Blog en Akeem Ayers will finally get a chance to show what he can do as part of a Patriots defense <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_82589" style="width: 360px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="wp-image-82589" src="" alt="Akeem Ayers has nine career sacks with the Titans. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)" width="350" height="445" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Akeem Ayers has nine career sacks with the Titans. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)</p></div> <p>The Patriots passed on Akeem Ayers in the 2011 draft, but he was certainly a prospect who drew their interest.</p> <p>&#8220;I think I would be a great fit for their defense,&#8221; <a href="" target="_blank">Ayers told me at the combine that February</a> when I asked him about the possibility of playing for the Patriots.</p> <p>One reason he stuck out as a possible Patriot at the time was the fact that even though he made his bones as a defensive end in college, he displayed enough versatility as a collegian at UCLA to think about him as an outside linebacker/pass rusher in a 3-4 pro set.</p> <p>&#8220;I feel like I can adapt to any kind of defense, whether it&#8217;€™s 4-3 or 3-4, because of my versatility playing defensive end in college [and] being a pass-rush linebacker,&#8221; he said at the time.</p> <p>&#8220;As far as my pass-rush ability, I know I&#8217;€™m nowhere near reaching my peak. I&#8217;€™ve done a pretty good job rushing the passer these last two seasons, and I&#8217;€™m only going to get better.&#8221;</p> <p>The Patriots certainly hope so, as they have apparently swung a deal to acquire Ayers. A longish, active presence who worked primarily as an end in college, he was a second-round pick of the Titans out of UCLA in the 2011 draft after finishing his college career with 14 sacks.</p> <p>The 6-foot-3, 253-pounder made the move to outside linebacker in the pros, and had his best season in 2012 when he had a career-best six sacks and eight passes defensed to go along with 110 tackles for Tennessee. From 2011 through 2013, he started 44 of a possible 48 games his first three years with the Titans.</p> <p>However, he&#8217;s struggled with knee issues as of late &#8212; he had two separate knee operations this past offseason to repair the patellar tendons in both knees. In the final year of his rookie deal, Ayers has only been active for two games this season, and has had three tackles. (Pro Football Focus has him down for just 10 snaps on the season.)</p> <p>He has shown a nice ability to work in support when it comes to run defense, but he&#8217;s known first and foremost as a pass rusher. In New England, Ayers&#8217; versatility could allow him to play a couple of different roles in the Patriots&#8217; 4-3 front, including a possible strong-side spot, as well as work as an outside linebacker. Ultimately, New England gets a veteran body to help out as a position where it was dangerously thin following the injury to <a href="" class="r_lapi">Jerod Mayo</a>.</p> Blog patriots Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:17:46 +0000 670361 at Report: Patriots acquire linebacker Akeem Ayers from Titans <!--paging_filter--><p>According to Titans beat writer Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, the Patriots have traded for Titans linebacker Akeem Ayers, pending a physical. The Titans will reportedly get a draft pick in return, but the exact pick remains unknown.</p> <p>Ayers was a 2011 second-round pick and started in 43 games during his first three seasons in the league, including totaling 66 tackles in 2012. He reportedly had offseason knee surgery on both knees and has only appeared in two games so far this season.</p> <p>For more Patriots news, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Been told <a href="">#Titans</a> are trading LB Akeem Ayers to the <a href="">#Patriots</a>. The only thing that would prevent is a failed physical</p> <p>&mdash; Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) <a href="">October 21, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>There was interest from other teams in Ayers. <a href="">#Titans</a> get a draft pick in return but not sure of the pick</p> <p>&mdash; Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) <a href="">October 21, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></p> Blog patriots Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:39:44 +0000 670251 at Milan Lucic hopes he’s getting back to normal <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_49975" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-49975" src="" alt="Milan Lucic" width="150" height="240" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="" class="r_lapi">Milan Lucic</a></p></div> <p>Inappropriate gestures aside, it&#8217;€™s been a weird start to the season for Milan Lucic.</p> <p>The Bruins&#8217;€™ top left wing has had two different centers and three different right wings over seven games. In three of the first seven games, he&#8217;€™s played on a line that was different from the previous game. He&#8217;€™s also returning from offseason wrist surgery, which looks to be limiting him less and less as the games go on.</p> <p>Still, numbers don&#8217;€™t lie. Lucic, traditionally a fast starter, has gone without a point in all but one game this season. He has no goals, with his two-point performance last week against the Canadiens remaining the only time he&#8217;€™s shown up on the scoresheet.</p> <p>It appears that Seth Griffith will serve as Lucic and <a href="" class="r_lapi">David Krejci</a>&#8216;€™s right wing Tuesday against the Sharks. The line had some good looks for three games before Griffith was replaced with Simon Gagne Saturday. Lucic feels that he can still find his way and the back of the net despite the revolving door on the right side of his line.</p> <p>&#8220;I think the guys who have come in have played well,&#8221; Lucic said. &#8220;You look at the last three games, we were able to create a bunch of chances, but it seems like they&#8217;€™re just not going in for us right now. I don&#8217;€™t think overthinking anything or getting frustrated is going to get us anywhere. I think we&#8217;€™ve just got to keep playing in the O zone and creating chances and eventually they&#8217;€™ll start going in.&#8221;</p> <p>As for the wrist, Lucic says it&#8217;€™s become less of a mental obstacle than it was earlier in the season, when he was a borderline invisible player on a borderline invisible line with Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser.</p> <p>Now, with more games under his belt, Lucic doesn&#8217;€™t see the wrist as being an issue. All that&#8217;€™s left for him is to start finding the back of the net.</p> <p>&#8220;[The wrist is] definitely getting a lot better, thinking about it a lot less, as far as re-injuring it again,&#8221; he said. &#8220;From a mental standpoint, it&#8217;€™s definitely becoming more positive.&#8221;</p> <p>When asked Tuesday morning if Lucic was close to being the player he is when he&#8217;€™s at the top of his game, <a href="" class="r_lapi">Claude Julien</a> hinted at the obvious by saying people have seen him play long enough to know &#8220;how good he can be.&#8221; He doesn&#8217;€™t seem ready to use the roster uncertainty as an excuse for Lucic&#8217;€™s start.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;€™s up to each individual to play to their level. I&#8217;€™ve always said that,&#8221; Julien said. &#8220;It doesn&#8217;€™t matter who you play with, we rate players on their play &#8216;€” their sole play &#8216;€” and it doesn&#8217;€™t matter who you&#8217;€™re with; we still expect certain things.