### Quiet Bruins Off Season Resulting In Little Improvement

The Boston Bruins are enjoying a quiet offseason, after claiming their third Eastern Conference championship banner in nine years. Thus far the only Bruins signings have been winger Brett Ritchie from Dallas, Danton Heinen, and Steven Kampfer. General manager Don Sweeney still has a lot of work to due this summer. The Bruins need to come to terms with Defenseman Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, and Brandon Carlo. In this post, we will review three reasons why the Bruins have not improved from last season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Overpaying For Danton Heinen  Mistake, number one was overpaying for Danton Heinen. Heinen, the third_ year wingers production dipped considerably in 2018.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In 2011 Heinen’s 11 goals and 13 assists and a plus_ minus ratio of 11 one more than the previous season. In  2017  he netted 16 goals and 31 assists. This past summer the,organization awarded him a 2.8 million dollar salary which ends in 2023.                                                                                                                                                           Granted, Heinen is a gritty third_ line player, but not worth the figure he signed  With only three years of service time, he adds a strong physical presence on the team’s third line. Only time will tell if he is worthy of the contract.

No Major Free Agent Signing’s  The good news is the Bruins  are well under the NHL cap space this summer. The bad news is they have to come to terms with  Tory Krug, Charlie McAvoy,and Brandon Carlo. The team cannot sign all three                                                                                                                                                                Torey Krug had one his most productive seasons as a Bruin. Krug is a valuable member of the power play and sparkled in the playoffs. Krug has one more year left on a four_ year  \$21,000,000 deal. Expect Krug to average 9 or 10 million per year on the open market. Signing him will  be a major hurdle losing him will be worse.

Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo are the nuts and bolts of the defensive corp. Mcavoy is at the end of his rookie contract. Carlo had his best season as a Bruin. When Zdeno Chara retires, Carlo will be the club’s number one or two defenseman.

Signing Brett Richie  The only major splash this summer has been Brett Ritchie. The team lost free agent  Marcus Johansen and center Noel Acciari. Ritchie has 33 goals and 21 assists n five_year’s as A Dallas Star.  He is not the   skill player that Johansen is, but fits the Bruins style of play.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Bruins have major decisions to make on McAvoy and Carlo. Krug could be the odd man out. Mc Avoy and Carlo are the future of the Bruins Compared to last season the team has not gotten any better and will struggle to reach the finals.

### Three Quality Relievers That The Red Sox Will Target At The Trade Deadline

With  Major League baseball’s 2019 All _Star game in the books, the Red Sox find themselves in second place nine games behind the Yankees. The difference this year, compared to last season, has been the pitching. In this post, we will review three relievers that may be available at the trade deadline.                                                                                                                                                                            Three Quality Relievers That The Red Sox  Will Target At The Trade Deadline                                                                                                                                                                            Brad Brach Orioles Like his former teammate Zach Britton, Brach could be the next Oriole on the chopping block.  The catch with Brach is he is under contract through next season at 9,000,000. Which means the Red Sox would have him for a year and a half.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Red Sox fans can recall that five years ago, the team sent Andrew Miller to Baltimore and in return the club receiver Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez has developed into one of the clubs most dependable starters.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Joakim Soria Soria is another candidate who could be dealt for the right price. Boston traded with Chicago three years ago that netted Chris Sale. Soria is a veteran who owed 10,000,000 dollars for next season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The White Sox of 2019 is vastly improved. It would take a quality prospect or two to acquire Soria. Soria brings value to a club fighting for a playoff spot. He has been both a setup man and reliever during his career. Despite a 1-4 record and a 4.75 ERA this year, he has 220 career saves.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Adam Conley Marlins With the Marlins once again basement dwellers, they will be a team moving players. One player, in particular, pitcher Adam Conley. Conley is flexible who can either start or relieve and would be a perfect fit for the Red Sox.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          At 1-7 and a 774 ERA this season Conley would add depth to a starting rotation or bullpen.

The Second Half The Red Sox starting pitching has been a disappointment. Chris Sale and Rick Porcello have not received the run support needed to win.

