Friday, June 10, 2011
Remember the 2-10 start and all of Red Sox Nation was in disarray? The Red Sox now sit in first place in the AL East with a 36-26 record. They have swept the Yankees two times this year at Yankee Stadium and have taken an overall eight out of nine. The offense is as advertised, putting football type numbers up on the scoreboard and the pitching has been there, but needs to improve. Adrian Gonzalez is in contention for a triple crown with his ridiculous numbers of 12 home runs, .336 average and 55 RBIs through 62 games. Carl Crawford dismal April is in the past and he is hovering around the .250 mark. Dustin Pedroia dodged a bullet with only a bruised knee cap and will not require surgery. Jacoby Ellsbury is having a fantastic bounce back year while David Ortiz is on absolute fire with 15 homers and batting around .325. The pitching must get better and healthier, but the Red Sox are who we thought they were, a first place team and a powerhouse. Look for this team to keep rolling as they are 18-6 in their last 24 games.
A series does not start until both teams have home ice. The Boston Bruins proved that in the past week by evening the series with the Vancouver Canucks. The Bruins could have easily swept the series, but to know they are even with the Canucks now after two devastating losses is a sigh of relief.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I know the Bruins are in the Stanley Cup for the first time in 21 years and the Red Sox are finally playing the way they should be, but I asked myself the other day, what is in store for the Celtics next season? After coming off a brutal series loss to the Miami Heat, the Celtics have a lot of question marks heading into next season. Shaq has retired, Jermaine is questioning surgery, Krstic is a free agent, Baby is a free agent, and the Big three are only getting older. Sure, Rajon Rondo is here to stay (hopefully) and the team can build around him when the Big Three have retired, but where do they go? Do they try and go after Dwight Howard? Doc Rivers signed a five year deal, well beyond the availability of the Big Three so in my opinion, something must be in store. Will they ship Rondo and Jeff Green to New Orleans for Chris Paul? With Chris Paul, does that bring Dwight Howard is 2012? There is a lot to think about come November. The Celtics are losing a lot of key parts, but the core will still be there and I still think they can make a push for another championship.
Tim Wakefield and Alfredo Aceves have been doing an okay job at filling the roles of John Lackey and Dice-K, but will they be able to do this on a regular basis? Aceves was roughed up in his last outing versus the White Sox and Tim Wakefield was strong at the start of the game yesterday, but fell apart toward the later innings. Will Kevin Millwood really get a chance? He got shelled yesterday in Pawtucket so I think that is out of the question. When Felix Dubront is healthy, will he get a shot? Only time will tell because the back end of the rotation (as we all knew) is suspect. In order for this team to compete, the pitching needs to be great from top to bottom.
I personally think Aceves is more valuable in the bullpen, but he wants to be a starter. Tim Wakefield is a different look after seeing 95 MPH from Beckett and Lester. It is a tough decision for Tito, but you can never have enough pitching. Why not go out and make a big splash at the deadline for a starter?
The Bruins did just about everything they could last night to keep the Canucks off the scoreboard until the final 18.5 seconds. Was Torres offsides? Who knows. Was Boychuk out of position? You really can't blame anyone at that point in the game. The Boston Bruins played one hell of a game on Wednesday night. Tim Thomas was spectacular but Roberto Luongo was just better.
The Bruins still had the problem of scoring on their power play, but they resilient Bs shut down Vancouver on the power play all night long. Who would have thought that after the Tampa Bay Lightning scored goal after goal on the power play? There has to be much positivity taken out of this game because I do not think the Canucks can play any better than they did. Timmy Thomas just shut down the powerhouse offense.
Another big component of this game is to see if Alex Burrows will be suspended for a game for biting Patrice Bergeron. Burrows is a major part of the Canucks offense as he plays along side the Sedin brothers. This would be a huge blow for the Canucks and should be looked at carefully by the league. It was a classless move that was uncalled for.
The Bruins will head into Saturday's game feeling good about themselves. They have come back from being down in series on the road all throughout the playoffs. One thing has to continue to get better and that is the power play. It was significantly better on Wednesday night because the Bs were throwing shot after shot on net getting great opportunities, Saturday night if those chances go in, the Bruins will not lose with the way the defense and Timmy Thomas are playing.