Blog en Video: Milan Lucic gets away with dirty spear on Danny DeKeyser <!--paging_filter--><p><strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Milan Lucic</a></strong> has long been known to lose his cool, but he was never really considered an overly &#8220;dirty&#8221; player.</p> <p>This season, however, Lucic has gone nuts when it comes to spearing opponents in sensitive areas. In the second period of Friday&#8217;s Game 1 loss to the Red Wings, Lucic stuck his stick between Detroit defenseman <strong>Danny DeKeyser</strong>&#8216;s legs and forcefully yanked it up, whacking DeKeyser in an area that you&#8217;d think would be off-limits. Lucic didn&#8217;t talk after the game, but the video below should show that it seemed as intentional as intentional gets.</p> <p><object width="640" 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&amp;rel=0" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed width="640" height="360" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="//;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" /></embed></object></p> <p>This isn&#8217;t the first between-the-legs spear from Lucic this season, as he did the same thing to <strong>Alexei Emelin</strong> back on March 24, though it seemed Lucic got him in the rear end. <a title="Milan Lucic calls Alexei Emelin a '€˜chicken,'€™ denies spearing Canadiens defenseman" href="">Lucic denied spearing him after the game</a>, saying he was &#8220;just skating by.&#8221;</p> <p>Lucic was suspended for a game in the 2009 postseason for a blow to the head of <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Maxim Lapierre</a> </strong>in Game 2 of the first round against the Canadiens. It&#8217;s unclear what the fallout from Friday&#8217;s cheap shot will be, but it was a garbage act from Lucic. He&#8217;s one of the team&#8217;s best players and was the team&#8217;s highest-paid forward this season. Such actions as Friday&#8217;s should be beneath him.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> DJ Bean </div> </div> </div> Blog bruins Other Sat, 19 Apr 2014 05:34:43 +0000 441036 at Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Jarome Iginla fail to get going in Bruins’ Game 1 loss to Red Wings <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_40893" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 160px"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-40893" alt="David Krejci" src="" width="150" height="244" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="r_lapi" href="">David Krejci</a></p></div> <p>Going into this series, it seemed like a pretty safe assumption that <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Patrice Bergeron</a></strong> and <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Pavel Datsyuk</a></strong> were going to match up frequently. Maybe you&#8217;€™d give the Bruins a slight edge there given that Datsyuk is coming back from an injury, but for the most part, you&#8217;€™d expect that to be a back-and-forth dogfight. Sure enough, that&#8217;€™s more or less how Game 1 played out &#8212; their lines went against each other pretty much every time out, and the matchup was essentially a wash until Datsyuk&#8217;€™s goal with 3:01 left in the game.</p> <p>In theory, that matchup should have freed up the Bruins&#8217;€™ top line of <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Milan Lucic</a></strong>, <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">David Krejci</a></strong> and <strong>Jarome Iginla</strong> to pick on Detroit&#8217;€™s lesser lines and banged-up defensive corps. That didn&#8217;€™t happen, though.</p> <p>In fact, that line played one of its worst games of the season in Game 1. It went up against the trio of <strong>Gustav Nyquist</strong>, <strong>Riley Sheahan</strong> and <strong>Tomas Tatar</strong> for the majority of its shifts (thanks to <a href="" target="_blank"> for the excellent data</a>), and found itself chasing the puck most of the night. Lucic, Krejci and Iginla were able to get what should have been a favorable matchup against Detroit&#8217;€™s second pairing of <strong>Kyle Quincey</strong> and <strong>Danny DeKeyser</strong> &#8212; an OK, but far-from-great duo &#8212; for about half their shifts, but they never really got a chance to take advantage because of how much time they spent in their own zone.</p> <p>A lot was made of Detroit&#8217;€™s speed going into the series, and this was really the one place that it showed. Nyquist and Tatar motored their way through the neutral zone and into the Bruins&#8217;€™ end time and again, with the back pressure from Krejci and company a little too late too often. From there, the cycle was on, as Boston&#8217;€™s top trio had to resort to chasing the puck rather than possessing it. When they did get it, they struggled to get through the neutral zone and sustain any sort of offensive pressure.</p> <p>The result was Lucic, Krejci and Iginla all finishing with Corsi percentages under 40 (according to the <a href="" target="_blank">fantastic</a>), marking just the sixth time this season their possession numbers as a line have dipped that low. In near perfect symmetry, Nyquist, Sheahan and Tatar all finished with Corsi percentages over 60. If the more basic shot on goal stat is your thing, Sheahan&#8217;€™s line had eight, while Krejci&#8217;€™s line had four. It is worth mentioning, however, that Krejci&#8217;€™s line had arguably the Bruins&#8217;€™ best chance all night when Lucic tipped an Iginla shot that wound up trickling just wide about 30 seconds before Datsyuk scored.<span id="more-43336"></span></p> <p>&#8220;We thought that the game was faster than it actually was. We have to play a little bit more with the puck,&#8221; Krejci said. &#8220;We just have to hold on to the puck and make some confident plays out there and that&#8217;€™s pretty much it. I don&#8217;€™t think that we had that many offensive chances out there today.