The organization has begun preliminary talks with the Mets, regarding starter Zach Wheeler. Wheeler is 6-6 and a 4.69 ERA in 2019. The other suitor is the Yankees. With the Red Sox farm system razor_ thin look for GM Brian Cashman to obtain Wheeler’s services.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Red Sox lost big shoes in losing Joe Kelly and Crag Kimbrel. Plus the injury to Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t helped. Look for GM Dave Dombrowski to make a move or two at the deadline.

### Revolution Shakeup Points The Organization in the Right Direction

The recent firing of Revolution coach Brad Friedel marks the beginning of a new era for the New England Revolution. The 2019 season has been somewhat of a disappointment for Revolution fans. Currently, the club sits in eleventh place in the MLS soccer standings. This month the Kraft family decided to go in another direction and hired well respected Bruce Arena to guide the organization. As a coach, Arena is one of the most successful coaches in soccer history. In this post, we will review three why hiring Bruce Arena is a step in the right direction.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One Of The Most Successful Coaches In MLS history                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In Arena, New England gets one of the most successful coaches in soccer history. His resume includes five  MLS Cup championships. Three with the LA Galaxy in 2011, 2912,  and 2014.  Also, a Supporters Cup Shield in 2011.                                                                                                                                                                                             The decision to fire  Brad Friedel came as a result of another slow start by the Revolution.  Friedel compiled a 12-21-13  record in his brief tenure as head coach, Certainly not good enough to compete for a world cup.                                                                                                                                                                                                               For the past five seasons, the Revolution have been struggling at the bottom. Currently, the Revolution are 4-8-4 and stand in 11th place in the MLS East. With Arenas, winning history fans can expect a total housecleaning.                                                                                                                                                                                   Impressive Resume    Another reason for the hiring of Arena, was his remarkable resume. He began his coaching career after graduating from Cornell in the late sixties. At Cornell. he participated in soccer and was the team’s goalkeeper for four years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As for his coaching experience, Arena has had a brilliant career coaching the LA Galaxy, DC United, and NY Red Bulls.  In Los Angeles Arena guided the Galaxy to three MLS titles Also, in 1996  and 1998 he led DC United to two World Cups. Not to mention a supporters cup in 1995.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Winning Formula  Taking over the Revolution will be a challenge. As an organization, the club has never won a US Cup. despite four attempts in the early part of the millennial. In 2000 the team won a US open cup trophy.                                                                                                                                                                                           The Future Ahead  By hiring Arena the Kraft family is sending a message that significant changes are coming. After their worst start in franchise history, the  team can only go up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As for the roster, the Revolution do have several players with plenty of upside.   Some talented names to watch are goalkeeper Cody Cropper, Midfielder, Scott Caldwell, forwards, Teal Bunbury, and Diego Fagundez.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It will take some time, but look for Arena to do what needs to be done and bring a World Cup to Gillette stadium.

### Three Reasons Why The Celtics Need To Play Like Celtics In 2019/20

What a difference a year makes. In 2018 the Celtics lost to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Championship. That roster was minus a Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. This year, with a healthy roster the team slipped all the way to a fifth seed in the East. Several factors can contribute to this year’s disappointment. In this post, we will examine three reasons why the Celtics failed to play a brand of basketball fans can be proud of.

Three Reasons Why The Celtics Need To Play Like Celtics in 2019/20

No More Finger pointing    One area that needs to be addressed in 2019/20 is no more finger pointing. This was the norm for this year’s squad.  Previous  Celtics greats Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Kevin McHale, and Paul Pierce would never blame other teammates.

The team needs to focus on cohesiveness and unity. Over the course of 82 games, unity prevails where fingerpointing ends up in a losing battle.  If the Celtics can regain their 2018 form, this is one area that needs to be eliminated  immidiately.
For a team that came so close a year ago, you would never know by the actions of this seasons team.
Better Ball Movement  The second area that needs improvement is the passing department. Games in which all five players were involved in were usually games that resulted in a victory.                                                                                                                                                                                For most of the season, the ball and game fell on Kyrie Irving. Gordon Hayward returned after a season _ending injury in 2018 was a disappointment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The rest of the players Marcus Smart, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum,Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris contributed significantly. Reserve guard, Terry Rozier spent most of the season complaining about his lack of playing time.
Better Shooting  The biggest weakness, for this year’s team was the shooting. The Celtics finished fifteenth overall in three _point shooting. In the two_point shooting area, the club ranked fifth.  In the rebounding department, the Celtics ranked 16th and on the defensive side, the team sank to 22nd.
All factors considered the club lacked consistency. At times they showed flashes of brilliance and other times they would return to unacceptable basketball. If the team aspires to be an Eastern Conference Contender, then they need to play like a Celtic team. Teamwork, Shooting and rebounding.
The Upcoming Season  If 2019 /20 is going to be a success it will have to be a complete team game. Head coach Brad Stevens needs to be more of a disciplinarian. Too many times last season the coach allowed the players to walk all over him.Regaining trust in each other is an important ingredient for any teams success.