</p> <p>&#8220;He&#8217;€™s come off an injury, he&#8217;€™s missed a little bit of the conditioning before camp started. He wasn&#8217;€™t able to play for a little while. What I like right now is he&#8217;€™s starting to come around and that&#8217;€™s the most important thing. I&#8217;€™m not going to dwell on the past more than&#8217;€”I like what I see he&#8217;€™s getting better all the time so he&#8217;€™s got to continue to improve.&#8221;</p> Blog bruins Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:48:38 +0000 669981 at Dan Connolly, Bryan Stork back at practice for Patriots, Darrelle Revis among those not spotted <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_79095" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-full wp-image-79095" src="" alt="Dan Connolly" width="150" height="206" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="" class="r_lapi">Dan Connolly</a></p></div> <p>Offensive linemen Dan Connolly, Bryan Stork and Cameron Fleming were all present at the start of practice for the Patriots on Tuesday, while cornerback <a href="" class="r_lapi">Darrelle Revis</a> and defensive end Chandler Jones were not among those spotted at the workout, which was held in sweats and shells, according to reports.</p> <p>Connolly and Stork have been dealing with head injuries the last couple of weeks, while Fleming has been on the shelf because of a finger problem. Special teamer Nate Ebner, who has also been missing with a finger injury for the last couple of weeks, was also spotted at practice.</p> <p>On the other side, while Revis has had occasional hamstring issues over the course of the season, nothing has kept him from playing. It&#8217;s not known what Jones might be dealing with.</p> <p>The Patriots will host the Bears Sunday at <a href="" class="r_lapi">Gillette Stadium</a>.</p> <p>For more Patriots news, check out <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Blog patriots Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:42:42 +0000 669876 at Seth Griffith, Matt Bartkowski appear set to return to Bruins lineup vs. Sharks <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_49962" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-49962" src="" alt="Seth Griffith" width="150" height="227" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Seth Griffith</p></div> <p><a class="r_lapi" href="">Tuukka Rask</a> was first goaltender off the ice at Tuesday&#8217;€™s morning skate, suggesting he&#8217;€™ll be between the pipes against the Sharks.</p> <p>With Kevan Miller out, Matt Bartkowski is set to enter the lineup. The Bruins will play Torey Krug on the right side of the second pairing with <a class="r_lapi" href="">Dennis Seidenberg</a>.</p> <p>Krug is a left shot, but he has experience playing the right side dating back to college. Seidenberg is also a lefty who can play both sides.</p> <p>Matt Fraser appears to be the team&#8217;€™s healthy scratch on offense, as he rotated in on the fourth line but stayed on the ice later than his teammates.</p> <p>The lines and pairings in morning skate were as follows:</p> <p>Marchand &#8211; Bergeron &#8211; Smith<br /> Lucic &#8211; Krejci &#8211; Griffith<br /> Kelly &#8211; Soderberg &#8211; Eriksson<br /> Paille &#8211; Campbell &#8211; Gagne</p> <p>Chara &#8211; Hamilton<br /> Seidenberg &#8211; Krug<br /> Bartkowski &#8211; McQuaid</p> <p>Rask</p> Blog bruins Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:20:41 +0000 669816 at Video: Croatian boxer brutally attacks referee <!--paging_filter--><p>There was a shocking scene at the European Youth Boxing Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, as light heavyweight Vido Loncar attacked the referee after losing his bout.</p> <p>As the referee called the fighters together, Loncar, furious that the referee had stopped the fight, unleashed a hard right directly to the official&#8217;s face, knocking him to the canvas.</p> <p>As stunned Lithuanian opponent Algirdas Baniulis scampered away, Loncar continued to hit the fallen official until two men from outside the ring reached through the ropes and grabbed the fighter, dragging him out of the ring.</p> <p><object width="600" height="360"><param name="movie" value="//;hl=en_US" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="//;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> Blog general Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:14:16 +0000 669811 at Fantasy Football: Week 8 waiver wire <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="alignleft wp-image-79283" src="" alt="WEEI_FantasyFootball_2014_hdr" width="630" height="76" /></a></p> <p>It&#8217;s an insanely target-rich environment this week on most league waiver wires. There is high-quality talent breaking out all over the place. This is a week to act and I&#8217;ve got you covered. Even in most big leagues there is quality talent available this week. Unless you play in a league where Bryce Brown was already rostered, you have some nice options. Players like <a href="" target="_blank">Jerick McKinnon</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Tre Mason</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Odell Beckham, Jr.</a> simply have to be owned and they are available in a great many leagues based on Yahoo&#8217;s statistics.</p> <p>As always, the ownership percentages are listed for each player. These rates of ownership are based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your particular league, and you&#8217;ll need to do the legwork on that.</p> <p>If you play in really big leagues, as I tend to do, you should head on over to <a href="" target="_blank">Rotobahn</a> this afternoon and check out my expanded waiver wire. The expanded edition gives you about twice as many options. To keep pace with all WEEI and Rotobahn fantasy football content, including Sunday chats and <a href="" target="_blank">The Fantasy Football Hour</a> with my good buddy Jim Hackett, <a href="" target="_blank">follow me on Twitter</a>.</p> <p><strong>QUARTERBACKS</strong></p> <p><strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Carson Palmer</a>, Cardinals &#8212; 42 percent</strong></p> <p>He&#8217;s not a weekly QB1 &#8212; even in big leagues, but Palmer is a fine matchup option and he makes a very good QB2 in all formats. Rarely will he lay an egg in a solid matchup. His weapons are too good, and Bruce Arians&#8217; offense is a great platform for a quarterback.</p> <p><strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Joe Flacco</a>, Ravens &#8212; 63 percent</strong></p> <p>He has a Week 11 bye, so be mindful of that. Apart from the bye, most of Flacco&#8217;s arrows are pointing decidedly up. I like the schedule for the most part, and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Gary Kubiak</a>&#8216;s scheme seems to be taking hold at the right time. Flacco can help you in all leagues.</p> <p><strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Robert Griffin III</a>, Washington &#8212; 31 percent</strong></p> <p><em>Do you feel lucky, punk?</em> Griffin&#8217;s stock is at an all-time low. I added him in a few leagues last week and I am glad I did. Once he gets back, probably in Week 10, he could be a weekly option as his weapons in Washington are quite strong. He&#8217;s the best QB stash out there right now.</p> <p><strong>Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins &#8212; 36 percent</strong></p> <p>He is past his bye week, so he can help you get through your starter&#8217;s bye no matter who that starter is. Tannehill is also playing better football as are his receivers &#8212; namely <a class="r_lapi" href="">Mike Wallace</a> and rookie Jarvis Landry. The Dolphins starter makes a nice QB2 if you need one.