&#8221;</p> <p>Obviously Boston&#8217;€™s defensemen are part of this equation as well, and it&#8217;€™s true that the Bruins&#8217;€™ blue line wasn&#8217;€™t great Friday night. But Krejci&#8217;€™s line didn&#8217;€™t play with any one pairing more than any others, and the Bruins&#8217;€™ second and third lines didn&#8217;€™t get out-possessed nearly as much as the top line. No, the constants here were Krejci&#8217;€™s line and Sheahan&#8217;€™s line.</p> <p>Of course, Friday night was only one game. If these two lines match up again in Game 2, the tables could very well turn and we could be talking about how great Lucic, Krejci and Iginla played. They&#8217;€™re one of the best lines in the <a class="r_lapi" href="">NHL</a>, and they&#8217;€™re certainly capable of winning pretty much any matchup.</p> <p>But if they match up again and Krejci&#8217;€™s line continues to struggle, <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Claude Julien</a></strong> might have to look into other options, whether it&#8217;€™s trying <strong>Carl Soderberg</strong>&#8216;€™s line against Sheahan&#8217;€™s, or even taking Bergeron off Datsyuk and putting his line out there.</p> <p>&#8220;It was a tight, checking game, but nonetheless, I think everybody&#8217;€™s got to find a way to create more,&#8221; Julien said. &#8220;And that&#8217;€™s going to be the challenge in this series with two teams playing really tight. So it&#8217;€™s about everybody working a little harder and then gaining your space and doing what you have to do here.&#8221;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Scott McLaughlin </div> </div> </div> Blog bruins Other Sat, 19 Apr 2014 04:02:42 +0000 441021 at Jimmy Howard admits Red Wings were ‘pretty lucky’ to beat Bruins <!--paging_filter--><p>It was the key moment of Game 1. </p> <p><strong>Jarome Iginla</strong> fired a centering pass from the right side boards to <a href="" class="r_lapi">Milan Lucic</a> with just over three minutes left in regulation. Lucic got a clean piece of the puck for a redirect on Red Wings goalie <strong>Jimmy Howard</strong>. It appeared to be the perfect pass and perfect chance in a game that had precious few of each. </p> <p>But instead of the puck finding it&#8217;s way past Howard, the Detroit goalie got just enough to flick the puck wide of the goal mouth and out of harm&#8217;s way. </p> <p>&#8220;It was a fortunate save,&#8221; Howard said. &#8220;It was pretty lucky. [Lucic] stuck his stick out and got a lot on it and it sort of just spun off my glove and I was able to get just enough on it. I was pretty lucky.&#8221;</p> <p>The momentum swing didn&#8217;t end there. The pendulum, as it often does in a game like Friday night, swung completely the other way leading to a Red Wings rush up the ice. Wings veteran forward <a href="" class="r_lapi">Pavel Datsyuk</a> came across the Bruins blue line and, using the collision of Justin Abdelkader and Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton as a screen, fired a shot that beat <a href="" class="r_lapi">Tuukka Rask</a> on the far side for the game&#8217;s only goal and a 1-0 Detroit win. </p> <p>&#8220;He was by himself there so I&#8217;m just thinking a shot there and then he drags it across and releases from our D&#8217;s legs so you just try to get the puck in your eyes and I couldn&#8217;t,&#8221; Rask said of Datsyuk&#8217;s shot. &#8220;It squeaked by me. Usually he tries to make a pass but I thought he was by himself there. I just couldn&#8217;t see it. </p> <p>&#8220;It still went through me so I thought I should have it. But I didn&#8217;t see it.&#8221;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mike Petraglia </div> </div> </div> Blog bruins Other Sat, 19 Apr 2014 03:20:18 +0000 441016 at Closing Time: John Lackey, Red Sox turn in uninspired performances in losing to Orioles <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_70555" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 310px"><img class="size-medium wp-image-70555" alt="Brock Holt and the Red Sox fell behind early and could never catch the Orioles, Friday night. (AP)" src="" width="300" height="225" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Brock Holt and the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> fell behind early and could never catch the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Orioles</a>, Friday night. (AP)</p></div> <p>The Red Sox continue to hardly resemble the world championship team of a year ago.</p> <p>This time their 8-4 loss to the Orioles was a combination of poor starting pitching, uninspiring defense, and the continued inability to mount significant offensive rally.</p> <p>Perhaps the biggest concern coming out of the loss for the Red Sox was the second straight subpar performance by starter <a href="" class="r_lapi">John Lackey</a>. This time Lackey allowed six runs on 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings. Perhaps most surprising were the four walks he issued, the most free passes by the righty since July 12, 3013 (the only time last season he walked as many as four).</p> <p>The was almost identical to his previous outing, against <a href="" class="r_lapi">the Yankees</a>, in which Lackey gave up the same number of hits and runs, but while retiring one more batter.</p> <p>Here is what went wrong (and right) for the Red Sox in their 10th loss of the season. (They didn&#8217;t manage their 10th defeat in &#8217;13 until May 4):</p> <p><strong>WHAT WENT WRONG</strong></p> <p>- The Red Sox were faced with adversity right at the very first pitch, with <a href="" class="r_lapi">Nick Markakis</a>&#8216; looper down the left field line being ruled a fair ball for a leadoff double. Even though the replay appeared to show the ball landed just foul, the umpires told Red Sox manager <a href="" class="r_lapi">John Farrell</a> the view was inconclusive. Markakis would ultimately score on <a href="" class="r_lapi">Adam Jones</a>&#8216; two-out single.