### What Separates Tuukka Rask From Other Elite NHL Goaltenders

The Boston Bruins are enjoying a very sweet 2019 playoff run in a quest for their second Stanley Cup of the millennial. One of the reasons behind the successful run is the play of netminder Tuukka Rask. Rask has guided the Bruins past victories over Toronto, Columbus, and two wins over Carolina with game three Tuesday night. In this post, we will examine three reasons, why Rask has been so successful and where he stands amongst recent Stanley Cup goalies.

What Separates Tuukka Rask From Other Elite NHL Goaltenders?

Young Defensive Group Outside of Charlie McAvoy the team has an extremely young group of talented defensemen.  Starting with Charlie McAvoy the team is a well_ balanced unit with Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Connor Clifton, and Torey Krug.

The young group has been a significant reason that has contributed to Rask’s success this season. Krug, in particular, has been a vital force on the team’s power play.
If the Bruins expect to get past Carolina, then the defense will have to keep the Hurricane forwards at bay. The Bruins defense was one of the best in the NHL in 2018/19
Penalty Killing another reason for Rask’s success this postseason has been the play of the penalty killing unit. During the season, the penalty killing ranked near the bottom. During the playoffs, however, the penalty killing has been the out of the four playoff teams remaining. Currently, the team is riding a five_ game unbeaten streak.
One of the reasons for this year’s playoff success is the play of the penalty killing unit. The group have prevented the opposition from scoring. Currently, the club is enjoying a five _game postseason unbeaten streak thanks to the penalty killing. If the team can get past Carolina, the play of the penalty killing unit is vital.
Rask Versus Recent Stanley Cup Goalies; The past three seasons the Stanley Cup Champions have been The Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins twice and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Compared to Stanley Cup goalies, Rask statistics rank with the best. Corey Crawford of Chicago is 244-142 career as a Blackhawk. In, the Playoffs his record is 48-37. Another example, Matt Murray of Pittsburgh compiled a 29-14 overall record this year, with 2.60 GAA and a 919 save percentage. Murray had a dismal playoff record in 2019 at 0-4 record.
Rask’s numbers, on the other hand, were far better than both in 2019.  27-19 298 GAA and a 912 save percentage. Career _wise   Rask is 265 150 228GAA and a 921 save percentage. The most wins by any Bruins goaltender in the clubs history.

Post Season Success It wasn’t too long ago that Tuukka Rask was getting criticized for his lack of victories in postseason. With consecutive losses to Ottawa and Tampa Bay, it’s safe to say that Tuukka Rask has finally arrived as an elite NHL goaltender.

### Lack Of a Closer Will Prove Costly for 2019 Red Sox

With a quarter of the 2019MLB season completed, it’s safe to say the 2019 Red Sox have many question marks. Question number one is pitching. Currently, the club is tied for third in the ALEast behind Tampa and New York. Any hopes of a mid _season surge into first place will fall on the starting pitching. In this post, we will review three areas that the organization needs to focus on a return to return to first place.