</p> <p><strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Eli Manning</a>, <a class="r_lapi" href="">Giants</a> &#8212; 60 percent</strong></p> <p>Manning is down the list a bit this week because the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Giants</a> are on their bye in Week 8. Still, he has some value after the bye because the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Giants</a> have some good remaining matchups and a developing star in Odell Beckham Jr. They also have a few solid tight ends now, and we like the direction that Reuben Randle is heading in as well. Manning can help you as a matchup play in all leagues.</p> <p><span id="more-82550"></span></p> <p><strong>RUNNING BACKS</strong></p> <p><strong>Jerick McKinnon, Vikings &#8212; 58 percent</strong></p> <p>If you&#8217;ve been reading this space all year, you should already have McKinnon. Having said that, go get him if you can. He&#8217;s getting a tighter grip on the lead role every week. McKinnon brings a <a href="" target="_blank">rare skill set</a> to the table. He can overpower defensive backs and outquick linebackers. He&#8217;s also more effective than most would think while running inside. This is a player to own in all formats. Find a cut and add him.</p> <p><strong>Tre Mason, Rams &#8212; 17 percent</strong></p> <p>I hope you already added him after I had him on last week&#8217;s wire. If you have to go after Mason now, it&#8217;ll cost you. That being said, pay what you need to get him. Mason&#8217;s going to take this job and he could be an RB2 on a weekly basis going forward. HC <a class="r_lapi" href="">Jeff Fisher</a> is talking up a four-man backfield, but actions speak louder than words. Mason&#8217;s been taking over the last two weeks and he&#8217;s outperformed the other backs on the roster.</p> <p><strong>Ronnie Hillman, <a class="r_lapi" href="">Broncos</a> &#8211; 58 percent</strong></p> <p>He may not be a solution for the rest of the year, but he&#8217;s a nice option for this week and perhaps next. At some point Montee Ball will return, but Hillman has played well enough where he could retain some of the job &#8212; making Denver an RBBC situation.</p> <p><strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Chris Ivory</a>, Jets &#8212; 66 percent</strong></p> <p>Ivory may not last now that the Jets are upping his weekly workload, but he&#8217;s a solid play for now, especially in non-PPR formats. The addition of Percy Harvin could actually open up some lanes for the big back. Ivory can help you during the bye week crunch that starts in earnest next week and stays ugly until Week 12.</p> <p><strong>Bryce Brown, Bills &#8212; 7 percent</strong></p> <p>Brown is a lottery ticket who could pay off big and pay off fast. While Brown&#8217;s been inactive all season long &#8212; playing behind <a class="r_lapi" href="">Fred Jackson</a> (groin, four weeks) and <a class="r_lapi" href="">C.J. Spiller</a> (season-ending clavicle injury), the ex-Eagle may now be the starter. The gig could last four weeks or four years. It will depend on how Brown performs. In the near term, he will be competing with Anthony Dixon, who took the reigns last week after both Jackson and Spiller went down. Dixon is a big back with some ability, but he&#8217;s not the runaway train that Brown is when he&#8217;s at his best. The reason Dixon has been dressing on game days over Brown has to do with his role as a special teamer. I&#8217;m adding Bryce Brown in all leagues because of his high ceiling. Spiller is a free agent at the end of the year and Jackson is going to be 34 years old. This has the potential to be a changing of the guard if Brown takes the job and runs with it.</p> <p><strong>Denard Robinson, Jaguars &#8212; 10 percent</strong></p> <p>If you read Rotobahn, you know <a href="" target="_blank">we like Robinson&#8217;s game</a>. We&#8217;ve always expected him to get the gig in Jacksonville at some point. You saw his upside last week with a 100-plus-yard effort and his first NFL touchdown. He posted the only good RB performance that the Jaguars have seen all year and HC Gus Bradley gave indications that Robinson now will be given a chance to carry the load. The only thing that keeps me from going all in is the Jaguars&#8217; below-average offensive line, which will hurt Robinson in tougher matchups. This week&#8217;s game with Miami is a perfect example. Robinson&#8217;s just a deep league flex option in a matchup like this &#8212; even as the clear-cut starter. Having said that, there are some very good matchups left on Jacksonville&#8217;s schedule, so he is certainly a player to add in all leagues.</p> <p><strong>WIDE RECEIVERS</strong></p> <p><strong>Odell Beckham Jr., <a class="r_lapi" href="">Giants</a> &#8212; 50 percent</strong></p> <p>I hear a lot of people trying to cover their tails on Beckham. His breakout has nothing to do with <a class="r_lapi" href="">Victor Cruz</a>&#8216;s injury. The <a class="r_lapi" href="">Giants</a> use a ton of three receiver sets and they drafted Beckham at 12 overall for a reason. We&#8217;ve seen that reason now and if you ignored me last week, I suggest you go get this guy while you still have a chance. He&#8217;s already a weekly starter in my book. Read my <a href="" target="_blank">pre-draft scouting report</a> on the LSU star if you aren&#8217;t familiar with his abilities.</p> <p><strong>Josh Gordon, Browns &#8212; 60 percent</strong></p> <p>As I have been saying, he gets more valuable every week as we near his Week 12 return. Roster Gordon if you can spare the roster spot. This goes doubly if you have a weakness at receiver or if your team is out ahead of the pack. Adding a monster like Gordon could be the move that ultimately puts your squad over the top. Add him in all leagues.</p> <p><strong>Brian Quick, Rams &#8212; 65 percent</strong></p> <p>I laid off of Quick as an option the last few weeks, but he still is available in too many leagues and he is almost a weekly starter at this point in 12-team formats. The schedule gets better going forward, so pick up Quick as a very strong WR4 option who you can play when you need to.</p> <p><strong>Brandon LaFell, Patriots &#8212; 27 percent</strong></p> <p>He may be a bit boom or bust because the Patriots spread the ball and like to play matchups. LaFell&#8217;s stats reflect this. Still, he makes a nice WR3 when you need him in most formats and he&#8217;s largely available.</p> <p><strong>Doug Baldwin, <a class="r_lapi" href="">Seahawks</a> &#8211; 23 percent</strong></p> <p>He&#8217;s more of a possession guy to me, but he saw plenty of targets in Seattle&#8217;s first post-Harvin game. I expect rookie <a href="" target="_blank">Paul Richardson</a> to emerge and steal targets as the year rolls on, but Baldwin can help you right now if you need a receiver.</p> <p><strong>Jordan Matthews, Eagles &#8212; 20 percent</strong></p> <p>This is a stash move as Matthews has yet to find consistency on a week-to-week basis. That being said, of all the pieces in the Eagles passing game, Matthews has the most upside. <a href="" target="_blank">He&#8217;s that talented</a> and his role could increase with the Eagles coming off of their bye week. I like the idea of adding Matthews now because he&#8217;ll be harder to acquire once he breaks out.</p> <p><strong>Denard Robinson, Jaguars &#8212; 10 percent</strong></p> <p>What? Robinson again? Yes, because on some sites, like Yahoo!, he is listed as a WR rather than an RB. Why that is the case is for Yahoo! to answer as &#8220;Shoelace&#8221; clearly is a running back at this point. The bottom line is that he&#8217;s worth something either way now that he is playing major snaps.</p> <p><strong>Allen Robinson, Jaguars &#8212; 15 percent</strong></p> <p>They are making him a big part of the offense every game. Robinson has been the one constant in Jacksonville&#8217;s attack this season and that continued in Week 7 as Robinson scored his first NFL touchdown. The ex-Nittany Lion was <a href="" target="_blank">one of Rotobahn&#8217;s favorite rookies</a> and he&#8217;s still getting better. Add him in most formats and all large leagues.