</p> <p>- Lackey allowed the first runner to reach in five of his six innings.</p> <p>- While no errors were charged to the Red Sox, their defense proved shoddy behind Lackey. The most egregious misplay came in the fifth inning when first baseman Mike Carp let Matt Wieters&#8217; grounder go underneath him for an RBI single.</p> <p>- While every member of the Red Sox starting lineup collected at least one hit, they also stranded 11 men. The Sox came into the game having stranded the third-most runners in the majors despite possessing just the 21st most total bases.</p> <p>- Reliever Edward Mujica had his second straight tough outing, this time allowing the Orioles to tack on an eighth run thanks to Jonathan Schoop&#8217;s fourth hit of the night (an RBI double).</p> <p><strong>WHAT WENT RIGHT</strong></p> <p>- A.J. Pierzynski threw out his third basestealer of the season (in 11 attempts), gunning down Matt Wieters by a healthy margin to end the second inning. As a team, the Sox catchers have caught four of their opponents 16 attempted basestealers.</p> <p>- Pierzynski, who came into the game just 1-for-15 with men in scoring position, helped the Red Sox add a third run by placing a single into center to score <a href="" class="r_lapi">Dustin Pedroia</a>. Pedroia kicked off the scoring in the inning with an RBI single of his own, scoring Daniel Nava.</p> <p>- Xander Bogaerts continued to impress offensively, reaching base three times thanks to an RBI single and a pair of walks. He did, however, get thrown out trying to stretch his seventh-inning blast off the left field wall into a double, limiting the Sox&#8217; rally.</p> <p>- Brock Holt showed great hustle in busting it down the line to beat out a routine ground ball, leading off the eighth inning. Holt was initially called out, but after going to the replay the umpires ruled the third baseman safe.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rob Bradford </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Sat, 19 Apr 2014 02:37:34 +0000 441006 at Red Wings take Game 1 from Bruins on late Pavel Datsyuk goal <!--paging_filter--><p>The Bruins were without their third and fourth line left wings and two bottom-four defensemen, but it was their best players who let up the game&#8217;s only goal as the Red Wings took Game 1 of the first round, 1-0.</p> <p>With the game scoreless late, <a class="r_lapi" href="">Pavel Datsyuk</a> beat <a class="r_lapi" href="">Tuukka Rask</a> with 3:01 left to get the Red Wings on the board. The goal came with <a class="r_lapi" href="">Patrice Bergeron</a> and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Zdeno Chara</a> on the ice, marking Detroit&#8217;s fourth such goal this season. Chara and Bergeron had only allowed one 5-on-5 goal together all last season before allowing three to the Red Wings this past regular season.</p> <p>The Bruins played the game without four regulars in <a class="r_lapi" href="">Daniel Paille</a> (head), <a class="r_lapi" href="">Chris Kelly</a> (back), Matt Bartkowski (undisclosed) and Kevan Miller (undisclosed; both he and Bartkowski were suspected to have the flu earlier in the week). With those four out, Justin Florek, Jordan Caron, Andrej Meszaros and Corey all played.</p> <p>Jimmy Howard picked up the shutout for the Red Wings, making 25 saves.</p> <p>The teams will play Game 2 Sunday at TD Garden.</p> <p><strong>WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS</strong></p> <p>- <a class="r_lapi" href="">Patrice Bergeron</a>&#8216;s line, playing mostly against Detroit&#8217;s top line of Franzen &#8211; Datsyuk &#8211; Abdelkader and second pairing of Quincey &#8211; DeKeyser, had just two shots on goal through the first two periods. Both sides seemed OK with having the Bergeron and Datsyuk lines matched up against one another.</p> <p>- The matchup that the Bruins need to exploit in this series is Boston&#8217;s bottom-six forwards against Detroit&#8217;s third pairing of Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff. They got some chances (Jordan Caron nearly had a goal in front in the second period) and Carl Soderberg&#8217;s line came on strong against them, but the B&#8217;s were unable to cash in. Keep an eye on those matchups going forward in the series.</p> <p>- Not sure what <a class="r_lapi" href="">Tuukka Rask</a> was thinking when he came way out of his net to play a puck high in the zone in the third period. Florek and Potter were already giving chase to the puck, but Rask got to it and turned it over, leaving Potter to race to the net and make a save on Darren Helm&#8217;s shot.</p> <p><strong>WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS</strong></p> <p>- Potter was more than serviceable as he played in place of Miller Friday night. Though he was the Bruins&#8217; eighth defenseman at the end of the season, Potter got regular minutes on the third pairing with Torey Krug as they played mostly against Luke Glendening&#8217;s line.</p> <p>- Boston&#8217;s penalty kill was strong in holding Detroit 0-for-2. The Bruins faced a major challenge when <a class="r_lapi" href="">Zdeno Chara</a> threw Brendan Smith into the boards at 16:08 of the first period and was assessed a boarding minor. With Chara in the box and the B&#8217;s already missing two regular blueliners, <a class="r_lapi" href="">Johnny Boychuk</a> killed the entire penalty, with Meszaros and Potter taking turns as his partner. Up front, the Bruins used <a href="" class="r_lapi">Patrice Bergeron</a> with <a class="r_lapi" href="">Brad Marchand</a>, <a class="r_lapi" href="">David Krejci</a> with Loui Eriksson and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Gregory Campbell</a> with Justin Florek. The group stayed the course, limiting Detroit to just a Johan Franzen shot on goal.</p> <p>In the second period, Torey Krug went off for a hold on Johan Franzen, with Eriksson having the only shot on goal during the Red Wings power play. Potter and Florek also played during that penalty kill.