When the Dow is outperforming the Celtics and your broker’s hottest tip is to short the Bruins, you know the Boston winter is a little long in the tooth. That’s where we find ourselves today, as the B’s and C’s lose on consecutive nights, the second straight for each. The undermanned C’s draw praise for being gritty but it’s 11 losses in the last 15 for the B’s, so we’ll take to the ice for all the low.
It’s been a Bear market of late, and Tuesday was more of the same as the B’s were blanked in Columbus. Stanley Cup of Chowder says it was a game of big hits, including the ones exchanged between Mark Stuart and Jared Boll. Ghosts Of The Garden says the B’s were beat around by a pathetic Blue Jacket squad. The Bear Essentials has Coach Julien concerned about a lack of commitment. The Bear Cave has Blue Jacket goalie Steve Mason coming up with his ninth shutout of the year and Tim Thomas holding his own – until he busted a chinstrap and had to use Manny Fernandez’s mask. Where’s Traggs? pontificates on Thomas using borrowed equipment. So, why is it that noboby can see through Fernandez’s mask anyway? Cornelius Hardenbergh And The Hockey Blogging Adventure loves rooting for Mason . . . until he’s facing the Bruins. Jack Edwards rips on the Kristian Huselius flop and longs for the good days when players stayed on their feet and penalties were dispensed for real infractions. At least Columbus wasn’t a total whitewash, as Naoko Funayama finds some great ice cream.
Desperately trying to stay calm, Kathryn Tappen says busted straps and losing streaks are all a part of hockey. Puck Daddy says the Bruins are losing their grip and wonders if GM Peter Chiarelli may pull a Lou Lamoriello on Julien. In the wake of Guy Carbonneau’s firing in Montreal, Caveman Strong looks back on Julien’s untimely dismissal and says the Habs better get their act together soon. Returning for an encore, Puck Daddy has the NHL going green for St. Patrick’s Day – with one big exception.
Loy’s Place documents another group of fans morphing from insecure to confident as the Heat handle the C’s last night in Miami, 107-99.
With all these injuries, it’s a great time for the bench to absorb some minutes and get some meaningful play time in, right? Red’s Army thinks so and asks Doc Rivers to listen to his own words. Celtics 17 opens some direct dialogue with Doc, firing off a letter panning for more play time for the developmental kids. WEEI’s newly annointed Green Street has Rivers trying to find enough bodies to practice and letting Starbury run the offense . . . in ghost drills.
Celtics Stuff Live suspects black magic may have a hand in the C’s woes and he peeks into the future to see how things play out. All the injuries have put Bostonist Sports Redux in crisis mode. CelticsBlog takes a shot at Gerry Callahan’s pedal-to-the-medal panic attack.
If you want to high-five Paul Pierce, Ball Don’t Lie says you better not be wearing a LeBron jersey. Eric Ortiz puts Pierce in his proper place, i.e., a candidate for MVP. WGS CelticsBlog says it’s official and they bring you the proof: the C’s are the most successful pro sports franchise.
NE Patriots Draft has recently-signed CB Leigh Bodden comfortable with the Pats’ defensive schemes after a Pro Bowl stint under Romeo Crennel in Cleveland. Along with Shawn Springs et al, PatriotsBlog tells us Bodden’s addition scratches corner off our needs list. Can anyone say Fernando Bryant and Deltha O’Neal? Patriots Daily says that, despite these additions, the Pats’ secondary is only as good as its front seven.
National Football Post’s Diner Morning News says the Pats did right by covering their needs before the draft. Patriots Gab tells you the one guy in this year’s draft that can replace Mike Vrabel and, yes, he’ll be available at #34. First And Ten From Foxborough says it was a matter of economics that brought long snapper Nathan Hodel to New England.
Pats Pulpit brings you a great Big Cat Country analysis of the NFL salary cap. The Busine$$ of Football breaks down T.O.’s contract and cautions that a Moss-like leveraging into market salary is not in his future. Tom Curran’s NFL Insider Report has Bills owner Ralph Wilson with a foot in the grave after signing T.O. BTW, The Patriot Act says the aforementioned Bodden and Springs are a pair of T.O. stoppers, although Reiss’s Pieces says that is not Springs’ purpose in New England.
Fat White Guy‘s Euro football chronicles continue as a teammate named Danielle (no, it’s not co-ed over there) beats Shawne Merriman out of a Patrick Willis jersey. And Alabama tackle Andre Smith’s draft chances are sinking faster than a Colonel Sanders statue strapped in a Manny Fernandez mask. Shutdown Corner is anxious to tell you the latest on the Smith front.
38 Pitches doesn’t think anyone left money on the table as a result of Theo’s three big offseason extensions. Will Jason Bay make it a foursome? Fire Brand of the American League says Bay’s talent travels well from Pittsburgh. Toeing The Rubber is giddy about Mike Lowell striking out and Clay Buchholz shaking off the Captain. Year Of The Sox captures all the buzz of Lowell’s return at Fort Myers. Caught Off The Wall says Buchholz is finally recovering from his no-hitter. Projo Sports Blog has Jonathan Papelbon quite outspoken on the subject of Manny. Extra Bases has Papelbon and Manny on different pages. Manager Terry Francona loves Rocco Baldelli and waking up in haunted hotels with swimming pools.
The Bottom Line continues its spring training / WBC check-in with an in-depth look at how the pitching has fared to date. WGS Red Sox Blog has Kevin Youkilis’ beard making a difference at the WBC. If only Rob Bradford could hit! Full Count brings us Dustin Pedroia blogging from the WBC. In his latest entry, Little Pony’s locker room neighbor Derek Jeter doesn’t go down all the way on push-ups. Hacks With Haggs has Big Papi lovin’ him some El Caballito.
The Mighty Quinn‘s world is out of synch when Pedroia and Jeter share a laugh and he’s compelled to root for Bombers, but an end is in sight. In a classic tale of two cities, Over The Monster examines Jayson Stark’s recent comaprison of the Sox’ and Yanks’ approaches in building teams. Subway Squawker Lisa picks her poison when the Sox take on the Mets in a Citi Field exhibition in April.
I’ll be bringing you links tomorrow morning as Bruce is long gone and hard to find in a sunny place somewhere. In the meantime, drop me a line at email@example.com.