Why DefenseIs A Key Factor For A Successful Bruins Post Season Run

Experienced Group; With three- quarters of the NHL season over, the team’s defence ranks second in the league in goals allowed. As the third-year coach, Bruce Cassidy rotates goalies Tuukka Rask, and Jaraslov Halak the Bruins have held onto fourth place in the NHL East.

The defensive group of Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon,  Carlo, John Moore Kevan Miller, Steven Kampfer, and Torey Rug.. have remained fairly healthy. Early season injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara the Bruins defence has been one of the best in hockey.

Except for John Moore and Steven Kampfer, the group has been together for five years or longer. At 42 years old Zdeno Chara is a valuable member of the clubs power play. Veteran Torey Krug is having a solid season by logging 44 games played and 5 goals and 33 assists. Krug is also an essential member of the Bruins power play.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sixty Minutes Of Hockey; One area the team needs to focus on is consistency. Saturday’s 5-4 win over the LA Kings the Bruins fell apart in the third period. Future Hall Of Fame winger Patrice Bergeron netted the game _winning goal in overtime to beat the Kings. It was also Bergeron’s 1,000 point as a Bruin.

The team has won and lost several close games this season because of a defensive breakdown.  In a recent win over Washington, goalie Tuukka Rask kept the Capitals scoreless for three periods and earned his 253 wins as the organizations winningest goalie.

Staying Healthy; Despite early season injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara, the Bruins have one of the top five defensive units in the NHL.  Outside of the Bruins Anaheim, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Minnesota have better defensive units.

Zdeno Chara continues to pile up the minutes every night. If the rest of the defence can stay healthy, the team should be a serious contender going forward.

Looking Ahead; Head coach Bruce Cassidy continues to mix up his lines regularly. Keeping goalies Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak fresh will be another factor for a successful Stanley Cup run

Three Strategies For The Patriots To Achieve Super Bowl Title Number Six

This Sunday the Patriots will be in pursuit of their sixth Super Bowl title. Only one other team the, Pittsburgh Steelers, have six Super Bowl wins. Last year, the decision not to play Malcolm Butler affected their performance. In this post, we will examine three areas that will bring the Lombardi trophy back to Foxborough.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Three  Strategies For the Patriots To achieve Their Sixth Super Title

Playing Smart The past two wins against the Chargers and Chiefs the offensive line had zero penalties. Unlike week fourteen against Pittsburgh that rang up eighteen penalties, the protection has been excellent.
 The offensive line has to keep Brady in the pocket long enough, to see his receivers Blocking Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald will not be easy but attainable Being patient will be a significant factor in the game‘s outcome To many players on the field, for example, is one area the team needs to avoid.
Officiating; Like Patriot fans have witnessed so many times, the officials are usually a key player.  A recent example was a call against the Chiefs. Kansas City punted and return man Julian Edelman was charged with a fumble. Head coach Bill Belichick challenged the call, and the play was overturned.
  Another example was in Super Bowl 51 against Atlanta. In this game, Patriot receiver Julian Edelman made one of the greatest catches in history. After the catch, Atlanta challenged the call for lack of possession long enough. After reviewing the play, the Patriots won the appeal and won their fifth Super Bowl.

 Getting Everyone Involved; One of the main reasons for the Patriots success this year was Brady got every receiver involved. Except for Josh Gordon who was acquired in October, the team had a balanced attack. When Gordon was released after twelve games Brady’s favourite receiver was the one that was open.
 The Patriots should have a successful day against a team that ranked 7th defensively Both sides have had great success in running the ball this postseason. Together Tom Brady and Jared Goff have a combined three passing touchdowns.

  Final prediction; If all goes according to plan the Patriots should win by a close margin 31-27. Brady should be able to throw against AqibTalib, Marcus Peters and John Johnson. Linebacker Dante Fowler is one of the games best.

As the season progressed on the Patriots defense improved in stopping the run. Look for the Patriot linebackers Donta Hightower, Kyle Van Noy and Trey Flowers to blitz most of the game.  Rams quarterback Jared Goff is playing in his fourth postseason game versus the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

Three Free Agent Pitchers Still Available That Could Help The Red Sox In 2019

The 2019 MLB Free Agency season is still very much alive. Thus far, teams have been focusing on pitching primarily relief pitching. Several examples are the Mets acquiring closer Edwin Diaz from Seattle. Relievers Zach Britton, Doug Robertson and Adam Octavio, are all signed for next season. In this article, we will discuss three pitchers still on the market who could bolster the Red Sox bullpen in 2019.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Three Free Agent Pitchers Still Available Who Could Help The Red Sox In 2019                                                                                                                                                                 

Ryan Madson; The nine-year veteran is still one of the most attractive pitchers left on the free agent market. With the loss of setup man, Joe Kelly to the Dodgers Madson is a perfect fit.