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> DJ Bean </div> </div> </div> Blog bruins Other Sat, 19 Apr 2014 01:58:13 +0000 440996 at Bruins Game 1 lineup: Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly, Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller all out <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_40903" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 160px"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-40903" alt="Kevan Miller" src="" width="150" height="232" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Kevan Miller</p></div> <p>Not only were <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Daniel Paille</a></strong>, <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Chris Kelly</a></strong> and<strong> Matt Bartkowski</strong> absent from warmups Friday night before Game 1, but<strong> Kevan Miller</strong> was missing as well.</p> <p>Paille (head), Kelly (back) and Bartkowski (likely the flu) missed each practice this week, while Miller missed Tuesday&#8217;s and Wednesday&#8217;s before practicing Thursday and missing Friday&#8217;s morning skate.</p> <p>Offensively, that means the B&#8217;s will play with both <strong>Justin Florek</strong> and<strong> Jordan Caron</strong> in the lineup, while <strong>Andrej Meszaros</strong> and<strong> Corey Potter</strong> will also play. The team&#8217;s lineup in warmups was as follows:</p> <p>Lucic &#8211; Krejci &#8211; Iginla<br /> Marchand &#8211; Bergeron &#8211; Smith<br /> Florek &#8211; Soderberg &#8211; Eriksson<br /> Caron &#8211; Campbell &#8211; Thornton</p> <p>Chara &#8211; Boychuk<br /> Krug &#8211; Hamilton<br /> Meszaros &#8211; Potter</p> <p>For more Bruins coverage, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> DJ Bean </div> </div> </div> Blog bruins Other Fri, 18 Apr 2014 23:12:36 +0000 440986 at Red Sox lineup: Grady Sizemore meets the Monster <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_70548" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 360px"><a href=""><img class=" wp-image-70548 " alt="Grady Sizemore will get his first career start in front of the Green Monster on Friday. (" src="" width="350" height="263" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="" class="r_lapi">Grady Sizemore</a> will get his first career start in front of the Green Monster on Friday. (</p></div> <p>A <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> lineup in a constant state of flux features another new wrinkle on Friday, as <strong>Brock Holt</strong> &#8212; recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket &#8212; will start at third base and bat ninth against Orioles right-hander <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Chris Tillman</a></strong>. Holt had been enjoying a tremendous start in Pawtucket, hitting .380/.446/.600 in 56 plate appearances.</p> <p>The Sox lineup will also feature some additional wrinkles. <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">David Ortiz</a></strong> has a scheduled day off, and so <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Mike Napoli</a></strong> will serve as designated hitter while <strong>Mike Carp</strong> plays first base. With Ortiz out, <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Dustin Pedroia</a></strong> is moving down to the third spot in the order, behind leadoff man <strong>Grady Sizemore</strong> (playing left) and <strong>Daniel Nava</strong> (playing right).</p> <p>While Sizemore has seen time both in the leadoff spot and in left field this season, he has yet to play in his career in front of the fabled Green Monster. Sizemore received something of a crash course in playing the Wall from outfield and first base coach <strong>Arnie Beyeler</strong> on Friday afternoon, but Farrell didn&#8217;t attempt to pretend that there will be a degree of foreignness to Sizemore&#8217;s task.</p> <p>&#8220;Grady has not played left field in this ballpark,&#8221; said Farrell. &#8220;We can&#8217;t go out and have so much repetition to get him comfortable with it this afternoon. He&#8217;s going to get some. But he&#8217;s in left field.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>RED SOX LINEUP</strong></p> <p>Grady Sizemore, LF</p> <p>Daniel Nava, RF</p> <p><a href="" class="r_lapi">Dustin Pedroia</a>, 2B</p> <p>Mike Napoli, DH</p> <p>Mike Carp, 1B</p> <p>Xander Bogaerts, SS</p> <p>A.J. Pierzynski, C</p> <p>Jackie Bradley Jr., CF</p> <p>Brock Holt, 3B</p> <p><a href="" class="r_lapi">Felix Doubront</a>, SP</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Speier </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:55:59 +0000 440946 at Red Sox call up Brock Holt, designate Ryan Roberts for assignment <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_70545" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 368px"><a href=""><img class=" wp-image-70545 " alt="The Red Sox designated Ryan Roberts for assignment on Friday. (AP)" src="" width="358" height="255" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">The <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> designated Ryan Roberts for assignment on Friday. (AP)</p></div> <p>When the Red Sox signed <strong>Ryan Roberts</strong> to help man third base in the absence of <strong>Will Middlebrooks</strong>, they sat on the cusp of a stretch where they&#8217;d face five left-handed starters in a 10-day span. Though the Sox went 4-1 in those contests, that was hardly a reflection of Roberts&#8217; performance. The 33-year-old was just 2-for-19 with two singles and three walks, good for a .105/.227/.105 line, and with the Sox now arriving at a stage where they&#8217;ll face primarily right-handed starters, and with Middlebrooks moving closer to a return from the DL, the team elected to designate Roberts for assignment.