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A Closer Look Into the Bruins First Month of the Season.

By on November 23, 2016 at 8:22pm

Despite what the standings may show before the Thanksgiving break, this years Bruins team is on the right track. As of Nov. 23 the B’s currently hold the second Wild Card spot with 22 points and have been playing inspired hockey as of late. Let me speak for the majority of Bruins fans here when I say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised thus far since I wasn’t expecting this team to be as competitive as they are at this point.

My biggest concern entering this season, along with almost everyone who’s followed the B’s the past couple years, was their dull defensive group. On paper, they are one of the worst units in the entire NHL but so far, they’ve managed to not completely sink the teams and fans postseason aspirations. Granted they have had their moments where they look like they’re fishing for swordfish in their own end, however it hasn’t been as bad as it could be. Obviously, the white knight in this case has been the expected-unexpected emergence of Brandon Carlo.

The 19 year-old from Colorado Springs has stepped right into the top pairing alongside Zdeno Chara and has done just about everything that has been asked of him at this point. His big 6’5″ frame knows how to maneuver around the ice and his impressive poise combined with his simple, no-nonsense style of play has absolutely been a welcome addition to the Bruins backend. I will say that he certainly does look his age on the ice at times as he gets thrown around quite a bit and sometimes looks overwhelmed in the D-zone but all that comes down to inexperience and that will improve the more he plays. Basically, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say Carlo has been a huge reason this team has been as successful as they are in the early-goings of the year.

Behind Carlo and the other five defensemen on the ice stands a man that was on the verge of being run out of Boston this fall in Tuukka Rask. However, after amassing one of the best starts of his career this season recording an 11-3-0 record in 14 appearances, it would be foolish to overlook the contributions Rask has made to the B’s 11-8-0 overall record. To keep it simple, every game Rask hasn’t started the Bruins have lost, and those games were missing the same feel to it with Rask on the bench. Not only that, but for the most part, Rask has been an imposing presence in the crease making the majority of his saves look very easy. If Tuukka can keep this up he’s going to be in contention for the Vezina Trophy at the end of the season, alongside my favorite goalie in the league in Carey Price (sarcasm, of course) and could single-handily lead the B’s to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.

The last player I’ve noticed more than any other through 19 games has been David Pastrnak. I’m glad to be saying this because I really enjoy what Pastrnak has brought to the table since he’s been on the roster and I think he’s the true goal scorer the Bruins have missed since trading Tyler Seguin. Leading the team with 10 goals, Pastrnak has looked much more confident in the offensive zone stringing together some nice plays with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The one concern I have surrounding his game though is his health. Similar to Carlo, Pastrnak is a young kid still developing muscle and is more at risk to injury because he’s on the weaker side. It’s been an issue in the past and it has popped up already this season, so if anything will hold him back this year, it’ll be the injury bug. Other than that, it’s clear that his overall game is starting to show improvement as his back-checking alone has improved ten-fold, as well as his defensive game in general, and it’ll be critical once the big games roll around in February and March.

Like I said, while the B’s haven’t been tremendous so far, they also haven’t looked dreadful. This team really didn’t have much roster turnover and the new guys on the roster, with the exception of David Backes, are all young players still trying to fill a role so at least to me, it’s hard to be upset with the results we’ve gotten so far. As a team, they seem to be a lot more likeable than in years past and I feel like that comes from their tendency, at least until now, to not give up in games. Other than an embarrassing 5-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 25 and two 5-2 losses to the New York Rangers, every game they lost was a back-and-forth game that I felt they had a good chance to win.

Look at their most recent game against the St. Louis Blues, a couple bounces go their way and they more-likely-than-not walk away with a win against a predominantly top Western Conference team. A 3-2 loss at Montreal also comes to mind in this example as the B’s were the better team in this game, but just couldn’t muster a goal past Price. This could be the most important aspect to this years team because as we all know, part of the reason they’ve failed to make the playoffs was their inability to win big games down the stretch. If they are showing some heart now, I can’t imagine that’ll disappear once the games become even more important down the line.

When it all boils down to it in April, we’ll look back on this start and the towering play of Carlo, Rask’s extraordinary start, the superb play of Pastrnak, and the overall pride this year’s team possesses and be shocked. Hopefully it’ll be a positive shock because they didn’t get a higher seeding in the playoffs, and not a negative shock if they fail to make the postseason, again. Now that would be something I would not be thankful for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is Marcus Mariota a strong option this week?

The second of the dreaded bye-pocalypses is upon us as six of the better teams (fantasy-wise) have the week off. Running backs are getting hurt left and right and no one knows who will get the carries in a few contests. Here is my advice for Week 9 of the regular season:

Start ‘Em

Marcus Mariota (vs. San Diego): This game looks to be a contest in which Mariota will be throwing a ton and should find some favorable matchups for his wide receivers and tight ends. He might not get the win, but he should score fantasy points. Continue reading Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 9, 2016 »

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Should Alex Smith start on your team this week?

The midway point of the regular season in fantasy leagues is upon us and this could be the make or break week if you are on the 3-3 fence or belowe after the games end on Monday. Take heed of my advice below and lead your team to victory. (Or don’t, sometimes even the smartest people get some wrong).