Lack Of A Closer Will Prove Costly For 2019 Red Sox

No, Craig Kimbrel  In 2018 the Red Sox bullpen had a combined total of 46 saves. A lot of the credit went to closer Craig Kimbrel and setup man Joe Kelly. Kelly was instrumental in the post _season last year as he was one of the managers Alex Cora’s trusted relievers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the offseason, Kelly signed a multi _year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Since Kelly’s departure, the majority of the responsibility has rested on reliever Ryan Brasier. Brasier has so far been adequate but does not even come close to Joe Kelly’s caliber.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Kimbrel, on the other hand, remains a free_agent. He is believed to be seeking a long _term deal perhaps equaling six or seven years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Lack of Hitting  So far, the Red Sox are 17-19 in the American League East. Overall, the club is hitting 283 as a team fifth best in the league along with a total of 42 home runs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As of late outfielder, Mookie Betts has been on a torrid hitting streak. Newly recalled Michael Chavis had been one of the teams most productive hitters belting seven home runs in less than two weeks.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Also contributing with the bat have been Rafael Devers and catcher Christian Vazquez, and JD Martinez has been consistent.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Starting Pitching Needs To Be Healthy  After 36 games, the Red Sox starting pitching has suffered injuries to two key pitchers. Both starters David Price and Nathan Eovaldi have been placed on the DL  Out of the two, Evoldi’s injury is considered more serious.  It was diagnosed that Eovaldi will miss at least  4to 6 months of pitching due to Tommy John surgery.

If the team has any aspirations of returning to first place, then they will need a healthy David Price and Nathan Eovaldi.  Also on the injured list is lefthander Brian Johnson. Johnson’s injury is not regarded as serious.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The season Ahead If the club expects to have any hopes of postseason then a lot will depend on the health of the pitching. Also, investing in closer is one  alternative the organization needs to think about if they expect to play even close to last season.

### Three Quarterbacks That Would Be Perfect Fits In A Patriots Uniform In This Years Draft

With the 2019 NFL Draft officially underway, the quarterback issue is an area of concern as long as Tom Brady stays healthy. Barring an injury, the only capable backup is veteran Brian Hoyer. The question is can Hoyer carry the Patriots through the whole season and the playoffs. Some possible names to keep an eye on are Justin Herbert of Oregon, Drew Lock of Missouri and Will Grier of W Virginia. In this post, we will examine three quarterbacks who could help the Patriots and make the 2019 roster.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Three Quarterbacks Who Would Be A Perfect Fit In A Patriots Uniform In This Year’s Draft

Justin HerbertOregon Herbert is an interesting possibility whose stock has climbed the past month. The 21 year_old has the height 6’6” and weight 224 lbs. that appeal to a lot of NFL coaches.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               In 2018 Herbert threw for 3151 total yards and 29 touchdowns 8 interceptions. As a three year starter at Oregon, has thrown for 63 touchdowns with his longest an 83_ yard bomb in 2018.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Herbert’s strong points are his decision making and arm strength. Look for Herbert to go in the mid_ rounds in this year’s draft. Herbert certainly has the size a characteristic that head coach Bill Belichick relishes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Will Grier West Virginia  Grier has shown considerable interest from the Patriots as a possible fit in New England.  The former transfer from Florida had a career year in 2018 throwing for 3,498  yards and 12 touchdowns.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grier’s strengths are his throwing accuracy and pocket presence. With, three _third round picks the chances of Grier being available are slim. Do not expect  Bill Belichick to trade up to get him.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Drew Lock  Missouri  Locke is an interesting candidate. As a three year starter at Missouri Lock has thrown for over 3000, yards in each season. In 2017 led the nation with 44 touchdown passes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                At 6’4” Lock has the size and agility to be a legitimate NFL quarterback. He comes with the reputation of being a gunslinger and lacks patience. With an impressive resume under his belt look for Lock to be a fourth or fifth round selection.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Upcoming Season With a total of eleven draft picks this year look for the Patriots to be quite active. With  Rob Gronkowski retiring the team has several needs to fill. The question still remains the Patriots will win as long as Tom Brady stays healthy.