</p> <p>In his place, the team called up <strong>Brock Holt</strong> from Triple-A Pawtucket. Holt, who spent one day on the big league roster when Middlebrooks first landed on the DL, has been on a tear for the PawSox, hitting .380/.446/.600 with eight extra-base hits, five walks and three strikeouts in 56 plate appearances. The Sox immediately put Holt in Friday&#8217;s lineup.</p> <p>&#8220;We felt like we needed to try to create a little bit of a jump-start to the offense. With the designation of Ryan, we got another lefthanded hitter here in Brock Holt,&#8221; said Sox manager <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">John Farrell</a></strong>. &#8220;We&#8217;ve come through a stretch with seven lefthanded starters against us out of the past 10, and we&#8217;re kind of reversing that right now, going against primarily righthanders. We felt like we needed to try a different combination to attempt to spark that bottom third of the order.</p> <p>&#8220;[Holt has] clearly earned the promotion here,&#8221; added Farrell. &#8220;When he was sent out, even after just one day of being here with the big-league club, he was initially disappointed, but he&#8217;s channeled that the right way and gone down and played very well on the left side of the infield.&#8221;</p> <p>As for Roberts, Farrell suggested that he didn&#8217;t appear to be in sync after spending about 10 days at home following his release from the Cubs at the end of spring training. The Sox hope that the versatile Roberts will clear waivers and accept an assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket.</p> <p>&#8220;We certainly want him to remain in the organization,&#8221; said Farrell. &#8220;We feel like he needs at-bats to get things going a little bit.&#8221;</p> <p>As for Middlebrooks, he rejoined the Red Sox (he&#8217;d been sent home early from Chicago while struggling with the flu) and resumed baseball activities, including batting practice. Given the relatively limited time of his absence with the flu, the Sox are hopeful that Middlebrooks &#8212; who is eligible to come off the D.L. on Monday, but won&#8217;t be ready to do so at that point &#8212; will be ready to start a minor league rehab assignment in relatively short order.</p> <p>&#8220;I don&#8217;t think [the flu] is going to delay Will in his eventual rehab assignment, which we&#8217;re still hopefully targeting sometime the middle of next week,&#8221; said Farrell.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alex Speier </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:38:30 +0000 440951 at NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Penn State DT DaQuan Jones <!--paging_filter--><p><em> will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 <a class="r_lapi" href="">NFL draft</a>. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it&#8217;€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.</em></p> <div id="attachment_66472" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 420px"><img class="size-full wp-image-66472" alt="DaQuan Jones (AP)" src="" width="410" height="300" /><p class="wp-caption-text">DaQuan Jones led Penn State with 11.5 tackles for loss in 2013. (AP)</p></div> <p><strong>DAQUAN JONES</strong></p> <p><strong>Position</strong>: Defensive tackle</p> <p><strong>School</strong>: Penn State</p> <p><strong>Height</strong>: 6-foot-4</p> <p><strong>Weight</strong>: 322 pounds</p> <p><strong>Achievements</strong>: 2013 first-team All-Big Ten</p> <p><strong>What</strong> <strong>he</strong> <strong>brings</strong>: Jones lost 25 pounds during the 2013 offseason and, according to scouts, now displays more quickness off the snap. Jones has the strength to control blocks, but analysts say that he can take plays off at times and struggle with his range.</p> <p><strong>Where the Patriots could get him</strong>: Rounds 2-3</p> <p><strong>Notes</strong>: Jones was ranked the No. 2 high school offensive lineman by coming out of Johnson City (N.Y.) High. He also was the captain of his football and basketball teams and was a member of the track and field team in high school. &#8230; Penn State coaches initially kept Jones out of the first four games of his freshman season in an attempt to preserve the chance to have him redshirt. His play during practice, however, got him time on the field. By his senior year, he started in all 12 games and led the teams with 11.5 tackles for loss.</p> <p><strong>Related articles</strong>:</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Houston Texans</a>: Penn State DT DaQuan Jones on future</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</a>: DaQuan Jones Q&amp;A at the NFL scouting combine</p> <p><strong>Video</strong>: Here is a <a href="" target="_blank">video</a> with highlights from Jones&#8217; senior season at Penn State.</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 width="600" height="360" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="//;hl=en_US" allowFullScreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" /></embed></object></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Meredith Perri </div> </div> </div> Blog patriots Other Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:17:50 +0000 440936 at Report: BC running back Andre Williams drawing interest from Patriots <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_65101" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 209px"><img class="size-medium wp-image-65101" alt="Andre Williams ran for 2,177 yards this past year for BC. (AP)" src="" width="199" height="300" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Andre Williams ran for 2,177 yards this past year for BC. (AP)</p></div> <p>The Patriots are one of four teams who have shown pre-draft interest in <a class="r_lapi" href="">Boston College</a> running back <strong>Andre Williams</strong>, according to <strong>Aaron Wilson</strong> of the National Football Post.