</p> <p><strong>Davante Adams, Packers &#8212; 13 percent</strong></p> <p>He&#8217;s not seeing the ball as often as we&#8217;d like, but that should change because when they do throw him the football, he&#8217;s producing. In Week 7, Adam&#8217;s sole target went for a 22-yard score. He&#8217;s a high-quality stash and he&#8217;s probably passed Jarrett Boykin permanently on Green Bay&#8217;s depth chart.</p> <p><strong>TIGHT ENDS</strong></p> <p><strong>Dwayne Allen, Colts &#8212; 63 percent</strong></p> <p>His ownership rate is still low enough to put him here. It shouldn&#8217;t be, but it is. Allen is one of <a class="r_lapi" href="">Andrew Luck</a>&#8216;s most trusted options and he needs to be owned in all formats.</p> <p><strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Owen Daniels</a>, Ravens &#8212; 49 percent</strong></p> <p>After a few light weeks, Daniels had his most active game of the season &#8212; seeing nine targets and catching six balls and one score. He can help you in all formats if a tight end is what you need.</p> <p><strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Jermaine Gresham</a>, Bengals &#8212; 4 percent</strong></p> <p>He finally is starting to produce a bit and that should continue for a few more weeks as the Bengals struggle to find targets in the passing game due to injuries.</p> <p><strong>Jace Amaro, Jets &#8212; 7 percent</strong></p> <p>The Jets have been making a big effort to get the rookie involved and he generally is used as a receiver versus an in-line tight end. He can help you, especially in bigger leagues, but he is a player to know in all leagues because he has a lot of unexplored ceiling.</p> <p><strong>Austin Seferian-Jenkins, <a href="" class="r_lapi">Buccaneers</a> &#8212; 2 percent</strong></p> <p>Like the Jets, the Bucs are in developmental mode &#8230; obviously. Seferian-Jenkins is a major talent. He has size and significant athleticism. He can be a big part of the offense going forward. I expect him to be healthier than we&#8217;ve seen so far this season after a week of rest. Stash him if you are trying to develop at the position, and you can play him if you need him. He has TE1 potential before the year is out.</p> Blog patriots Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:28:24 +0000 669756 at Red Sox offseason (and World Series) live chat, Tuesday at noon <!--paging_filter--><p>The significance of the <a href="" class="r_lapi">World Series</a> has become two-fold: It&#8217;s the culmination of the baseball season and it&#8217;s the prelude to the offseason. Take stock of both with Alex Speier of in his live chat on Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. Get your questions in now!</p> <div style='display:none;'>Live Blog <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> offseason live chat with Alex Speier, Tuesday at noon</div> <div id='cil-root-fb2921d31f' class='cil-root'><span class='cil-config-data' title='{"altcastCode":"fb2921d31f","server":"","geometry":{"width":470,"height":550},"configuration":{"newEntryLocation":"bottom","commentLocation":"bottom","replayContentOrder":"chronological","pinsGrowSize":"on","titlePage":"off","skinOverride":""}}'>&nbsp;</span></div> <p><script type='text/javascript'>window.cilAsyncInit = function() {cilEmbedManager.init()};(function() {if (window.cilVwRand === undefined) { window.cilVwRand = Math.floor(Math.random()*10000000); }var e = document.createElement('script');e.async = true;var domain = (document.location.protocol == 'http:' || document.location.protocol == 'file:') ? '' : '';e.src = domain + '/vw.js?v=' + window.cilVwRand; = 'cilScript-fb2921d31f';document.getElementById('cil-root-fb2921d31f').appendChild(e);}());</script></p> Blog red sox Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:54:28 +0000 669581 at Claude Julien feels his Bruins have been ‘a lot more consistent’ of late <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_49968" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img src="" alt="Claude Julien" width="150" height="223" class="size-full wp-image-49968" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="" class="r_lapi">Claude Julien</a></p></div> <p>WILMINGTON &#8212; As his team prepares to take on San Jose, the Islanders and Toronto this week, <a href="" class="r_lapi">Claude Julien</a> can finally sense things coming together after a sluggish start. </p> <p>The Bruins started 1-2-0, including an ugly 4-0 loss to the Capitals on home ice and a brutal 2-1 loss to Colorado in the final second. After beating the Red Wings in a shootout, the Bruins were embarrassed again in Montreal, featuring the emotional meltdown of <a href="" class="r_lapi">Milan Lucic</a>. </p> <p>But things finally seemed to click in Buffalo, where Niklas Svedberg earned his first career shutout in just his third <a href="" class="r_lapi">NHL</a> start. The 4-0 win seemed to give the Julien and the team something to build on. Two wins in three games doesn&#8217;t classify as red-hot but it&#8217;s certainly a step in the right direction the way Julien sees it. </p> <p>&#8220;I don&#8217;t know if it&#8217;s how far we&#8217;ve come or how far we have to go,&#8221; Julien said. &#8220;I think it&#8217;s just a matter of us continuing to get better as a team. I think it&#8217;s still early in the season and I think there are a lot of teams that are probably saying the same thing. It takes certain guys a while to get going. It takes others even longer. Some guys get off to a good start and then they slow down.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;re just looking at our team as a whole. I think what we&#8217;re looking for is consistency and we&#8217;re looking for an identity. And that&#8217;s what we&#8217;re starting to get right now, more of an identity. I think we&#8217;ve been a lot more consistent in the last three games.&#8221;</p> <p>What is that identity?</p> <p>&#8220;Same as it&#8217;s always been,&#8221; Julien said, referring to his team&#8217;s tough, rugged style that relies on good defense, a good forecheck, stellar goaltending and opportunistic play around the net. </p> <p><span id="more-50582"></span></p> <p>Part of the Bruins getting back on track has to do with getting veteran players back on track, like <a href="" class="r_lapi">Dennis Seidenberg</a> and <a href="" class="r_lapi">Chris Kelly</a>. Both have to find their rhythm much in the same way <a href="" class="r_lapi">Gregory Campbell</a> did last season. </p> <p>&#8220;I don&#8217;t think I can compare because everybody is different,&#8221; Julien said. &#8220;There&#8217;s Sides, there&#8217;s also Kelly in that boat as well that missed a lot of time. I think overall guys are working on finding their game. I think Sides has been getting a little bit better as the more we play, the better he&#8217;s getting. It&#8217;s about getting guys some time to find their games.&#8221;</p> <p>That process continues against the Sharks Tuesday night at the Garden. </p> <p>Meanwhile, Julien was asked Monday how different he feels his job is now with the salary cap becoming a bigger and bigger factor in the <a href="" class="r_lapi">NHL</a> roster-building process. </p> <p>&#8220;You really like your players and you feel you have something going in the right direction and then all of sudden as a coach and even as a general manager, it&#8217;s hard to keep that team together because of that salary cap,&#8221; Julien said. &#8220;What you&#8217;ve built and done a good job at you&#8217;re not able to always keep together because of that. In the past, it didn&#8217;t matter. You found ways to keep your team together.