You may know him as the “Fist Bump” kid or USA Today’s fan of the year. Boston Bruins fans and the people of New England just know him as little Liam Fitzgerald. The boy that has taken on Downs Syndrome AND Cancer like a champion.
He does not know the word QUIT.
Learn more about this amazing little boy from ESPN’s E:60 documentary.
The Boston Celtics have to find a way to contain the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Big Three.
The Boston Celtics enter their opening-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers with all eyes in Boston on them for the first time this season. Throughout the 2014-’15 season, the Celtics have been seen as rebuilding while the New England Patriots captured Super Bowl XLIX on February 1st and the Boston Bruins failed to make the playoffs last Saturday.
In this series, pundits have mainly picked the Cavaliers to finish the series quickly either in four or five games. Celtics play-by-play broadcaster Mike Gorman (along with the most optimistic Celtics fans) are the only people who are picking the Celtics.
The pressure is on the superstar-laden Cavaliers. LeBron James signed with the Cavaliers last summer and immediately made the Cavaliers contenders for the Larry O’Brien trophy. They added forward Kevin Love in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves and they already had 2014 NBA All-Star MVP Kyrie Irving on their roster.
Meanwhile the Celtics were 16-30 after January and left for dead in the bottom of the Eastern Conference. They shipped Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks and Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies before Super Bowl Sunday. The Celtics are 24-12 since February 1st. They have beaten playoff teams like the Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, and New Orleans Pelicans. They also built a big advantage over the Golden State Warriors before falling in the final few minutes. The Celtics are among the hottest and most interesting teams in this year’s postseason. Brad Stevens is a candidate for Coach of the Year.
Here are three intriguing matchups between the Celtics and Cavliers:
1. James versus Celtics’ defense: It will be interesting to see if the Celtics employ any new wrinkles against James because they don’t really have a one-on-one defender to stop LeBron (nobody really does). The biggest key is to limit the turnovers and not let James get into the open court. The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach had an interesting article in Saturday’s newspaper about James’ shooting percentage from the perimeter. Himmelsbach wrote that James is shooting 56.5 percent when he has a defender guarding him within two feet and his percentage falls to 49.5 percent when the nearest defender is at least six feet away from him. Obviously, the Celtics would like to make James shoot jumpers in the half-court, but that is easier said than done against the 6-foot-8-inch, 250-pound battering ram. The Celtics will likely seek a rotation of Evan Turner, Jae Crowder, and Brandon Bass to defend James. Read more
Being a Bruins fan right now sucks, as we are watching other teams play in the second season. But there is one thing we can do to ease the pain, that is to root against the Canadiens and their whiny, arrogant fans.
There are a lot of words that could be used to describe the 2014-15 season of the Boston Bruins. ‘Successful’ would not be one of them. Coming off of a Presidents’ Trophy a season ago, big things were expected from the Black and Gold, but they never got to showcase their full potential as injuries to several key players derailed their season and now there is only one team from the Garden that is playoff bound. Whether Claude Julienand Peter Chiarellireturn in 2015 is still up in the air, but the team did announce Monday that it will be parting ways with longtime fourth-liners and unrestricted free agents, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell, as they look to improve in the goal-scoring department for next season. Before we completely turn the page to next year, however, let’s look back at the final two weeks of play, which featured a teenaged rookie setting a Bruins’ record and joining some pretty impressive company in the process, the first NHL goal for one young defenseman, the team’s most shots on goal in two years, a dismal scoreless streak against one playoff-bound team, a woeful piece of all-time history relating to a particular season series and Boston becoming the first team to miss the postseason the year after earning one of the league’s most impressive trophies. For the final time in 2014-15, this is Boston Bruins: Final Two Weeks By The Numbers.
The Bruins head off the ice after a disappointing end to the 2014-15 season.
0: The Bruins did not allow the Rangers (this year’s Presidents’ Trophy winners) to have a power-play opportunity in their 4-2 win on March 28. It was the first time since Nov. 10 against the Devils that the Bruins’ opponent did not have a single power play and just the second time this season.
1: Zach Trotman scored his first career NHL goal – the game winner – to beat the Red Wings late in the third period on April 2.
1: The Wings led the Bruins, 1-0, after two periods in that game before the B’s rallied to win with three goals in the third. It marked the first time this season that the Wings lost a game in regulation in which they led after two periods (21-1-4).
.167: The Bruins had a .167 winning percentage this season when Torey Krug committed a penalty – the lowest of any regular player on the team. Zdeno Chara (.214) was the next lowest.
1.85: New York’s Henrik Lundqvist came into the March 28 meeting against Boston with a 1.85 goals-against average in 36 career appearances against the B’s before surrendering four goals in the loss.
One thing is clear: if the Bruins are going to make the playoffs this season, they are going to have to be nearly perfect in their eight remaining games. In the last two weeks, they have fallen out of the playoff picture, missed a chance to sweep the season series from one division rival for the first time ever, surrendered a half dozen goals to another division foe for the first time in almost a decade, got their first shutout in one Eastern city in nearly four decades and still have not scored a goal this year against one team they are chasing. This is Boston Bruins: Last Two Weeks By The Numbers.
The Bruins have been bumped out of the playoffs, but Tuukka Rask has been far from the problem.
0: The Bruins shut out the Penguins, 2-0, on March 14 and then were shut out by the same score at the hands of the Capitals in their next game the following night. It marked the first time the B’s were involved in shutouts in consecutive games since Nov. 19 and 21, 2011 with 6-0 and 1-0 wins over the Islanders and Canadiens. It was also the first time they won a game via a shutout and then lost their next via a shutout since March 24 and 26, 2010 against the Canadiens and Rangers.
1.35: Ottawa’s Andrew Hammond came into last Thursday’s win over the B’s with a 1.35 goals-against average in 12 starts before surrendering four to Boston.