### Top Red Sox Pitching Prospects for 2019

With, the Red Sox off to their slowest start in franchise history, pitching in the main area of concern. With Chris Sale struggling /850 ERa and Nathan Eovaldi on the 10_ day disabled list the team may have to look into the farm system for help as the season lingers on. In this post, we will review the organization’s top pitching prospects.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Top Red Sox Pitching prospects for 2019                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jason Groome; Jason Groome has been in the  Red Sox system for three years. Injuries have taken a toll on the young lefthander. Groome however, is still ranked highly by the teams scouting department. Gromme possesses a strong fastball _curveball to add fastball. Control has been his main issue as he does have a high strikeout ratio. If Groome can work on his command 2019 could be a  realistic projection for him to make the rotation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Darwinian Hernandez: The lanky lefthander is perhaps the most likely prospect to be recalled this summer. Hernandez saw a substantial amount of innings in spring training. Look for Hernandez to start the season in Double_ A Portland this season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Hernandez best pitches are his fastball and changeup. If he can work on his command, he may be in the rotation sooner than expected.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bryan Mata: Only 18  years old Mata is one of the top_ ranked prospects in the system. Mata throws a strong fastball and curveball. Projected as a reliever he is rapidly rising through the system. If Mata can stay healthy, he should make the 40 man roster by 2020.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   TannerHouck: Tanner Houck is the 6th ranked prospect in the organization. A former first_ round draft pick last season Houck quickly climbed the ladder reaching Class A Salem. A strong fastball and curveball Houck needs to work on his control.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In one stretch, last season Houck struck out 38 batters in40 innings. Despite an ugly 6.16 ERA Houck is projected to reach the big leagues in 2021.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The Future: Despite a poor start the 2019 Red Sox do show some light with their farm system. The organization has resigned lefthander Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi to long term contracts. Also, shortstop Xander Boagaerts has also committed to a long_ term deal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With the team in dead last in the AL East do not be surprised if the organization starts recalling its prospects sooner than expected.

### The Four Teams That Will Be Fighting It Out For The 2019 American League Playoffs

With the 2019 Major League Baseball season underway here is a projection of which teams will be fighting it out in October. The 2018 Boston Red Sox are frontrunners to repeat. In this post, we will examine which team’s will be standing in Oct

Four Teams That Will Be Fighting It Out For The 2019 American League Playoffs

1st Place AL East Boston’ The World Champions had a relatively quiet offseason. General Manager Dave Dombrowski resigned World Series MVP  Steve Pearce. and starter Nathan Eovaldi.  As of last week, the organization  rewarded ace Chris Sale with a five _year contract extension

Bullpen _wise, closer Craig Kimbrel still remains a free agent.   As it stands now, the opening day closer remains veteran righthander Matt Barnes.

Offensively; Offensively the team will open the season with the same lineup as last season. Overall, in 2018 the team finished 6th in the league in home runs /208 and 1st in every other department. The only change in the lineup is catcher Sandy Leon who was released in spring training.     Wild Card Yankees; The Yankees had a successful 2018 season winning 100 games. In 2018 the Yankees landed the biggest free agent fish n Giancarlo Stanton. Apparently, Stanton was not enough as the team lost to Boston in round one of the playoffs.

This offseason the Yankees were one of the busiest in baseball. The club acquired Seattle southpaw James Paxton. Resigned JA Haap and Zach Britton. Also coming to terms were infielder Troy Tulowitzki, Outfielder Andrew McCutcheon, Infielder DJ LaMahieu pitchers Lace Lynn and Gio Gonzalez.       The Yankees will be serious challengers to the Red Sox as the club added depth to their 2019 roster. One thing is for certain they will be active at the trade deadline.

AL Central Minnesota; This may seem a long shot but the Twins are committed to winning. First_year manager  Rocco Baldelli takes a team that finished in third place a year ago with visions of a championship.

In the offseason, the Twins added CJ Cron, Nelson Cruz, and infielder Johnathan Schoop. With an established pitching staff and deep bullpen look for the club to be the surprise of the American League.

Offensively the Twins have a talented group of Max Kepler, MIguel Sano, and outfielder Byron Buxton. Despite Joe Mauer, retiring Twins fans have high hopes for a serious championship run.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             AL West Houston Astros;  The Astros won five games less than the Red Sox in2018 finishing 103-59 and a 636 winning percentage. Considering the fact that they lost starter Charlie Morton to Tampa Bay, they still have an intriguing pitching staff. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole give the Astros a reliable one and two punch.  Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock round out the staff. As for depth, the club has two studs ready in the minors. Youngsters Josh James and Forrest Whitley should join the staff at some point

Peacock rounds out the staff. Depth_ wise, the team has two young studs in the minors. Youngsters Josh James and Forrest Whitley will be recalled at some point during the season.