&#8221;</p> <p>Julien was also asked if today&#8217;s <a href="" class="r_lapi">NHL</a> economy makes it practically impossible for a team to become a dynasty, like the Canadiens of the late 70s, Islanders of the early 80s or Oilers of the late 80s. </p> <p>&#8220;Well, it&#8217;s tough to have those dynasties,&#8221; Julien said. &#8220;You have to give credit to Chicago and L.A. who have won two Cups [each] there in a short span of time. I don&#8217;t know if we&#8217;ll see a team win five straight Stanley Cups again. If they do, it&#8217;ll be quite a feat.&#8221;</p> Blog bruins Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:03:26 +0000 669476 at Tuesday’s Headlines recap: California woman gets stuck in chimney trying to break into house of former date; Monica Lewinsky makes public appearance to fight cyberbullying <!--paging_filter--><p>Here are the highlights from Tuesday&#8217;s Headlines on Dennis &amp; Callahan with Kirk Minihane, <a class="r_lapi" href="">John Dennis</a> and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Gerry Callahan</a>. To hear the segment, go to the <a href="" target="_blank">Dennis &amp; Callahan audio on demand page</a>.</p> <p>A California woman tried to <a href="" target="_blank">slide down the chimney into the house of a man she had met online</a> and dated a few times. Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa, 30, was arrested Sunday after screaming for help when she got stuck. Firefighters needed about two hours to free her, and she later was arrested for illegal entry and providing false information.</p> <p>&#8220;How many times does this have to happen every year for somebody to realize you can&#8217;t break into somebody&#8217;s house sliding down their damn chimney,&#8221; Dennis said.</p> <p>&#8220;Weren&#8217;t you like 8 years old when you realized that there was stuff in the way?&#8221; Callahan said. &#8220;I mean, you saw plenty of Christmas shows that Santa could get down there, but after like fourth grade you realized you couldn&#8217;t do it.&#8221;</p> <p>The man said Nunez-Figueroa had tried to break into his home before, climbing on the roof.</p> <p>Said Dennis: &#8220;They went out on six dates and then he said, &#8216;Uh, I&#8217;ve had enough, I don&#8217;t want to see you anymore.&#8217; And she said, &#8216;No, I&#8217;m going to be up on your roof.&#8217; &#8221;</p> <p>Said Callahan: &#8220;She didn&#8217;t want to try like a window or a basement door?&#8221;</p> <p>&#8211; Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky <a href="" target="_blank">gave her first public speech</a> Monday at a conference in Philadelphia and talked about her 1990s affair with President Bill Clinton and the public humiliation she endured when it was revealed.</p> <p>&#8220;Sixteen years ago, fresh out of college, a 22 year old intern in the White House &#8212; and more than averagely romantic &#8212; I fell in love with my boss in a 22-year old sort of way. It happens,&#8221; Lewinsky said. &#8220;But my boss was the president of the United States. That probably happens less often. Now I deeply regret it for many reasons, not the least of which is that people were hurt. And that is never OK.&#8221;</p> <p>Lewinsky said she is striving to end cyberbullying, claiming that she was the first person to have her reputation destroyed via the Internet.</p> <p>Said Callahan: &#8220;I&#8217;d rather be with the chick in the chimney.&#8221;</p> Blog Dennis & Callahan general Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:57:07 +0000 669366 at Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Oscar Pistorius begins serving 5-year prison sentence <!--paging_filter--><p>Welcome to Tuesday&#8217;s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our <a href="" target="_blank"> home page</a> or <a href="" target="_blank">click here for the top stories from our news wire</a>.</p> <p><strong>TUESDAY&#8217;S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:</strong><br /> <a class="r_lapi" href="">World Series</a>: <a class="r_lapi" href="">Giants</a> at Royals, 8 p.m. (Fox; WEEI-AM)<br /> <a class="r_lapi" href="">NHL</a>: Sharks at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)<br /> <a class="r_lapi" href="">NHL</a>: Flyers at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)<br /> NBA preseason: Rockets at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)<br /> NBA preseason: Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)<br /> College football: Arkansas State at Louisiana-Lafayette, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)<br /> Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester City at CSKA Moskva, noon (FS1)<br /> Soccer: UEFA Champions, Ajax at Barcelona, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)<br /> Soccer: Women&#8217;s CONCACAF, Mexico vs. Jamaica, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)</p> <p><strong>AROUND THE WEB:</strong></p> <p>&#8211; Double-amputee Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius <a href="" target="_blank">began serving his five-year prison sentence </a>Tuesday, immediately after being sentenced by a judge in South Africa for the negligent killing of his girlfriend last February.</p> <p>Judge Thokozile Masipa cited Pistorius&#8217; &#8220;gross negligence&#8221; for shooting Reeva Steenkamp multiple times through a bathroom door in his home. He had claimed he thought she was a burglar.</p> <p>Masipa also sentenced Pistorius to three years in prison for firing a gun in a restaurant a few weeks before Steenkamp&#8217;s death, although that sentence was suspended.</p> <p>According to South African legal experts, Pistorius&#8217; five-year term in the maximum he can serve; he will be eligible for house arrest in less than a year.</p> <p>Pistorius, who had been very emotional throughout the trial, stood during the judge&#8217;s announcement before being escorted down a flight of stairs to a police van.</p> Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. <p>Masipa found Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide last month but acquitted him of murder. In announcing the sentence Tuesday, she said: &#8220;The following is what I consider is a sentence that is fair and just both to society and the accused.&#8221;</p> <p>The prosecution expressed disappointment in the culpable homicide conviction but did not have an immediate decision about whether or not to appeal the sentence.</p> <p>Said prosecution spokesman Nathi Mncube: &#8220;We are satisfied with the fact that he will be serving some time in prison. &#8230; It&#8217;s not only about vengeance, but it is about making sure that there is a fair and just process.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8211; New Jets wide receiver Percy Harvin <a href="" target="_blank">met the New York media</a> Monday, following reports that he was shipped out of Seattle in part because he wasn&#8217;t getting along with his teammates.</p> <p>&#8220;I&#8217;m definitely not a perfect person,&#8221; Harvin acknowledged after his first practice with his new team. &#8220;I have a lot of things that I wish I could have done a little differently. But I&#8217;m moving forward. I&#8217;m learning from those lessons.</p> <p>&#8220;I&#8217;m happy to be here right now and looking to make the most out of it.&#8221;</p> <p><span id="more-34787"></span></p> <p>Harvin, who was traded from the Vikings to the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Seahawks</a> in 2013, admitted he was involved in &#8220;incidents&#8221; with then-Seattle teammates <a class="r_lapi" href="">Golden Tate</a> and Doug Baldwin, but he declined to discuss details. Coach <a class="r_lapi" href="">Rex Ryan</a> had no interest in talking about Harvin&#8217;s questionable past, either.