For seven million dollars per year, Madson brings a 7-1 postseason record to the table and 1 World Series win under his belt. The Red Sox are very familiar with Madson with his World Series appearances in 2018.

Sergio Romo; If the organization cannot come to terms with Craig Kimbrel the next logical solution maybe Sergio Romo. Romo the former San Francisco Giants pitcher has an impressive 30-31 career record and 109 lifetime saves.      At, thirty- five years old Romo had an effective 2018 posting a 3-4  record and 25 saves. The price for Craig Kimbrel may be too high for the Red Sox to agree on.   Look for Romo to stay in the AL East after spending the last two seasons with Tampa Bay.

Craig Kimbrel; As free agency approaches the end of January, Craig Kimbrel is still available on the open market. The eight_ year veteran compiled a 5-2 record last season plus, 42 saves. Although Kimbrel was inconsistent in the second half he still was a valuable contributor in the postseason.

At the beginning of free agency General Manager, Dave Dombrowski presented Kimbrel with an offer. With Kimbrel seeking a six _year offer, the real picture is a two-year deal. In eight years Kimbrel has a record of 31-19 and 333 career saves.  At this stage of free agency look for Craig Kimbrel to sign elsewhere.

The Red Sox In 2019; So far, this offseason the only notable signings were pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, first baseman Stephen Pearce,. and signed league MVP Mookie Betts to a one-year contract. With free agency waning down, look for the club to add a reliever or two.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Three Reasons The Patriots Are A Model Organization

Now that the first round of the 2018 NFL Divisional round is history, Patriot fans have a week to think about the upcoming AFC Championship. Sunday, the Patriots will meet the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City. Earlier in the season, the Patriots squeaked by the Chiefs43-40 in Foxborough, Mass  Sunday’s 40-28 thrashing of the Chargers marked Bill Belichick’s 40th post _season game as a head coach. In this post, we will examine three reasons why The Patriots are a model organization.                                                                                                                 Three Reasons  The Patriots Are A Model Organization

Surrounded By Great Players    Since Bill Belichick took over as head coach in 2000 the organization has a 5-3 Super Bowl record and nine AFC Tile wins.                                                                                                                                                                                    One of the main reasons for the Patriots success has been Tom Brady. Brady drafted number 199 in the 2000 draft has been calling the signals. In nineteen years Brady and Belichick have transformed the Patriots into one of the most successful organizations in professional sports.     Outside of Brady, Belichick has drafted players such as Tedy Bruschi, Chandler Jones,  Logan Mankins, Rob Gronkowski Vince Wilfork and most recently, running back Sony Michel. Belichick has often been critcized for his trading down method so the organization can receive a greater value for his pick. Throughout his tenure as Patriots head coach the Patriots have qualified for the playoffs ten years in a row

Superior Coaching; Since Belichick took over the team to the playoffs 2000 the team has seen a mass exodus of coaches leave to coach elsewhere.  Notable names are Texans coach Bill O’Brien, Mike Vrabel of Tennessee Eric Mangini left to coach the New York Jets.  Last season defensive coordinator Matt Patricia agreed to coach Detroit Also, last season offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels agreed to coach Indianapolis. Just after agreeing to coach the Colts McDaniels declined the offer and stayed with New England. The most recent coach to move on was longtime defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Flores agreed to coach Miami.

The Value Factor; Anyone who follows Belichick is familiar with his strategy of getting value. Throughout the years Belichick has traded First_ Round picks for middle round picks.  The idea is to get the most out of a player for a reasonable price. Recent examples of this strategy are trading linebacker Chandler Jones was a First_ Round pick in 2012 who was dealt to the Browns for linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy has since been an integral part of the team’s defense.

The  Future; After last year’s Super Bowl loss, many fans thought the regime was coming to an end.   In 2018 Tom Brady threw for 4,355 yards  29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. As long as Tom Brady can stay healthy the dynasty will continue. This coming Sunday will feature a rookie quarterback in Patrick Mahomes versus one on the greatest of all time.