</p> <p>The Browns, Steelers and Jets have also shown interest in Williams, who led the nation in rushing with 2,177 yards (to go along with 18 touchdowns) and was a Heisman finalist this past season with the Eagles. However, the opportunity to stick in Eastern Massachusetts is certainly alluring for Williams, who was a consensus All-American and Doak Walker Award winner in 2013.</p> <p>&#8220;œIt would be a blessing to end up on the Patriots squad,&#8221;€€ said the 5-foot-11, 230-pounder at the combine in February. &#8220;They&#8217;€™€™re a winning franchise. They have a great coach. He seems like a really levelheaded cool guy to deal with. It would be great to go back to the Northeast. That&#8217;€™€™s where my family is situated right now. It would be a great fit.&#8221;</p> <p>Considered a second-day pickup, Williams is among the upper tier of backs expected to be taken this year, a group that includes Ohio State&#8217;s <strong>Carlos Hyde</strong>, Auburn&#8217;s <strong>Tre Mason, </strong>Washington&#8217;s<strong> Bishop Sankey a</strong>nd LSU&#8217;s <strong>Jeremy Hill</strong>.</p> <p>For more Patriots news, check out <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Christopher Price </div> </div> </div> Blog patriots Other Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:40:11 +0000 440931 at Celtics lose coin flip to Jazz, receive worse NBA draft lottery odds <!--paging_filter--><p>The <a class="r_lapi" href="">Celtics</a> split a pair of tie-breaking coin flips but lost the one they really needed, the NBA announced.</p> <p>The <a class="r_lapi" href="">Jazz</a> won the first flip, moving into the fourth position in the NBA draft lottery and capturing a 10.4 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick. The C&#8217;s are slotted fifth with a 10.3 percent chance. Utah can pick no lower than seventh while the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Celtics</a> could select as low as eighth.</p> <p>While the two teams have a nearly identical chance at a top-three pick &#8212; 33.7 percent for the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Jazz</a> and 33.4 for the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Celtics</a> &#8212; Utah&#8217;s luck has more significant ramifications should neither team win a shot at (most likely) <strong>Jabari Parker</strong>, <strong>Andrew Wiggins</strong> or <strong>Joel Embiid</strong>. The <a href="" class="r_lapi">Jazz</a> have a 9.9 percent shot at the fourth selection, 37.3 percent shot at fifth, 17.6 shot at sixth and 1.4 percent shot at seventh.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-60547 aligncenter" alt="More odds" src="" width="600" height="54" /></a></p> <p>Meanwhile, the C&#8217;s cannot get the fourth pick and have a 23.7 percent shot at fifth, 34.2 percent shot at sixth, 8.2 percent shot at seventh and 0.3 percent shot at eighth, <a href="">according to Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren</a>.</p> <p>In other words, the Jazz now have a 98.4 percent chance at a top-six pick while the C&#8217;s have an 8.5 percent chance at seven or eight. Similarly, Utah gets a 43.6 percent shot at a top-four pick while the C&#8217;s are stuck at 33.4 percent.</p> <p><a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-60548" alt="Odds" src="" width="600" height="97" /></a></p> <p>As for the good news, <a class="r_lapi" href="">the Nets</a> won their tie-breaker over the Wizards, so the Celtics will pick 17th instead of 18th.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Ben Rohrbach </div> </div> </div> Blog celtics Other Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:13:35 +0000 440921 at Pierre McGuire on M&M: Red Wings’ Mike Babcock ‘the most creative coach in the NHL’ <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_36883" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 160px"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-36883" alt="Pierre McGuire" src="" width="150" height="235" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Pierre McGuire</p></div> <p>NBC Sports hockey analyst <strong>Pierre McGuire</strong> joined Mut &amp; Merloni on Friday to discuss the first round of the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Stanley Cup</a> playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the <a href="">Mut &amp; Merloni audio on demand page</a>.</p> <p>For McGuire, Friday night&#8217;s matchup against the Red Wings is the toughest scenario the Bruins could have faced.</p> <p>&#8220;The only reason I say that is the creativity of <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Mike Babcock</a></strong>, [Detroit's] coach,&#8221; McGuire said. &#8220;I think most people know on paper the rosters don&#8217;t compare. Boston&#8217;s roster is better on paper than Detroit&#8217;s just because of the veteran experience and the fact that most of the players on the Bruins roster have been part of a <a class="r_lapi" href="">Stanley Cup</a> run to the final and/or won a <a href="" class="r_lapi">Stanley Cup</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;A lot of these Detroit players really haven&#8217;t been a part of that. It&#8217;s really been a huge turnover in their roster &#8212; some because of injury, some because of retirement and some just because they had no other choice. The one thing I will say about this Detroit roster is a lot of the younger players you&#8217;€™ll see won an <a class="r_lapi" href="">American [Hockey] League</a> championship last year in Grand Rapids.&#8221;</p> <p>One of the main concerns for the Bruins is the Red Wings&#8217; speed.</p> <p>&#8220;œThat&#8217;s going to be the No. 1 thing to watch early on,&#8221; McGuire said. &#8220;Watch what they do when they&#8217;re attacking <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Zdeno Chara</a></strong>. Watch what they do when they&#8217;re attacking <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Johnny Boychuk</a> &#8211; </strong>two of the bigger, more important defensemen for the Bruins just because of the shutdown capabilities. Let&#8217;s see if they play chip-and-chase hockey or if they really try to stretch them out and create huge seams.