</p> <p>&#8220;I don&#8217;t think I need to,&#8221; Ryan said. &#8220;To me, things happen and every single guy has had something, but to me, it&#8217;s just all about right now and moving forward.&#8221;</p> <p>General manager John Idzik denied he made the deal because he has been the subject of widespread criticism based on the team he assembled. He said the risks appear worth the potential reward.</p> <p>Said Idzik: &#8220;I look at it as this could be a potential coup for the <a class="r_lapi" href="">New York Jets</a>.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8211; Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was <a href="" target="_blank">suspended by the NHL</a> on Monday after his arrest earlier in the day on suspicion of domestic violence.</p> <p>Police were called to Voynov&#8217;s neighborhood in Redondo Beach after a neighbor called to report a woman screaming and crying, but they could not find anyone. About 90 minutes later, the 24-year-old Russian was arrested at a Torrance hospital on suspicion of corporal injury to a spouse after hospital personnel called police upon treating the alleged victim.</p> <p>Voynov posted $50,000 bail and is due back in court Dec. 1.</p> <p>&#8220;These developments are of great concern to our organization,&#8221; the Kings said in a statement. &#8220;We support the <a href="" class="r_lapi">NHL</a>&#8216;s decision to suspend Slava Voynov indefinitely during this process, and we will continue to take appropriate action as the legal proceedings and the investigation by the <a href="" class="r_lapi">NHL</a> take their course.&#8221;</p> <p>Voynov is in his fourth season with the Kings, having won two Stanley Cups with the team. He signed a six-year, $25 million contract extension in June 2013.</p> <p><strong>ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below):</strong> On Oct. 21, 1975, the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a> beat the Reds in Game 6 of the <a href="" class="r_lapi">World Series</a> on Carlton Fisk&#8217;s 12th-inning home run off Pat Darcy. Which pitcher got the win for the Sox?</p> <p><strong>QUOTE OF THE DAY:</strong> &#8220;I&#8217;ve been very fortunate. To think I would have the opportunity to do that when I was starting out is crazy. And I&#8217;€™m still part of a great team that has a great opportunity to achieve even more. You don&#8217;€™t think about these things when you&#8217;€™re a kid, certainly I never did. I think I&#8217;€™ve just been so fortunate over the years to be on a great team, great teammates, and throw great relationships and friends in. Certainly the winning, because I think that&#8217;€™s what sets our team apart from a lot of other teams, has been our ability to win on a consistent basis year in and year out, no matter what the circumstances or situations. So to be a part of an organization that that&#8217;€™s what we&#8217;ve been able to accomplish has been unbelievable. I&#8217;€™m a lucky guy. I&#8217;€™m a lucky guy, and still going. <em>&#8211; <a class="r_lapi" href="">Tom Brady</a>, during his weekly <a href="" target="_blank">Monday morning appearance on Dennis &amp; Callahan</a>, comparing his career to that of <a class="r_lapi" href="">Peyton Manning</a></em></p> <p><strong>STAT OF THE DAY: 73 &#8211;</strong> Seconds it took the Steelers to score three touchdowns in <a href=";g=20141020023" target="_blank">Monday&#8217;s 30-23 victory over the Texans</a></p> <p><strong>&#8216;NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos):</strong> During an Adriatic League basketball game, Union Olimpija Ljubljana&#8217;s Blaz Mahkovic hits a ridiculous shot while falling out of bounds on the baseline.</p> <p><object width="600" height="360"><param name="movie" value="//;version=3" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="//;version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> <p>From a high school football game in Wisconsin, Gabe White, an 8-year-old with Down syndrome, gets to score a touchdown for Rhinelander vs. Mosinee.</p> <p><object width="600" height="360"><param name="movie" value="//;hl=en_US" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="//;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> <p>Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is not pleased when an interviewer brings up the troubles of Jameis Winston, and Fisher ends the interview abruptly, claiming he was told there would be no such questions.</p> <p><object width="600" height="360"><param name="movie" value="//;version=3" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="//;version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600" height="360" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> <p><strong>TRIVIA ANSWER:</strong> Rick Wise, who pitched a scoreless 12th inning, despite giving up two hits</p> <p><strong>SOOTHING SOUNDS:</strong> Manfred Mann (on the keyboard for his eponymous band) was born on this day in 1940.</p> <p><object width="600" height="360" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase=",0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value=";hl=en_US" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600" height="360" src=";hl=en_US" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> Blog general Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:25:19 +0000 669256 at Bruins’ self-proclaimed defensive depth being put to test <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_49941" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-49941" src="" alt="Matt Bartkowski" width="150" height="245" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Matt Bartkowski</p></div> <p>In the offseason, Peter Chiarelli said he felt the Bruins had nine NHL-caliber defensemen. A 10th, he would later say, was close in Zach Trotman. It was hard to disagree.</p> <p>Then the B&#8217;€™s traded <a class="r_lapi" href="">Johnny Boychuk</a>. Then Kevan Miller dislocated his right shoulder in a fight Saturday night, leaving him out indefinitely.</p> <p>You can bet that all the defensive depth you&#8217;€™ve heard about will be put to the test now.</p> <p>The obvious replacement with Miller out of the lineup is Matt Bartkowski. The Bruins would take turns sitting guys to find ways to get him in the lineup last season before <a class="r_lapi" href="">Dennis Seidenberg</a>&#8216;€™s knee injury gave him a full-time job. With a healthier group this season, Bartkowski has been limited to just one game.</p> <p>After that, David Warsofsky is the only remaining blueliner from the summer&#8217;€™s advertised group not on the roster. The B&#8217;€™s had to put him on waivers in order to send him to Providence at the end of training camp, but nobody claimed him. In five AHL games this season, the 24-year-old Warsofsky has no points and a minus-5 rating.</p> <p>The thing with both Bartkowski and Warsofsky is that they are both left shots, while Miller is a righty. The Bruins, as you&#8217;€™ve probably noticed by now, like to play with a lefty on the left and a righty on the right unless it&#8217;€™s a Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg (both lefties) type of pairing.</p> <p>There have been other exceptions to the lefty-righty rule, as Torey Krug played a bit on the right side down the stretch last season and Seidenberg has played on the left when paired with Bartkowski. It&#8217;€™s worth noting that the Bartkowski-Seidenberg pairing has struggled when used in games dating back to last season before Seidenberg&#8217;€™s injury.</p> <p>If the Bruins want to keep their defense the way it&#8217;€™s been, with <a class="r_lapi" href="">Zdeno Chara</a> and Dougie Hamilton on the top pairing and Seidenberg-McQuaid rounding out the top-4, they could look to Trotman, a 6-foot-3, 219-pound right-shooting defenseman to play alongside Krug. Trotman, who played a pair of games for Boston last season, has a pair of assists and a minus-4 rating thus far in five games for Providence.