Celtics Need To Avoid Any Potential Identity Crisis

  The 2018/19 Boston Celtics have been a victim of inconsistency. Poor shooting from the field has the Celtics hovering in third place in the NBA East. Despite coming off an eight winning streak the team can’t find an identity. In this post, we will examine three reasons why the Celtics Need to Avoid any potential identity crisis.                                                                                                                                                                      

Celtics Need To  Avoid Any Potential Identity Crisis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dominant Kyrie Irving; Considering the fact that the Celtics rank 10th in the league the offensive category they still lack a balanced attack from both the first and second units. Irving has been averaging 16 points per game followed by Jayson Tatum 16points and Marcus Morris 15 points per game.                                                                                                                                                                                                        Recently, head coach Brad Stevens announced that Jaylen Brown has been demoted to the second unit. Brown has also suffered injuries sustained from an early season concussion. Brown has been criticized heavily by the Boston media for not playing up to his potential. If the club expects to move ahead of Philadelphia and Toronto then Brown needs to step up his game.                                                                                                                                                                                                         Inconsistency from the field;  Anybody who has been watching the Celtics knows that they’ve been terribly inconsistent from the field. Some nights their either hot and other nights their ice cold. Especially from the three_ point area the Celtics have struggled and lost games due to poor shooting.  Terry Rozier the team’s leader off the bench has only been averaging 10 points per game  and has been complaining about his lack of minutes. Last season for, example Rozier took over for the injured Kyrie Irving and was a major factor in the teams post _ season success.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       A Rash of Injuries; One of the reasons that Brad Stevens is one of the leagues best coaches is how he utilizes his players. Injuries are part of every sport. This season the Celtics have seen their share. Injuries to Aron Baynes,  Al Horford, and Jaylen Brown. Gordon Hayward is still working his way back into form,   from season_ ending last season. If the organization hopes to reach the finals a healthy Celtics team is a must.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Looking Ahead; If the Celtics expect to make a run for the Finals they need to make a statement now. Third place in the East is a far cry from last seasons first_place finish. Before they have any hopes of the Finals they need to overcome Philadelphia and Toronto, first.                                                                                                                                                                              

Bruins Farm System Failing To Produce NHL Calibre Players

The 2018 Boston Bruins find themselves struggling to maintain a playoff spot. Injuries have plagued the 2018 roster and fans are observing a team without an identity. Currently, the club has injuries to Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Kevan Miller and others. As it stands now, the organization is in fourth place at 14-10 24 points and four overtime losses. In this post, we will examine three issues concerning why the farm system is failing to produce NHL calibre players so far this season.

.                                                                                                                             Bruins Farm System Failing To Produce NHL Calibre Players                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Rash Of injuries;   So far this season the Bruins have suffered serious injuries to their star players. Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller, and Charlie McAvoy have all missed significant time due to severe injuries. McAvoy, for example, has suffered a serious concussion due to a hard hit in mid _October.                                                                                                                                                                                In his absence, the team has had to count on callups Jakub Zboril, Connor Clifton, and Jeremy Lauzon to makeup for Chara, and McAvoys minutes. Since their promotion, from Providence, none have factored in the offense.

Lack of Scoring;   With injuries to Patrice Bergeron the Bruins first line has been nonexistent. Only David Pastrnak has been a critical player in scoring with 20 goals. His linemate Brad Marchand has been decent with seven goals but has spent most of his time in the penalty box.

Since Bergeron went on the injured list, the club has had to rely on its younger players. Forwards Sean Kuraly, Jakob Forsbackas Karlsson, Noel Acciari, have produced minimal in Bergeron’s absences.  Second _year player Danton Heinen has played in 26 games and only has 2 goals and 3 assists to show for his efforts. Last season, for example, Heinen played in30 games and scored 16 goals and a plus_ minus the ratio of 10 before his injury Third _year player Jake DeBrusk has also missed time due a neck injury. Since his return, DeBrusk has 10 goals 2 assists while playing on the second line with center David Krejci.

Respectable Goaltending; Despite the disappointing performance so far goaltending has been one area that has been respectable. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has been platooning Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Both players have kept the team in the playoff hunt with Halek showing a 932 save percentage and Rask showing a 914 save percentage

Looking Ahead; With the team struggling to hold on to, fourth place scoring must become the clubs top priority. If the young players so not cash in then General Manager Don Sweeney may have to pull the trigger on a major deal.

