What To Expect of The 2017- 2018 Bruins

Ottawa Senators v Boston Bruins - Game Six

Photo credit: Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images

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.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#NHL #Bruins

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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

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

Celtics Offseason Preview

braddddd

Photo Credit: Markus Muzikants

The NBA draft has come and gone. There were some surprises including trades that did and didn’t happen. The Boston Celtics were the team in perhaps the most unique position.  Last year the Celtics finished first in the Eastern Conference and were eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.  However the Celtics entered the offseason with the number one overall pick in the draft and a lot of cap space. The Celtics traded the number one pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for more picks including the number three overall which they used to draft Duke forward Jayson Tatum. With the draft over the offseason has officially begun and the Celtics will be in the middle of everything.

With the Celtics treasure chest of draft picks they figure be involved in any rumor involving the trade of a superstar. They have already been mentioned in any rumors involving Indiana Pacers star Paul George and Jimmy Butler before he was traded from the Bulls to the Timberwolves on draft night. The Celtics are also expected to pursue Gordon Hayward in free agency whom head coach Brad Stevens coached when Hayward played at Butler.  Blake Griffin has also made it known that he would consider joining the Celtics as he was touched by the Celtics tribute to Paul Pierce when he returned to the Garden as a Clipper. These stars and many others who could be on the move are real possibilities for the Celtics.

Through the Celtics rebuild after the Big Three era ended General Manger  Danny Ainge has placed this team in the perfect position. They are one of the teams  with the most cap space and have an abundance of one thing every team wants which is draft picks. They have some very talented young players in Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Terry Rozier to go along with Isiah Thomas, Al Harford, and Avery Bradley. This team has far to go as during the Eastern Conference finals they were dominated by the Cavaliers. One big issue for the Celtics last year was rebounding. For the majority of the season the team’s leading rebounder was Avery Bradley. This shows how good a player Bradley is ;however a team’s shooting guard should not be it’s leading rebounder. The Celtics also need another shooter which is why Paul George makes sense. George  has one year left in his deal and has a strong desire to sign with the Lakers once he’s a free agent. This means the Celtics would have to surrender draft picks and young talent for a guy who could leave at the end of the season.

Regardless if any of these rumors come true it will be an interesting offseason for the Celtics.  They figure to come away with at least one big name. The only question whether or not it will be through free agency or via trade. Danny could also be extremely aggressive and add multiple big names; we’ll just have to see.

Written By:  Jamie Gatlin

#Boston #NBA #Celtics

 

Bogaerts Becoming Truly Elite

Xander

Photo Credit:  Dan Orencole

Xander Bogaerts is becoming one of the best players in baseball. The young shortstop came into the league with lofty expectations and struggled early on. In Bogaert’s first two years in the majors he failed to hit above .250.  Bogaerts followed that with a breakout 2015 campaign in which he hit .320. Bogaerts followed that up with an even greater campaign in 2016 in which he hit a career high 21 homers but only hit .290. This year Bogaerts is of to a tremendous start as he is hitting .319 and already has set a new career high in triples with 4.  Bogaerts is becoming one of the best shortstops in baseball not only because of his offense but his defense as well. This young superstar  is not without his faults.

Scouts have always seen Bogaerts as an elite hitter with good pop. He was not expected to hit 30 homeruns every year however 20 homeruns a year would not have surprised people. Bogaerts currently has four homeruns on the season and in his first four years in the majors he has hit more than ten homeruns only once.  This year the young shortstop is showing why that may not detrimental.  This year the Red Sox offense hasn’t been as potent as it was last year. This a result of all the young studs the Red Sox have finding their way and the fact that they are playing their first season without their franchise icon  David Ortiz who retired last year.

Bogaerts may not be the power hitter many envisioned but that may be okay. Even without his power your left with a shortstop who will drive in eighty runs while hitting over .300 and playing stellar defensive. The Red Sox are a team full of young stars in the form of Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Jackie Bradley Jr. to name a few. Bogaerts is showing why scouts have  always been so high on him regardless of the lack of power: he just can’t stop getting on base.

Written By; Jamie Gatlin

#RedSox #Boston

Red Sox Injuries Starting To Mount

wright

Photo Credit: Elise Amendola

So far this season the Red Sox offense has yet to get into a rhythm and the team seems to be suffering an injury every night. In the Sox game against the Orioles two night ago infielder Marco Hernandez was removed from the game due to a shoulder injury. Hernandez was filling in for Pablo Sandoval who is on the DL and has no set return date. The Sox also lost starter Steven Wright, an All-Star last year, for the remainder of the season due to a troublesome left knee. The Sox have options to replace Wright including starter Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick got the opportunity to hold down Wright’s spot but he gave up six runs in four innings of work against the Baltimore Orioles. The Sox also opened the season with two critical parts of their bullpen on the DL in Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg. The Red Sox will also be without starter David Price for at least another month. It will be critical for players to step up as this team battles injuries to these key players.

Entering this season the Red Sox were chosen by many to win it all after a blockbuster trade with the Chicago White Sox in which they acquired Chris Sale in exchange for a package of top prospects including infielder Yoan Moncada. Pitchers such as Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez have stepped up amid the injuries after an inconsistent 2016 season for both. They will both be counted on heavily until Price returns from his injury. The Sox still have arguably the best outfield in baseball and a above average infield even without Pablo Sandoval. If the Sox can battle these injuries then they will be a scary team when everyone is healthy, a team that many predicted to win it all.

Written by: Jamie Gatlin

#RedSox