</p> <p>After those guys, the Bruins have more young defensemen stewing in Providence. With no disrespect intended towards the others, Chris Casto was quite possibly the only impressive defensemen in August&#8217;€™s rookie tournament between prospects from the Bruins, Lightning, Panthers and Predators.</p> <p>Chris Breen is a slightly older player (25 years old) signed in the offseason. Joe Morrow, the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Penguins</a>&#8216;€™ first-round pick in the 2011 draft, is in his second season with Providence after being traded to the Stars for <a class="r_lapi" href="">Brenden Morrow</a> and then to the B&#8217;€™s in the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Tyler Seguin</a> trade.</p> <p>Before the Boychuk trade, it was known that not all of these guys would be here, but the assumption wasn&#8217;€™t always that it would be Boychuk who was moved. Chiarelli hinted throughout the offseason that he might move a defenseman and then said close to definitively at the rookie tournament that he would.</p> <p>Given that Torey Krug is a more experienced version of Warsofsky, it seemed Warsofsky could be a possibility to be moved. Same went for Bartkowski, who was fine for the Bruins last regular season before missing time with an illness early in the postseason and struggling against the Canadiens. Adam McQuaid needed to play games before a trade value could be established.</p> <p>Remember, a big part of last season&#8217;s demise was that the team didn&#8217;t end up being able to patch up their back end with young blueliners as successfully as they thought they could. Those players are a season older and a season more experienced. Experience might be the most important factor in a young player&#8217;s development.</p> <p>All that depth sounded nice because it didn&#8217;€™t seem set in stone that the Bruins would actually have to find out whether it really existed. The jury is still out on Boston&#8217;€™s young defensemen, and the Boychuk trade and Miller&#8217;€™s injury mean the team will start finding out on these guys soon enough.</p> Blog bruins Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 02:56:25 +0000 668496 at Andrew Raycroft enjoys life at UConn, has positive memories of Bruins days <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_4476" style="width: 420px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-4476" src="" alt="Andrew Raycroft, who spent parts of five seasons with the Bruins, is now an assistant coach at UConn. (Charles Laberge/Getty Images)" width="410" height="339" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Andrew Raycroft, who spent parts of five seasons with the Bruins, is now an assistant coach at UConn. (Charles Laberge/Getty Images)</p></div> <p>Andrew Raycroft wasn&#8217;€™t planning to get into coaching. When the 34-year-old former Bruin decided to retire in April after spending the previous two seasons in Europe, he was looking forward to a year away from the rink.</p> <p>But then over the summer, Raycroft&#8217;€™s agent mentioned that Mike Cavanaugh &#8212; a friend of his and the head coach of the UConn men&#8217;€™s hockey team &#8212; was looking for a new goalie coach.</p> <p>There was enough interest on both sides that Cavanaugh and Raycroft, who had never met before, decided to grab some coffee and talk about the position. They each liked what the other had to say, and Raycroft, who won the Calder Trophy as the <a href="" class="r_lapi">NHL</a>&#8216;€™s rookie of the year in 2004, agreed to join the staff as a volunteer assistant coach.</p> <p>It may seem odd for a former NHLer to take an unpaid, part-time position, especially when you consider that Raycroft had never even been to a college hockey game before Saturday night, but Raycroft saw it as the perfect job for him at this time.</p> <p>It allows him to get into coaching without making as much of a time commitment as a head coach or full-time assistant would, and more importantly, it allows him to stay in the Boston area. Raycroft, who was famously traded to Toronto for <a href="" class="r_lapi">Tuukka Rask</a> in 2006, has considered Boston home since he played for the Bruins, and he currently lives in Sudbury with his wife and three kids.</p> <p>&#8216;€œI&#8217;€™m not looking to be a head coach or a full-time goalie coach at this point,&#8217;€ Raycroft said. &#8216;€œI just wanted to come in and kind of help the guys out, use some of my experience to help out and give them a few pointers here or there, give them a few new ideas. It was a good opportunity to give back a little.&#8217;€<span id="more-4475"></span></p> <p>Part of the reason Raycroft decided to retire was because he didn&#8217;€™t want to keep moving around, and he won&#8217;€™t have to with this job. He&#8217;€™ll attend all of UConn&#8217;€™s games that are in the area, which will be a lot of them, and commute to Storrs at least once a week to help out at practice.</p> <p>So far, Raycroft is enjoying the experience. He said he likes the coaching staff, trainers and players, and he likes the college environment, something he never experienced himself. And making it all more exciting is the fact that this is UConn&#8217;€™s first season in Hockey East, widely considered the best conference in college hockey.</p> <p>Everyone at UConn knows that the transition to Hockey East isn&#8217;€™t going to be an easy one given that it&#8217;€™s a significantly tougher conference than their old one, Atlantic Hockey. But Cavanaugh believes the program has a bright future, and he sees Raycroft helping it get to where he wants it to go.</p> <p>&#8216;€œHe certainly has an understanding of how to play goal,&#8217;€ Cavanaugh said. &#8216;€œI think he brings &#8212; not only for our goaltenders, but for the rest of our team &#8212; he&#8217;€™s an experienced guy. He played in the <a href="" class="r_lapi">NHL</a> for 12 years. He won rookie of the year in the NHL. We&#8217;€™re recruiting players here who aspire to go to the NHL, and he has the type of experience that can help those kids. He&#8217;€™s been a great addition to the staff.&#8217;€</p> <p>Raycroft said he is happy to give advice to any of UConn&#8217;€™s players, not just the goalies. While his goaltending knowledge is what might help the team the most on the ice, his insight into what it takes to get to the next level could have an even longer-lasting impact.</p> <p>Sophomore goalie Rob Nichols could be the biggest beneficiary from Raycroft&#8217;€™s first season in the college ranks. He posted an impressive .939 save percentage in 13 games as a freshman last season, and now he&#8217;€™s expected to be UConn&#8217;€™s every-night starter as a sophomore. So far he has had one tough game (five goals on 23 shots) sandwiched between two very good games (two goals on 35 shots, two goals on 43 shots).</p> <p>Nichols, who hopes to get a shot at the pros someday, said he can already see the benefits of having someone with Raycroft&#8217;€™s experience around.</p> <p>&#8216;€œHe&#8217;€™s really knowledgeable about the game,&#8217;€ Nichols said. &#8216;€œHe knows what it takes to get to the next level. He&#8217;€™s really worked on details of the game so far, and what the difference is between an NHL goalie and the college game. Just trying to help me fine-tune things that would help me be successful at the next level.&#8217;€</p> <p>As for the experience that he is probably best known for around here &#8212; the trade for Rask &#8212; Raycroft said he really doesn&#8217;€™t think about it too much, even when he sees Rask going deep in the playoffs or winning the Vezina Trophy. He said he doesn&#8217;€™t hold any grudges against anyone associated with the Bruins and that he has nothing but good memories of his time here.