What To Expect of The 2017- 2018 Bruins

Tonight hockey returns to Boston as the Bruins open their season against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the TD Garden. The Bruins did not make many additions this offseason as their biggest signing was the resigning of their young star David Pastranak who had a career high 34 goals last year. The Bruins were somewhat limited this offseason as they had 10 million in cap space. 6.6 million of that will go to Pastranak with his new extension that will keep him in Boston for the next six years. The Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney is hoping the younger players can step up and justify his choice to not bring in much outside help. Some young players the Bruins are counting on include Anders Bjork, Jake Debrusk, and Jakob Forsbacka Karlson. The Bruins are hoping these young players can be the Bruins future as veterans Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Zdeno Chara are all in the latter part of their careers.

This Bruins team is predicted by many to make the playoffs and they certainly have the talent. They will need the young players to step up because if they don’t this offense will have a very hard time scoring. It also key for the Bruins that backup goalie Anton Khudobin builds on his exceptional ending to last season. The Bruins number one goalie Tuukka Rask posted a career high in wins last year however for the third straight season his save percentage dipped. In recent years Rask has been burdened with a heavy workload leading to a decline in some of his numbers. This has caused many to question if he still is one of the top goaltenders in the league. If Khudobin can give the Bruins 20-25 starts that will give Rask more rest and will allow him to return to his Vezina form which the Bruins will need come playoff time.

Bruins fans could be in store for a very exciting year if these young players play to their potential. If they do not it could be a long season and the Bruins may find themselves rebuilding by the end. Tonight is when he games start to count and the Bruins will be looking to start with a win and two points.

Photo credit: Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images

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Patriots Make A Statement

Brandin Cooks, Corey Moore

Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Michael Dwyer

This past Sunday was unlike any other both NFL players and fans have ever seen. As most people have heard last week President Donald Trump was very critical when asked about players who were sitting during the national anthem to raise awareness for racial inequality in the United Sates.  Trump said that players who kneel during the national anthem should be pulled of the field and fired. This is not a political blog nor a political post however Trumps comments were both uncalled for and wrong.  when moments on Sunday occur such as the solidarity that was shown it can’t be ignored. On sunday NFL teams showed that they stood by each other with displays of unity. The Patriots players and team staff linked arms as some players kneeled during the national anthem. Many team’s did something similar as it varied throughout the league. Even though sundays are for football for a brief few minutes on Sunday these players reminded fans that they are more than just athletes.

With Politics aside once the Patriots and Texans game started fans were in for a wild game that reminded us why Tom Brady will apparently never age. So far this season the problem for the Patriots has been their defense and on Sunday it was the same. The Texans Rookie Deshuan Watson threw for over three hundred yards including two touchdowns. The rookie Quarterback was known for his elusiveness in college and on Sunday the Patriots had no answer. Even when the Patriots defenders got pressure on Watson he was able to avoid it giving his receivers more time to get open.  Heading into the last five minutes of the game it looked as if the Patriots were going to lose the game making them 1-2 and creating doubts about this team after an offseason which brought talk of an undefeated season. The Patriots however still had one more chip to play and that was Brady. Like he’s done so many times Brady rescued this team. The Patriots quarterback threw a 25 yard touchdown pass to receiver Brandon Cooks with 23 seconds left to put the Patriots up by 36- 33.

It was Brady’s fifth touchdown of the game as he also threw for 378 yards. Had the Patriots lost this game this team would be viewed very differently today. So far this season Brady leads all quarterback’s in yards and he doesn’t look like he’s slowing down a bit. Eventually Brady will start to show his age however at this point at 40 he looks better than ever. The decline that everyone is talking about with perhaps the greatest quarterback ever seems to be far away. As Brady showed on that last drive people should not doubt him or his team.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#Patriots #NFL

Bruins Change The Narrative

Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators - Game Five

Photo Credit: Chad Zimmermann

Today the Boston Bruins made a move that has been taking them all offseason to complete. The Bruins resigned forward David Pastrnak to a six year deal worth 40 million dollars . At the end of the deal Pastrnak will still be only 28 looking for an even bigger deal. Called Pasta by many in New England the young talented forward is coming off a breakout season in which he scored 34 goals while dishing out 36 assists in 75 games. This shows a shift for the Bruins as an organization. For many years and rightfully so the Bruins have gained a reputation for letting their young stars walk rather than extending them. They have traded young players such as Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, Phil Kessel, and Joe Thornton back in the early 2000’s. All these players have had very productive years since leaving the Bruins while the Bruins haven’t received a player in any of the deals that’s made the impact those players have on their new teams.