</p> <p>&#8220;You won&#8217;€™t know until the game starts, but this is going back to my point about <a class="r_lapi" href="">Mike Babcock</a> &#8212; to me he is the most creative coach in the <a class="r_lapi" href="">NHL</a>. Doesn&#8217;t mean he&#8217;€™s the best &#8212; although he&#8217;s getting one of my votes for Coach of the Year. I think he&#8217;€™s the most creative coach in the <a class="r_lapi" href="">National Hockey League</a> and we&#8217;€™ll see how he breaks down the Bruins defense because the Bruins defense, as we know, is extremely good.&#8221;</p> <p><span id="more-43313"></span>Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><strong>On <a class="r_lapi" href="">Tuukka Rask</a></strong>: &#8220;I wish I had a vote for the Vezina. I don&#8217;t &#8212; the only award I can vote on is Coach of the year &#8212; but if I did, <a class="r_lapi" href="">Tuukka Rask</a> would be my Vezina Trophy winner. He would get my No. 1 vote. He is, in my opinion anyways, and I say this with all respect to <strong>Semyon Varlamov</strong> and<strong> <a class="r_lapi" href="">Henrik Lundqvist</a></strong> and all the other goaltenders out there because there have been a lot of them this year in a lot of different cities, I think Tuuka Rask has been the best goalie. He&#8217;s a big reason why the Fins won a bronze medal. He&#8217;s a major reason why the Bruins won the Presidents&#8217; Trophy, and I think he&#8217;s also grown unbelievably in terms of his composure &#8212; his ability to relate to his teammates and also dealing with big situations. He&#8217;s unflappable. He really is. I have tremendous respect for what he&#8217;s done this year.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>On <a class="r_lapi" href="">Chris Kelly</a> and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Daniel Paille</a></strong>: &#8220;That&#8217;s a big concern. You&#8217;ve definitely got to look at that, and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Chris Kelly</a>&#8216;s such an effective player not just five-on-five and insulating <strong>Carl Soderberg</strong> in particular and <strong>Loui Eriksson</strong>, but also because he&#8217;s such an important part of the penalty kill. And so <a class="r_lapi" href="">Chris Kelly</a>&#8216;s going to be a huge loss and <a class="r_lapi" href="">Daniel Paille</a> and<strong> <a class="r_lapi" href="">Gregory Campbell</a></strong> are one of the best tandems when it comes to killing penalties in the entire league, so that&#8217;s a big loss, too. I mean, again, you look at it, and it doesn&#8217;t make it any easier for Boston, but &#8230; on paper, Boston&#8217;s a better team. Now they&#8217;ve got to prove it. It&#8217;s that simple.&#8221;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Meredith Perri </div> </div> </div> Blog bruins Other Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:33:41 +0000 440906 at Bid for a chance to watch a Red Sox game from the general manager’s suite <!--paging_filter--><p><img class="size-thumbnail wp-image-19969 alignleft" alt="RSF-Logo-color" src="" width="150" height="150" />Ever dream of what it&#8217;€™s like to sit in the General Manager&#8217;€™s suite during a <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a> home game?</p> <p>Here&#8217;€™s your chance for you and three guests to enjoy a <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> regular home season game in Ben Cherington&#8217;€™s suite at historic <a class="r_lapi" href="">Fenway Park</a>. This package also includes a fully catered meal prepared by Senior Executive Chef Ron Abell, who brings a wealth of culinary experience to his role at Fenway, where he has served under Lydia Shire at Biba, Lucient Robert and Pierre Jamet at Maison Robert, and as Executive Chef at the famed Icarus restaurant. Game date is subject to availability and excludes Yankees series and postseason games. Guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.</p> <p>Tune in to Dennis &amp; Callahan on Wednesday, April 23, to bid!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> WEEI </div> </div> </div> Blog Dennis & Callahan general Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:30:47 +0000 440911 at Torey Krug and Bruins embrace high expectations: ‘I wouldn’t call it pressure’ <!--paging_filter--><p><iframe width="600" height="360" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Pressure is what you make it. </p> <p>As the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Stanley Cup</a> playoffs begin, the Bruins are making it nothing more than chance to fulfill their own expectations. </p> <p>According to the Vegas line provided by, the Bruins are 7-2 favorites to win their second Stanley Cup in four years by the time late June rolls around, and for good reason. They are relatively healthy heading into the playoffs, though nursing injuries to <a href="" class="r_lapi">Daniel Paille</a> and <a href="" class="r_lapi">Chris Kelly</a> while battling a flu bug. </p> <p>&#8220;Well, we never get comfortable,&#8221; <a href="" class="r_lapi">Claude Julien</a> said before Friday&#8217;s Game 1 with the Red Wings. &#8220;We&#8217;€™ve always talked about that. No matter what we&#8217;€™ve accomplished, we always know that the good things happen from hard work, so the minute we stop working hard and focusing on the areas we need to focus on, things can change. So that&#8217;€™s always been our approach.&#8221;</p> <p>But it&#8217;s not the flu or injuries to Paille or Kelly that are of primary concern &#8211; it&#8217;s the parity in the Stanley Cup playoffs that present the biggest obstacle. Julien reminded everyone Friday that there&#8217;s nothing to be taken for granted when a team like the Bruins take on a club like the Red Wings, a difference of 24 points in the season standings. </p> <p>&#8220;Not with parity,&#8221; Julien said. &#8220;I don&#8217;€™t think that exists anymore. I&#8217;€™ve been mentioning that for the last couple of days, about the percentage of upsets in the first round over the last couple of years. So it just goes to prove to you that anything can happen in the playoffs. We&#8217;€™ve seen it many times before and I don&#8217;€™t expect that to change this year also.