</p> <p>&#8216;€œIt&#8217;€™s the business that we all signed up for,&#8217;€ Raycroft said. &#8216;€œI enjoyed being a Bruin and living here. Then I was able to go to Toronto and live in a great city there and play another six, seven, eight, nine years. I have no regrets in my career. I was very lucky and very fortunate to be all the places I was and meet all the people I met.&#8217;€</p> Blog boston college Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:44:41 +0000 668241 at Josh McDaniels: Danny Amendola’s smarts were big part of late TD Thursday against Jets <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_79061" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><img class="size-full wp-image-79061" src="" alt="Danny Amendola" width="150" height="204" /><p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="r_lapi" href="">Danny Amendola</a></p></div> <p>On what turned out to be the play that produced the game-winning touchdown pass last Thursday against the Jets, one of the key moments came when wide receiver <a class="r_lapi" href="">Danny Amendola</a> recognized the fact that the play had started to break down and was able to scramble to get open. That helped quarterback <a class="r_lapi" href="">Tom Brady</a> find the receiver for the touchdown.</p> <p>On Monday, Patriots offensive coordinator <a class="r_lapi" href="">Josh McDaniels</a> praised Amendola for his ability to not only recognize what was going on, but lean on his experience with the &#8220;scramble drill&#8221; in an important moment.</p> <p>&#8220;I think the big key for us is to try to always come back to the ball or come towards the quarterback &#8212; the direction that he&#8217;€™s scrambling &#8211;€“ because throwing away from where the quarterback is going is always a difficult proposition,&#8221; McDaniels said. &#8220;So, we try to teach them to be friendly to the quarterback in terms of trying to give him an opportunity to make a throw that he can make. And then the guys that are deep, certainly if you&#8217;€™re deep and you go deeper you might get out of his range, so the deep guys may end up coming a little bit shorter.</p> <p>&#8220;In this case, Danny was the short guy. And again, you have two choices, you could either kind of try to get away from your guy going towards the direction the quarterback is rolling to or running, or in the case of what Danny did, he turned and went in the other direction because he was a short receiver that ended up turning his route into a deeper play.&#8221;</p> <p>For a receiver, it&#8217;s all about trying to do whatever he can to help out the quarterback.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s not a perfect science,&#8221; acknowledged McDaniels. &#8220;But what we do try to tell them is, &#8216;€˜Look, you can&#8217;€™t stand there and be covered, and you don&#8217;€™t want to run out of the quarterback&#8217;€™s potential window to throw you the ball.&#8217;€™ So, they want to stay active, they want to try to mirror the quarterback as best as we can and try to create some separation from the defender that&#8217;€™s closest to you. I thought Danny did a great job &#8211;€“ we had a couple guys do a really good job on that play &#8211;€“ and Danny ended up with the ball on it.&#8221;</p> Blog patriots Other Tue, 21 Oct 2014 00:31:38 +0000 668236 at Following the flags: Tracking Patriots penalties for 2014 season <!--paging_filter--><p>Through seven games, the Patriots have been flagged for 63 penalties (most in the league heading into <a class="r_lapi" href="">Monday Night Football</a>) for a total of 590 yards (most in the NFL). To this point in the season, here&#8217;€™s a breakdown of the calls that have gone against the Patriots, not including penalties that were declined or offset:<br /> <span id="more-82540"></span><br /> <strong>Most penalized players, listed by total flags and with total yardage lost:</strong><br /> ST/DB Logan Ryan: 6 penalties (illegal block above the waist, 2 defensive pass interference, 2 defensive holding, illegal use of hands), 83 yards<br /> WR Brandon LaFell: 5 penalties (offsides on free kick, 3 offensive pass interference, false start), 40 yards<br /> OL <a class="r_lapi" href="">Nate Solder</a>: 5 penalties (offensive holding, illegal block above the waist, 3 false starts), 35 yards<br /> OL Jordan Devey: 4 penalties (2 offensive holding, false star, unnecessary roughnesst), 40 yards<br /> LB Dont&#8217;€™a Hightower: 3 penalties (roughing the passer, defensive offsides, unnecessary roughness), 35 yards<br /> DL Chandler Jones: 2 penalties (2 roughing the passer), 30 yards<br /> S/ST Duron Harmon: 2 penalties (face mask, illegal block above the waist), 21 yards<br /> TE <a class="r_lapi" href="">Rob Gronkowski</a>: 2 penalties (false start, unsportsmanlike conduct), 20 yards<br /> ST/DB Don Jones: 2 penalties (2 offensive holding), 20 yards<br /> DL Dominique Easley 2 penalties (neutral zone infraction, unnecessary roughness), 20 yards<br /> WR Aaron Dobson: 2 penalties (offensive pass interference, false start) 15 yards<br /> OL Cameron Fleming: 2 penalties (false start, offensive holding), 15 yards<br /> OL Bryan Stork: 2 penalties (false start, offensive holding), 15 yards<br /> CB <a class="r_lapi" href="">Darrelle Revis</a>: 2 penalties (2 defensive holding), 10 yards<br /> CB Brandon Browner: 2 penalties (2 defensive holding) 10 yards<br /> CB Alfonzo Dennard: 2 penalties (2 defensive holding), 10 yards<br /> CB Malcolm Butler: 1 penalties (defensive pass interference), 24 yards<br /> WR <a class="r_lapi" href="">Danny Amendola</a>: 1 penalty (face mask), 15 yards<br /> LB Jamie Collins: 1 penalty (unnecessary roughness), 15 yards<br /> OL Ryan Wendell: 1 penalty (facemask), 15 yards<br /> OL <a class="r_lapi" href="">Dan Connolly</a>: 1 penalty (chop block), 14 yards<br /> TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 1 penalty (offensive holding), 10 yards<br /> S/ST Tavon Wilson: 1 penalty (offensive holding) 10 yards<br /> OL Marcus Cannon: 1 penalty (offensive holding), 10 yards<br /> Team: 1 penalties (illegal substitution), 10 yards<br /> QB <a class="r_lapi" href="">Tom Brady</a>: 1 penalty (intentional grounding), 10 yards<br /> RB/ST Brandon Bolden: 1 penalty (offensive holding) 9 yards<br /> DL Sealver Siliga: 1 penalty (illegal use of hands), 5 yards<br /> S <a class="r_lapi" href="">Patrick Chung</a>: 1 penalty (defensive holding), 5 yards<br /> OL Josh Kline: 1 penalty (false start), 5 yards<br /> WR <a class="r_lapi" href="">Julian Edelman</a>: 1 penalty (false start), 5 yards<br /> LS/ST Danny Aiken: 1 penalty (false start), 5 yards<br /> TE Tim Wright: 1 penalty (false start) 5 yards</p> <p><strong>Most penalized by position</strong><br /> Offensive line: 17 penalties, 149 yards<br /> Cornerback: 13 penalties, 137 yards<br /> Wide receiver: 9 penalties, 75 yards<br /> Special teams: 6 penalties, 49 yards<br /> Defensive line: 5 penalties, 55 yards<br /> Linebacker: 4 penalties, 50 yards<br /> Tight end: 4 penalties, 35 yards<br /> Safety: 2 penalty, 20 yards<br /> Team: 2 penalties, 10 yards<br /> Quarterback: 1 penalty, 10 yards</p> <p><strong>Most frequently called penalties</strong><br /> False start: 13<br /> Offensive holding: 11<br /> Defensive holding: 9<br /> Unnecessary roughness: 4<br /> Offensive pass interference: 4<br /> Facemask: 3<br /> Roughing the passer: 3<br /> Defensive pass interference: 3<br /> Illegal block above the waist: 3<br /> Illegal use of hands: 2<br /> Offsides on free kick: 1<br /> Neutral zone infraction: 1<br /> Defensive offsides: 1<br /> Offsides on free kick: 1<br /> Illegal substitution: 1<br /> Unsportsmanlike conduct: 1<br /> Intentional grounding: 1<br /> Chop block: 1</p> Blog patriots Other Mon, 20 Oct 2014 23:04:41 +0000 668076 at