Both the Bruins and Celtics pulled out victories last night, but in much different fashion. The Bruins were in control from start to finish last night in a 8-0 romp over the Toronto Maple Leafs, while the Celtics played an ugly game in Atlanta, used a fourth quarter run with some hot shooting from Ray Allen to build a double-digit lead, and then hung on for a 79-76 win over the Hawks.
The Patriots remained busy, signing tight end Daniel Fells, receiver Donte Stallworth, offensive lineman Robert Gallery and special teams/defensive back Marquice Cole.
Mike Reiss also broke the news that Logan Mankins played the end of the season on a partially torn ACL, which required surgery after the Super Bowl.
Local talk seems centered on Tim Tebow and speculation from ESPN’s John Clayton that the Patriots would be a favorite to land Tebow in a trade from the Broncos. Based on Tebow’s pre-draft dinner with Bill Belichick and his relationship with Josh McDaniels who drafted him with the Broncos, it might seem possible, but in reality the idea is rather far-fetched.
In addition, the Celtics announced that Jermaine O’Neal will undergo season-ended surgery on his wrist. The Celtics are in the market for a waived/bought out/free agent big man, but the picking will be slim.
Bruins Complete Season Sweep by Dominating Toronto, Regain a Bit of Their Swagger With Strong All-Around Effort – Douglas Flynn has the Bruins looking strong at the Garden last night.
Bruins showing lineups, methods for playoff run – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins looking to get serious.
‘Statement game’ a strong sendoff – Mick Colageo has five things to take away from last night.
Bruins feeling positive vibe – Jackie MacMullan has Tim Thomas saying that the Bruins are back on track.
Third watch: Kelly’s new line jells – Stephen Harris says that the re-emergence of the third line is key for the Bruins.
Thornton’s style: Praise from all corners – The Globe notebook has Shawn Thornton’s style appreciated by more than just his teammates. The Herald notebook from Steve Conroy says that Peter Chiarelli is done signing deals until after the season.
C’s warm up in Hotlanta – Steve Bulpett has the Celtics fighting through for this win.
Jermaine O’Neal can’t fulfill promise – Chris Forsberg looks at the failed era with the Celtics.
Bill Belichick’s master plan unfolds – Mike Reiss says that Bill Belichick is working towards his goal of a deep, competitive roster. Predictably, Tony Massarotti says he can’t discern whether the Patriots are better – or worse.
Tebow to the Pats? It’s up to Tebow – Bill Burt says that Tim Tebow will only be a Patriot if he is OK taking a lesser role.
What A Week It Was: Patriots Sign Lloyd, Manning Joins Broncos – George Cain reviews the week in the NFL.
With ace backing, Lester Sox’ Opening Day starter – Peter Abraham has Bobby Valentine naming the lefty as his opening day starter, and Josh Beckett to start the home opener.
Boston Red Sox must solidify pitching staff – Mike Fine says that getting the top of the rotation set is the easy part. Who will round out the staff is the real question.
Beyond the opening acts: Why Buchholz holds key to Red Sox rotation – Alex Speier says that beyond Lester and Beckett, Clay Buchholz is the real lynchpin to the rotation.
Mentors played key roles for Sox – John Tomase has several Red Sox talking about their baseball mentors.