Bruins Go All In At The Deadline

The Bruins this season have been overachievers. Coming into the season many believed this was a year for the kids to get acclimated to the NHL and see if they can hang with the big guns. They are currently sitting third in the Atlantic Division with an impressive record of 37-15-8. No one can deny the fact that under Cassidy the Bruins play an exciting fast pace game. The black and gold are the perfect mix of veterans and rookies, who feed off each other, and have been the story of the NHL, second to the success of the  Las Vegas Golden Knights. At the deadline the Bruins were busy adding depth at multiple positions for the playoff run. Let’s look at of the trades Don Sweeny has made to bulk up the Bruins as they look to have an extended stay in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Bruins acquire Rick Nash from the New York Rangers for Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Lindgren, 2018 first pick and 2018 7th round pick
I’m a huge fan of this trade for many reasons. First off, the Bruins got a top six forward who has been a well-known goal scorer in the NHL for years. Nash has 18 goals and 10 assists this year. He is a big body that slots perfectly with David Krecji and Jake DeBrusk. Nash is the type of player that works best in front of the goal and with quick hands. He is also a physical presence that is much needed on that line. Now I like to be on the positive side, you must be thinking “wow a Boston writer that is not a negative Nancy all the time?”, but this trade some are calling a robbery by the Rangers. The Rangers receive Spooner, who was greatly overachieving this year. Spooner has 9 goals this year and 18 assists. He was the perfect set up guy for the line but is not a guy you can lean on for constant scoring and cannot take over a game, unlike Nash. The draft picks might be considered what put this deal over the top for a rental in Nash. However, the Bruins farm system is a spring of young talent like: JFK, Fitzgerald, Bjork, Agostino and you know the USA leading goal scorer in the Olympics Ryan Donato? Bruins draft pick. So, the Bruins could afford losing two picks and a solid defensive product in Ryan Lindgren. And good-bye to Matt Belesky, thanks for nothing. Before yesterday’s game Nash said, “I wanted to go to a place that wanted me and a place that had a great chance to win.” Well you’re in the right place. And for those nay Sayers, saying Nash is washed up. He is far from it. If you watch the games, you see that Nash barley misses opportunities to get on the score sheet and does the little things that help a team win.

Bruins acquire Nick Holden from the Rangers for Rob O’ Gara and 2018 third round pick
A depth move for the Bruins as it is no secret that the Bruins always want help on the blue line. I’m not sure if Holden will get consistent playing time. In New York he played on the  first line time with then Ranger teammate Ryan McDonagh. A solid player that can cover the defense if someone goes down with an injury. Hate that the Bruins gave up O’Gara. I watched a few games while he played at Yale and he could control the game from the blue line out.
Bruins trade Frank Vatrano to the Florida Panthers for a 2018 third round pick
Also hate to see the hometown kid go, but he was not going to get the playing time he needed. And the times he was in, he didn’t contribute because he is used to play consistent minutes. Might as well get something for him.
Bruins acquire Tommy Wingels from the Chicago Blackhawks for 2019 conditional fifth round pick
Another buy low, depth deal. Wingels has 7 goals and 5 assists in 57 games for the Hawks. Looks to be a solid third line winger, but once again do you want to sub in him for lines that have been working so far?

By: Nick Riley

Photo Credit: New York Daily News

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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

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

Red Sox Make a Statement

Killer B's

Photo Credit: Billie Weiss/ Boston Red Sox/ Getty Images

Yesterday was the trade deadline for Major League Baseball and while teams such as the Yankees and Dodgers added high impact pieces the Red Sox made one move. They acquired set up man Addison Reed from the New York Mets to improve the bullpen. The Red Sox did not add any offensive pieces other than Eduardo Nunez who they acquired last week. While many people wanted the Sox to acquire a high impact bat the improvement on offense needs to come within. The Sox young core has struggled this season which is why the Red Sox rank near the bottom of almost every offensive category. A return to form from their young core Is better than any possible trade the Sox could have made at the deadline. Last night the Sox rewarded Dombrowski’s faith as they broke through in one of the biggest games of the year.

Last night the Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians in a rematch of last years playoffs. The sox sent Doug Fister to the mound who has struggled mightily in a Red Sox uniform. Yesterday  when the Sox needed Fister to step up he did exactly that. No one was expecting him to give this team a chance to win and he did exactly that and more. Fister held the Indians scoreless for seven innings before giving up two runs in the eighth. His terrific start was backed by the awakening of the Red Sox offense. The Sox were lead by Mookie Betts who appears to have broken out of his mini slump. Betts was the runner up for the AL MVP last year and showed why last night as he drove in three of the Sox six runs. The Sox offense was also fueled by the rookie Rafael Devers who had four hits. Devers was the Sox top ranked prospect and is showing why the team was against involving him in any trade. Devers has ten hits in his first twenty four at bats in the majors including two homeruns. Eduardo Nunez continued his hot start in a Red Sox uniform as he had three hits raising his average with the Red Sox to .317.

Last night the Sox showed the offensive team that they’re capable of being. In order for the Red Sox to be successful they need to consistency play like they did last night.  The Red Sox have all the pieces to be a contender they just need to show it. If the Sox can play up to their capabilities then a deep playoff run is in store and the only thing stopping them from that possibility is themselves.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#RedSox

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