Reshaping The Red Sox Roster For the 2019 Season

Now that the Red Sox have wrapped up their fourth world championship in fifteen years it’s time to look ahead to next year. Pitching is the first issue that General Manager Dave Dombrowski needs to address this offseason. In this post, we will examine three areas that the organization reshape for the 2019 season.

Reshaping The Red Sox Roster for the 2019 season

Addressing The Pitching; The first order of business is to address the pitching staff. Currently, the team has three free agent pitchers that they need to make a decision on. Relievers Craig Kimbrel, Joe Kelly and Nathan Eovaldi are all free agents. Eovaldi finished the year with an impressive 6-7 record and a 3.81 ERA  after being acquired from Tampa. Eovaldi proved to be a horse in the postseason but maybe too expensive for the organization to resign.                                                                                      

As for Joe Kelly and Nathan Eovaldi look for the club to move on from both closer Craig Kimbrel and Nathan Eovaldi The team could use Kelly as the eighth inning man and promote setup man  Ryan Brasier to take over the closer’s role. In the starting pitching area,  the club may think of trading Rick Porcello and his 21,000,000  a year salary.

Depending on what direction the team goes in look for the Red Sox to be conservative this offseason. Suitable starters who would be a nice fit are Dallas Keuchel or Brett Anderson of Oakland.   Charlie Morton of the Astros would be a nice piece if the price is right.                                                                                  Regarding the bullpen department, attractive relievers are Tony Sipp of Houston. Cody Allen Of Cleveland. Also, Andrew Miller could be a possibility for the right situation.

Added depth; Aside from Brock Holt the team could use an extra role player or two. Holt who played a key role in the playoffs is the teams super sub. Some players who are free agents are Austin Jackson of Cleveland, John Jay Of Arizona.   During the season Dombrowski signed Brandon Phillips. Phillips became an instant leader in the clubhouse after being recalled from Pawtucket.  Depending on second baseman  Dustin Pedroia’s progress from knee surgery second base will be an issue that needs to be addressed.

Possible Trades; Whenever a team wins a total of 119 games fans are more than satisfied. First_ Year manager Alex Cora was one of three managers to win a World Series as a rookie manager. Look for the organization to have a quiet offseason and maintain the intensity they showed in the playoffs.                                                                                                                                                                                           The Future;  The club has so far received a commitment from David Price and signed Steven Pearce to a one year Deal. Pearce was obtained midway through the season and was named World Series MVP.

Why The Patriots Are Still The Team To Beat in The AFC In 2018

At the midway point of the 2018 NFL season, the New England Patriots are 6-2 in the AFC East, The only other competition the Patriots face are the 7=1 Kansas City Chiefs. Earlier in the season, the Patriots handed the Chiefs their first loss of the season. In this post, we will examine three reasons why the Patriots are still the team to beat in the AFC.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Why The Patriots Are Still The Team To Beat In The AFC For 2018

Well, Balanced Offense;  At 41 years old the Patriots still have one of the most explosive offennses in football. Forty _One years old  Tom Brady is still the best player in football. Also, in the mix is a healthy Julian Edelman and a new receiver in ex _Brown Josh Gordon.

Although the team lost veteran Danny Amendola to free agency, the Patriot’s are well _stocked at receiver.  In the offseason, the club added ex_ Raider Cordarrelle Patterson. After eight games Patterson has been a valuable acquisition splitting time between running back and receiver. Not to mention a ninety_ five_ yard touchdown return against Chicago.

  Other key offensive contributors have been Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski, receiver Chris Hogan and running back Sony Michel. Michel the team’s 2017 number one pick out of Georgia. After eight games Michel has run for 422 yards and two touchdowns.

  Defensive Issues;  The 2018 Patriot defense is not much different than their defense of a year ago. Free agent signees Adrian Clayborn, Danny Shelton and Jason McCourty have not been effective.

currently, the teams rank 25th among NFL teams in total yards. They have given up 27 passing touchdowns after eight games. On the positive side, the club ranks 14th against the run. If the Patriots have any aspirations of returning to the Super Bowl, the backfield must tighten up.

               A Healthy Brady; At 41 years old Tom Brady still remains one of the best players in NFL history. Brady ranks near the top in every category. Considering the offseason drama regarding the benching of Malcolm Butler the team continues to win with Brady calling the signals.