Last summer the Bruins extended Brad Marchand after he had a breakout year to a eight year 49 million dollar deal. Now with the Bruins extending Pastrnak they have two impactful forwards committed to the Bruins for at least the next six years.  They also did not have to break the bank for either of these players as both deals leave the Bruins with plenty of cap room to improve this team in the coming years. This helps the Bruins who have many young players in the minors who could be worthy of extensions in the near future such as Charlie Mcavoy.

Extending Pastrnak shows that the Bruins may be changing the narrative when it comes to keeping their homegrown players. It may only be two but for the second straight offseason the Bruins decided to keep their young star rather than trading him.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#Bruins

Takeaways from Patriots week one Loss to the Chiefs

NFL: AFC Divisional-Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots opened their season on Thursday with an embarrassing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots were dominated in every aspect of the game. Their defense was picked apart as the Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith finished with 368 yards and four touchdowns. Alex Smith has always been considered a solid quarterback but he rarely has games like this. In Smith’s ten year career he has thrown for more than 300 yards in just five games. Smith was not the Patriots only problem as rookie Kareem Hunt ran for 148 yards in his NFL debut. As the Patriots defense struggled the offense did not do much to help as although the Patriots put up 27 points the offense rarely got in synch. The Patriots scored just 10 points in the second half while the Chiefs scored 28. Brady did not play up to his normal expectations and the offensive line struggled to protect Brady.

It however is not time for Patriots fans to panic. The Patriots entered the season as the defending champs and many experts have picked them to repeat. The Patriots had a tremendous offseason in which they added star receiver Brandon Cooks, Cornerback Stephen Gilmore, and a number of talented running backs. These additions have had many people thinking the Patriots could go 19-0. That will not happen but that does not mean that this Patriots team wont be very good. It will take time for this team to form an identity as many of these starters did not play much during the preseason.  Even though Brady did not play to his normal standards he also was not horrible. Patriots fans may be frustrated but this is not how this team will look at the end of the season. They will be one of the best teams in the NFL and this opening night loss will could be considered a wakeup call when all is said and done.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#NFL #Patriots

Bills Begin Rebuild

sammy

Photo Credit: Matthew Fairburn

On Friday the Bills surprised the world as they traded two of their top players. The Bills traded talented but often injured receiver Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams and cornerback Ronald Darby to the Philadelphia Eagles. Both these players were arguably the Bill’s best players at their position for the Bills .The Bills received more draft picks in both these trades as well as receiver Jordan Matthews from the Eagles. No matter what the Bills say this upcoming season is not one in which they will make the playoffs. The Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor now must prove himself without one of the games top receivers at his disposal. Although this was a surprising move it is one that needed to happen. The Bills have the longest streak without a playoff win in football as entering this season it has been twenty one years since the Bills last won a playoff game. That streak will continue but after years of futility the Bills now at least have defined the direction this team is going in.

With these trades finalized the Bills received Matthews to replace Watkins and cornerback E. J. Gaines from the Rams to replace Darby. The Bills also received draft picks which was essential. The Bills now have two first round picks in the next two drafts and could receive more depending on any additional moves they make. The Bills receiving corps now consists of Mathews, Anquan Boldin, and rookie Zay Jones. That is not a horrible group but replacing Watkins with Matthews makes this group less dangerous. Next season will be a tough season for Bills fans. The front office has made it clear that improving this team in the long-term is more important than this upcoming season. If the Bills can hit on the picks they received then this trades will receive good reviews in the future and for the Bills hopefully some playoff wins . If the Bills however fail to draft the right players than their playoff drought will continue as the players the Bills gave up flourish.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#NFL #Bills

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