for why the Sox still need Jason Varitek. Paul Doyle has an update on David Ortiz’s wrist. With all the wear-and-tear on his body last year, does he really need to play in the WBC? The re-signing of outfielder Mark Kotsay tops McAdam’s Red Sox Notebook.
Brian MacPherson can tell the savvy players at the Red Sox Rookie Development Camp just by where they leave their gloves. If you could mix Gabe Kapler with Johnny Damon and Bill Lee, John Tomase says you’d get Lars Anderson. No, I’m not sure why either, but for this one article, Anderson did make me forget about Mark Teixeira.
Mark Murphy features rookie Bill Walker and his tatoo reminding him to stay hungry. Jeff Howe has Brian Scalabrine putting his institutional knowledge to good use filling in for the injured Kendrick Perkins.
Paul Flannery debates the exact mid-point of the NBA season, but offers the story lines for the half that’s been and the half that is to come.
Christopher L. Gasper says there is much work to do in rebuilding a depleted coaching staff. Gerry Callahan says that recent Foxborough emigres are receiving a warm and sincere send-off from the HC. Mike Reiss says Larry Izzo will be playing in 2009, but might get one of those send-offs himself.
Steve Solloway has a grassroots piece on the Maine native who played on the 1947 NFL-champion Chicago Cardinals and has waited 61 years for a repeat.
Ron Borges has the Steelers, who are supposed to be playing the Ravens on Sunday, still focused on the Patriots. Gary Myers of the NY Daily News says the Apple would do well to stay away from T.O. if he gets released by the Cowboys. The New York Post has Plaxico Burress grasping at straws to get off on his latest gun charges.
Rob Duca updates us on efforts to return minor league hockey to the Cape.
Bob Ryan empties out his mind and there’s a lot in there as he touches on everything sports. Don’t worry, Bob: I’ve never seen a 24 episode either.
We’ve got Ken Fang checking in a bit later today and Bruce returning on Monday. I’ll be back with our new bloglinks next Thursday afternoon, but you can always reach me before then at firstname.lastname@example.org. With all this cold, I’ll be sitting by the computer waiting to hear from you.