Start ‘Em

Alex Smith (vs. Oakland): This game will likely turn into a shootout in the second half with Smith being the beneficiary of more throws down the field on a weak Raiders’ secondary.

Should Alex Smith start on your team this week?

Should Alex Smith start on your team this week?

Continue reading Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 6, 2016 »

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Matt Ryan has been the past fantasy QB this season. Will that continue?

The first week of more than two bye week teams is upon us and it is the make-or-break Week 5 matchups. With Seattle and Kansas City among the teams on bye this week, below are some options to replace those starters if needed. Try not to be that team with one or fewer wins heading into basically the mid-season point before the playoffs begin.

Start ‘Em

Carson Wentz (vs. Detroit): Wentz has provided the Eagles with a solid starting quarterback this season and the Lions’ defense is missing plenty of pieces. Expect a solid fantasy day from Wentz with the first of multi-game bye weeks. Continue reading Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 5, 2016 »

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David Ortiz IS October

October 6, 2016 at 4:30pm in Boston, Featured, MLB, Top Story
David Ortiz IS October

We’re back, baby! Tonight, Rick Porcello and his 22 wins will take on Trevor Bauer and the Indians at Progressive field in Cleveland. The Indians, led by former Red Sox manager and fan-favorite Terry Francona, will look to capture their first playoff victory since 2007. Francona, who led the Red Sox to two World Series titles (including the team’s first in 86 years) was “let go” after the Red Sox epic collapse down the stretch of the 2011 season. While the bad blood between Francona and the Red Sox organization seems to have dissipated tremendously since the breakup, I think it’s safe to say that Francona would love nothing more than to stick it to Red Sox brass, particularly John Henry.

That’s where David Ortiz comes in. The man who has carried this team and this city on his back since that magical run back in 2004 will look to fire up the magic one last time in his final postseason appearance. A World Series title would strengthen David’s case as one of, if not the greatest playoff performer of all-time. Additionally, it would cement his legacy as one of the three greatest Red Sox players to ever live.

David Ortiz IS October. October rolls around and David Ortiz’s eye lasers zero in on baseballs and send them to the moon. No pitcher is too clutch. No moment is too big. It’s time to ride Big Papi to the promise land one final time. God, am I going to miss this guy.

No beisbol is safe, no beisbol is safe.

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Is Jordan Howard the real deal? (USA Today)

Week 4 is finally upon us and if you are battling to be 1-3 rather than 0-4, then please take a look at my advice below. After a week off, it is time to get you ready for the dreadful bye weeks.

Start ‘Em

Brian Hoyer (vs. Detroit): Detroit has allowed at least two passing touchdowns every game this season. Hoyer looked good last week and this week could be an even better game for him. Continue reading Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 4, 2016 »

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Jose Fernandez

September 27, 2016 at 3:17pm in MLB, Opinion, Top Story

Jose Fernandez

On September 25, 2016 Major league baseball lost one of the greatest pitchers in the game.  Not only was Fernandez already one of the best pitchers in the game, but he had a very bright future.  Fernandez passed away around 3 in the morning on September 25 due to a tragic boating accident.  I woke up to this news on Sunday and I was completely devastated.  Being that he was only 24 years old, it seemed like he had a lot of great baseball left but now all we can think is what could have been.

Before I talk about how great a person he was, let’s talk about Jose Fernandez, the ace of the Miami Marlins.  In his short four year MLB career, Fernandez had a career record of 38-17 with an ERA of 2.58.  He also posted 538 strike outs.  This guy could throw heat and he was very electric.  In my mind he was easily in the top 5 of MLB pitchers right now.  Some of his career accomplishments, were winning the NL Rookie of the year in 2013 and being named to the all-star game in 2013 and 2016.  Not only did Fernandez bring dominant stuff to the mound but he also brought a great personality.  This guy loved baseball and he was always having fun.  He was also the Marlins biggest cheerleader.  He loved his teammates and his teammates loved him.  Sometimes he rubbed opposing players the wrong way but that was just him showing his emotions.  Fernandez was just a fun, loving player that would express how he felt about his performance or his teammates performance.

Jose Fernandez, the individual, was also great too.  Fernandez tried to escape from Cuba to America and failed three times.   On his fourth attempt, a person fell into the sea, and not knowing who it was, Fernandez, jumped into the water and was able to rescue the person and get them back into the boat.  The person he saved turned out to be his mother.  At only 15 years old, Fernandez, was already a hero for doing that.  Fernandez, his sister and his mother successfully made it to America and relocated in Tampa Bay.  Jose loved his family and his biggest fan was his grandmother.  His grandmother would climb to the roof of her house just to be able to listen to Fernandez pitch on the radio.  After six years apart, his grandmother was able to attend opening day in 2014 and watch her grandson pitch.  Fernandez pitched a great game that day and I believe part of the reason was because of his Grandmother being in attendance.

Jose Fernandez leaves his grandmother, mother, sister, and girlfriend behind.  One of the saddest things about Jose passing is that a week ago he announced on Instagram that his girlfriend was pregnant.  That child will never know his/her dad but will know how outstanding his/her father was not only as an MLB pitcher but as a human being.  The Marlins have already announced that they will retire the number 16 Fernandez jersey and I believe that is the right move.  He will never be forgotten by that franchise and will be watching down on that team.  Baseball will miss you Jose, keep smiling and forever Rest in Peace.

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