B’s Beat: Bruins Sign Simon Gagne To One Year Deal

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The Boston Bruins have announced today the signing of veteran forward Simon Gagne to a one year $600,000 contract. This deal comes on the heels of another disappointing loss where the offense failed to get on track for the third straight game. It is also a necessity given the lack of production from any of the young forwards who have made the club out of camp.

 

Guys like Matt Fraser and Ryan Spooner had solid training camps which earned them NHL jobs, but have not been able to provide the secondary scoring the team needs right now as guys like Milan Lucic and David Krejci recover from lingering injuries.

 

Simon Gagne isn’t necessarily going to solve the B’s offensive woes, not by a long shot really, and I’m not really sure when he will play, but he will be a good veteran option in place of the above named youngsters. He will also be helpful on the team’s piss poor powerplay.

 

I imagine that when he starts he will see time on the B’s fourth line and slowly work his way up. I would ultimately like to see him slot in with Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly, perhaps in an attempt to finally let Loui Eriksson mesh with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

 

Gagne has 288 goals, 309 assists, and a +129 in 799 NHL games. He is making his return to the NHL after sitting out all of last season.
 

In other news; the Bruins has also put Bobby Robins on waivers for designation to the Providence Bruins, and sent Jordan Caron down. It would appear as if both players’ NHL dreams are in jeopardy.

 

You can follow me on Twitter here: @Mattjacob64

 

Ridley & Mayo OUT for the Year

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There were lots of positives to be taken from the Patriots 37-22 victory over the Bills on Sunday. However, that big win came with a huge price tag, as both Stevan Ridley, and Jerod Mayo were injured during the game.

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After further tests were performed today, it is being reported that both will miss the rest of the season.

For Ridley, it was a torn ACL and MCL that he suffered during one of his 10 rushes in the win, and its disappointing to see since it looked like he was finding his stride this year along with the other running backs on the Patriots. Known for his amount of fumbles, its should be noted he didn’t have 1 fumble in his 6 games this year.

Jerod Mayo will be placed on the Injured Reserve almost a day to the year since he was last year, when he got injured versus the New Orleans Saints in week 6 last year. Mayo loss was felt by the defense last year, and there’s no question it will be felt this year instead.

For the next 10 weeks, the Patriots will need other guys to step up and fill the holes left by both Mayo, and Ridley.

Red Sox Offseason Outlook: Rotation

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Kelly could be a sleeper breakout candidate in 2015

The starting rotation was a source of major turnover for the Red Sox in 2014. By the first day of August the team had already lost 80% of its opening day rotation, and the future was well on the way. In fact, the team turned to a six-man rotation in September, in order to get a more accurate looks at the abundance of pitching prospects from Pawtucket. Those same prospects should be in the mix for rotation jobs in spring training, but the starting rotation is an area that the Red Sox plan to aggressively upgrade over the course of the offseason through both the free agent and trade markets.



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Internally, the Red Sox have several candidates who seem to be locked into rotation spots for 2015. Clay Buchholz is under contract and the Red Sox have shown absolutely no willingness to move him to the bullpen, plus Buchholz flashed plus stuff as recently as 2013. These factors, along with the fact that his recent performance makes him very difficult to trade, make it a near certainty that Buchholz will open the 2015 season in the rotation. Joe Kelly also represents a likely incumbent rotation candidate. While his numbers in Boston were not spectacular (6.02 K/9, 4.70 BB/9, 4.11 ERA, 4.41 xFIP in 10 starts), they were still solid for a mid-rotation pitcher. Kelly displayed plus stuff at times, and after adjusting to the American League over the final two months of the season, his rotation spot should be virtually guaranteed as well.

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Boston Bruins 2014/15 Season Preview

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Today marks the beginning of the Boston Bruins’ 2014-15 season. The offseason hasn’t necessarily been filled with a ton of moves, but training camp has had plenty of activity which will impact this season.

The biggest move came just days ago in the form a trade. Johnny Boychuk was shipped to the New York Islanders in exchange for two second round draft picks and a conditional third. This trade has been met with a bunch of criticism, but Peter Chiarelli didn’t really have a choice. He got a great return from a player who he simply would have lost at the end of the season.

It is easy to say that he could have gotten rid of Chris Kelly, Matt Bartkowski, Adam McQuaid, or Gregory Campbell, but he would have a very difficulty time moving any of those guys for a variety of reasons. Whether it be cap hit, no movement clause, injury history, or something else; the Bruins’ brass didn’t really have much a choice other than Boychuk. Most team’s probably didn’t want anything to do with those other guys.

So where does this move leave the rest of the team’s defense going into the season? Well… for starters it makes the D a little weaker. I don’t think they are going to crash and burn by any means, but losing a warrior like Boychuk does hurt.