Looking Ahead;
 As it stands now the AFC championship is between the Patriots and KansCi tyChiefs. Although the team handed the Chiefs their first loss they are still the two best teams in the AFC..If the Patriots can stay healthy then return trip to the Super Bowl is possible. Look for a Patriots Los Angeles Rams meeting in the 2019 Super Bowl.                                      .

 

Time For The Red Sox Pitching Staff To Step It Up

With game one of the ALDS scheduled tonight, it’s time for the Red Sox pitching staff to step it up. Although the team had a franchise high of 108 wins, in 2018 this is where the players earn their salary In this post, we will review three areas why the pitching staff needs to step it up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Time For The Red Sox Pitching staff to Step It Up                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Eliminated by Houston The Past Two Years;   Although the organization  enjoyed a franchise record of 108 wins, no postseason series celebrations the past two years. The past two seasons the team has gone down in defeat at the hands of the Astros.                                                                                                                                    With free _agent signee, David Price and Chris Sale winless in a postseason series the pressure are on the team and first_ year manager Alex Cora to deliver a playoff series victory If the organization fails to get past the Yankees in round one General Manager Dave Dombrowski’s job may be in jeopardy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Red Sox Pitching Versus The Yankees, Astros and Indians;  In contrast to the Yankees, Indians, and Astros The Red Sox bullpen ranked 4th in the American League with 50 saves and a 3.75 staff ERA. Closer Craig  Kimbrel  5-1 2.74 ERA and 42 saves is the games best.                                                                                          The Indians bullpen of Cody Allen, Neil  Ramirez, and Andrew Miller are tough to beat on any given night. Houston’s Ken Giles and Roberto Osuna are one of the best in the game.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       As for the starting pitching, all four teams are highly talented  Overall the edge goes to the Astros with the starting staff of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton Bostons David Price, Chris Sale, and Rick Porcello have not won in the postseason throughout their careers.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Level of Talent Compared to last season the Red Sox is better with the additions of JD Martinez, Stephen Pearce, Ian Kinsler, Brandon Phillips and pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.  The key for a successful postseason is to play smart and aggressive.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Decisions After PostSeason ; Regardless of the outcome of the postseason decisions could be made on Red Sox General Manager Dave Dombrowski. Although the team has qualified for the playoffs three years in a row, the organization’s farm system has very few highly ranked prospects.

Why Goaltending will take the Bruins To the Promised Land in 2018/19

With the 2018/19 NHL season set to get underway this week, Bruins fans are optimistic about the upcoming season. With Tampa Bay and Toronto, the teams to beat in the East hopes are high for a successful Bruins season. In this post, we will cover three reasons why goaltending will be the key ingredients for the Bruins to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Why Goaltending Will Take The Bruins To The Promise Land In 2018/19

Upgrade In Goaltending; Although Toronto signed John Tavares the Bruins did some moves of their own this offseason. One important move was signing free agent goalie Jaroslav Halak.

In 54 games with the Islanders, last season Halak compiled a 20_-26 record  908 save percentage. As for the playoffs Halak has played in 30 career playoff games while posting a 13-15 record and a 908 save percentage. Halak is is a huge upgrade over last year’s backup Anton Khudobin. Halak’s playoff experience should be a huge help for Tuukka Rask.

Defensive Improvements;  Last season the Bruins had one of the best defenses in the NHL. With the trading of veteran Adam McQuaid, the Bruins added former Devils defenseman, John Moore. Moore who has played in a total of 446 career games has 32 career goals and 67 assists.  Moore who is noted for his speed and puck handling skills will be a definite upgrade on the power play.  Also, his leadership will be a big plus in the locker room.

One other trade in the defensive department was acquiring Stephen Kampfer from the Rangers. Kampfer was part of the Adam McQuaid deal with the Rangers midway through training camp.

Youth Movement; Along with the offseason moves the Bruins continue to grow their roster with younger and quicker players. Last seasons number one draft pick Axel Andersson is competing for a full _time roster spot. With youngsters, Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk, Sean Kuraly, Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen already on the roster look for the Bruins to make life difficult for opposing teams this season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Looking ahead; Last season head coach Bruce Cassidy guided the Bruins to a 50-20- record for 112 points in the Eastern Conference. With Former Islander John Tavares signing with Toronto goalie Tuukka Rask has a huge task ahead of him along with the rest of the organization.

The Bruins survived Toronto last season in round one of the playoffs, only losing to Tampa Bay in round two. If the Bruins have any hopes of reaching the finals boils down to a balanced scoring attack, solid defense and a well _rested Tuukka Rask.