&#8221;</p> <p>Bruins defenseman Torey Krug says he learned a lot from his first experience in the playoffs last year. That experience, he says, will help as he and the Bruins open the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs against the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Detroit Red Wings</a> at TD Garden.</p> <p>&#8220;Pressure is whatever you put on yourself,&#8221; Krug said. &#8220;This team has high expectations of itself. I wouldn&#8217;t call it pressure. We&#8217;re going to respond well to whatever it is. We&#8217;re excited to get things going.&#8221;</p> <p>Krug broke onto the scene in the 2014 playoffs as a power play weapon and an offensive force. </p> <p>&#8220;You have to play like that,&#8221; Krug contined. &#8220;If you&#8217;re scared to make mistakes, the puck is going to end up in the back of your own net. You have to make sure you play with confidence. That&#8217;s the same message the coaching staff was preaching today. It&#8217;s the same thing as last summer. Just eager to get going. It&#8217;s an exciting time.&#8221;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Mike Petraglia </div> </div> </div> Blog bruins Other Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:00:01 +0000 440896 at Kevin Millar on M&M: ‘In the big leagues right now, there’s not one team clicking’ <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_37034" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 160px"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-37034" alt="Kevin Millar" src="" width="150" height="226" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Kevin Millar</p></div> <p>MLB Network analyst <strong>Kevin Millar</strong> made his weekly appearance with Mut &amp; Merloni on Friday to talk about the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a>&#8216; slow start to the season. To hear the interview, go to the <a href="">Mut &amp; Merloni audio on demand page</a>.</p> <p>Coming off their 2013 <a class="r_lapi" href="">World Series</a> title, the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a> are 7-9 after taking the final two games of a three-game set with the <a class="r_lapi" href="">White Sox</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;€™s a whole different year, and there&#8217;s going to be a whole different identity,&#8221; Millar said. &#8220;You have a great nucleus of guys &#8230; but at some point the identity is going to have to figure out what are we as a group? Are we a power-hitting team? Are we a run-scoring [team]? Base-stealing? And right now, it&#8217;€™s just a little bit slow going for the Sox and deservedly so &#8212; we&#8217;re in the first two weeks of the season.&#8221;</p> <p>The <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> have struggled at the plate and are ranked 23rd in the league with a .232 batting average.</p> <p>&#8220;Early on everything&#8217;s a little bit magnified,&#8221; Millar said. &#8220;You&#8217;re trying to get your swing. You&#8217;re trying to get your numbers. You&#8217;re trying to get that scoreboard to not look at a .150, .200 average. You understand the team&#8217;s good right? The one thing I see is just figuring out who&#8217;s going to lead off consistently.</p> <p>&#8220;The main thing is that [<strong>Dustin</strong>] <strong>Pedroia </strong>&#8211; the X-rays are negative, he got a cortisone shot in the wrist &#8212; that would have been a huge loss. [<strong>Mike</strong>] <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Napoli</a></strong> had the finger thing. So there&#8217;s a little nagging, a little injuries that they&#8217;€™re going to go through. They&#8217;re not clicking on all cylinders yet, but in the big leagues right now, there&#8217;s not one team clicking.&#8221;</p> <p>Along with their struggles at the plate, the Red Sox also are dealing with the distraction of <strong>Jon</strong> <strong>Lester</strong>&#8216;€™s contract negotiations. A report Saturday indicated that the team offered Lester a <a href="">four-year, $70 million</a> deal.</p> <p>&#8220;Let&#8217;s not fool anybody &#8212; it&#8217;s a negotiation,&#8221; Millar said. &#8220;It&#8217;s big money we&#8217;€™re talking about. You&#8217;re talking about Lester and the one time he gets a chance to go out there and pop financially. At the end of the day, it&#8217;s a time to set up your family, and Lester loves Boston &#8212; loves playing there. I know this guy has been a bona fide big horse for this team for many years. He&#8217;s pitched many big games. This is a great pedigree.</p> <p>&#8220;You&#8217;ve just got to understand, you allow this guy to leave, you better have a replacement. &#8230; That market we all know is a little bit tougher to play in if you don&#8217;t have the makeup to deal with the media, to deal with the down times when your feelings are hurt. We&#8217;ve seen that happen over the years, but I think <a class="r_lapi" href="">Jon Lester</a> &#8211; at some point they&#8217;ll get closer, they&#8217;re just a little off right now, but it&#8217;s the business side from the Red Sox front office.</p> <p>&#8220;There&#8217;s no doubt in my mind he&#8217;s been everything that they&#8217;ve wanted him since he&#8217;s been in this organization, and he&#8217;d be a tough one to let go.&#8221;</p> <p>For more team news, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-author"> <div class="field-label">Blog Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Meredith Perri </div> </div> </div> Blog red sox Other Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:07:06 +0000 440861 at