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Wipe Away The Tears & Say Goodbye To Johnny Boychuk (VIDEO)

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Johnny Boychuk, we hardly knew you indeed. In just 6 short years in the Hub of hockey, your thunderous hits and laser like slappers made you a fan favorite of Boston Bruins fans everywhere. You were a blue collar worker on skates and gave your all for your teammates.

Johnny Rocket…

Boom Boom Boychuk…

You will be missed…

Happy trails #55….happy trails….

Pot of Baked Beans Goes To Boston Bruins Reddit!

Perfect Patriots Pounce On Bengals!

 

The Cincinnati Bengals walked in to Gillette Stadium licking their chops at the possibility of defeating the New England Patriots in their own back yard but walked out on Foxborough with the same deflated feeling that the Pats had experienced themselves last week. Defeat to the Chiefs 41-14 had raised many questions over the brightness of the future for the legendary duo of Brady and Belichick but the two executed the game plan brilliantly as they rallied to an early 14-0 first quarter lead against the Bengals.

Brady was back to his magical best completing 23 of 35 passing attempts for 2 touchdowns to Tim Wright who had a breakout night and Rob Gronkowski who looks to be back to his best which is fantastic news for the Patriots. I called for Timothy Wright’s breakout game to be last week but it came last night and whilst many have questioned the Logan Mankins trade which exposed New England’s offensive line problems after his performance last night everyone will be praising the genius of Belichick as Wright, the man who moved the other way as part of that trade with Tampa Bay, had an Aaron Hernandez type performance and had 5 receptions for 85 yards and one score.

This helped Rob Gronkowski get free and avoid double coverage throughout the game with the big man catching 6 passes from Brady including the catch which saw Brady eclipse 50,000 passing yards during his NFL career becoming only the 6th quarterback to do so; Gronk finished the night with 100 yards, one score and averaged 16.7 yards per catch. The fantastic performances by the two tight ends along with an inspired performance by the offensive line which helped Brady get his flow back in the passing game as well as also helping the team establish the running game, something New England fans have been crying out for.

The 6th QB to reach the landmark for passing yards

 

Josh McDaniels made the right play calls and used the one-two punch of Ridley and Vereen to devastating effect with the two combining on the ground for 203 rushing yards; Ridley had over 100 and got one touchdown. The effectiveness in the run game really did give the Patriots the balance they needed to win the game and is something they have been renowned for having over the years. The passing game had 8 different receivers haul in a catch from Brady with the efficient display on offense seeing them post 36 points with Stephen Gotskowski kicking all 5 of his field goals successfully.

The other touchdown was a fumble return by Kyle Arrington who had a brilliant night on the defense. The defense did what I and many people expected after last weeks humiliation if not better by bouncing back in style with Darrelle Revis having his best game in a Patriot uniform to date limiting AJ Green in the passing game. Coach Belichick gave him the freedom to match up with the receiver one on one with Revis winning the battle throughout the game; Revis also had a forced fumble on a night which saw the Patriots force 3 turnovers with Jamie Collins causing the other. The Patriots also managed to get a pass rush going which unsettled Andy Dalton at times who despite actually having a good night personally, 15/24 for two touchdowns, suffered as the rest of the team around him depleted.

The 43-17 victory is just the bounce back performance that the New England Patriots needed to silence the doubters and get their season back up and running. They now sit joint first in the AFC East with a 3-2 record ahead of two divisional games coming up against the Bills next Sunday and the New York Jets the following week on Thursday Night Football. Before the Chiefs game I sang the Patriots praises regarding their ability of performing under the lights of prime time television and while last week didn’t go too well for them they sure as hell did last night! Brady now owns a 13-8 record on Sunday Night Fooball and the Patriots are an NFL best 38-9 in the month of October since 2003 including a home record of 23-1 in that time which is very impressive.

Brady was all fired up after guiding New England to victory

Brady himself knows there’s a long way to go on the season but to beat a team that many had down as the most complete in the conference has to boost morale; this victory was New England’s 32nd straight regular season victory at home against AFC opposition. That record will definitely be put to the test in week 9 when they host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos which comes after the two divisional matchups mentioned earlier on and just after a home encounter against the Chicago Bears. That means that 3 of the Patriots next 4 games are at Gillette Stadium which could give this team even more confidence before they head in to their bye week come week 10.

So Brady and co are back with a vengeance with the quarterback’s career record after a loss now standing at 35 wins with just 8 losses (won last 9). As well as this since 2009 in 33 games Brady is 29-4 throwing 65 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions with a QB rating of 112. Anyone who questioned the Patriots will now surely feel foolish and the team will now have their road trip to Buffalo in sight as they look to take control of the division which this win many analysts and experts will expect them to do. This may have been just one game but it showed the heart as well as the spirit that this New England team has and that is something you cannot teach and will definitely come in hand throughout the long regular season and more importantly come playoff time.

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