Getting Back to it, really this time (Part XVII)

Well, well, well I am back. For good this time! After the hustle and the bustle of the 9-5 grind, of which I still am going to do, I have decided to take this hobby back up again. Luckily for me, sports don’t sto- oh shit they did that one time this year- anyway sports was the main focus I followed when writing this blog but I may venture into a few other realms as I take this up again. So without further ado – the song of the post, and how I am I feeling having caught the blog itch again.

Starting off with tonight, the Celtics blew a f’n amazing chance to close the series out. Granted, it’s tough when you’re playing two teams at the same time, the The Topeka Referees and the Toronto Raptors. All complaints aside because this is a reentry post, but I’ll be honest here, the Celtics are getting out coached right now. I don’t know if it’s cybermetrics or sabermenstration but I’ll tell you that Nick Nurse is shouting his way to the Finals right now. You have Lowry their best player with 5 fouls in 2OT and you just simply do not attack him? You let the germanic Fab Melo ‘catch and shoot’ with 6 seconds left on the clock? You have you brightest young star falter in primetime? You don’t draw a play up for Jaylen Brown at all after 8 mins left in the 4th quarter?! Kemba disappeared faster than this months direct deposit. Brad, what is u doin’ bb? JFCFGS. Game 7.

The Bruins will get a longer separate post. However it sounds like they are going to be re-hauling pretty heavily based off of the things I have seen lately with all the zoom calls. Admittedly I didn’t watch all of them start to finish but oddly enough the Bruins haven’t said much on the future of Jake Debrusk, who, while a streaky player, has tremendous upside and is showing shades of Blake Wheeler (and Reilly Smith). If they trade him now, he will play motivated the rest of his career and torture the Bruins any time they face each other. Can’t shake the feeling they could ship him west to Alberta to have his dad call his games. If it returns Brock Boeser, I feel… okay about it. Of course it will not be a straight up one for one, more would have to go back. I honestly think that they look to retool internally, free up some cap space by not resigning Krug and chase Taylor Hall for a 3 year 6.9M/Year hit. Stictly because I love imagining lines:

Marchand – Bergeron – Studnicka
Hall – Krejci – Pastrnak
Debrusk – Coyle – Kase / Bjork
Ritchie/Frederic – Kuraly – Wagner / Seneshyn

Gryz – McAvoy
Carlo – Vaak – Zboril
Chara – Clifton – Lauzon

Rask – Halak – Swayman (if he stars)

The Red Sox are in a similar boat. Yikes for the future but let’s see this thing play out. As one of my last posts stated, f*** the ownership – I do not find joy in Red Sox baseball anymore thanks to you, Fenway Group. And if we’re being honest, no one does anymore for all of baseball. Its all about money filtering up to you greedy bar owners. Yep I said it. Fenway Park is Boston’s 4th most expensive bar. It’s no longer about the baseball or the product or bringing pride to the city it’s simply simply simply about the bottom line and Sweet Caroline (bah-bah-crickets). And thank the baseball gods that this is the smartest city in America and your truest fans won’t come back when you start doing well. We realize what we are to you and you should be ashamed. You are not the almighty deity that brought the World Series to the Sox in ’04, David Ortiz is, the fans are, the atmosphere of legitimately caring for the team was. F*** the Red Sox Ownership.

The Patriots, missing a legit god, are still poised to do very well in today’s NFL. The moves Bill made in the offseason and the talent they have on the trenches and the secondary make this team quietly good. If McDaniels and Bill can coach Cam Newton into some patience and trust in the systems they have set forth, I see a very scary offense. There’s a lot of unproven talent on both sides of the ball and this season some teams might overlook them (just like the Falcons did Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl). So I do see a slide back from the Pats this year but at the same time I think they will have some players shine and make some noise and could rally around Julian Edelman and Devin McCourty as proven leaders and proven winners.

Alrighty, I must sign off for now. I am committing to be back this weekend with the recap of the Celtics blowing a 2-0 lead.
– Lomonte

As Hockey Season Draws Near

Welcome back, I see you’re reading again, this one will be a little more laser focused than my last post. Without further ado the song of the post is Your Song by Elton John. So click away, drink your beer, sing along with Elton and read my ramblings.

A few days away from Bruins training camp and we have an issue. David Pastrnak is still unsigned (as a Restricted Free Agent no less)! He, of a 70 point season at the age of 21, has a bright bright future in front of him, just like his grin. pasta teeth

The Bruins failure with young exceptional talent of the past several years has been chronicled quite well, I needn’t dwell on the matter. However, this one seems worse than the others because when Kessel, Seguin and Hamilton, there were rumblings of their flaws within the Bruins system(s). David Pastrnak on the other hand is a fan favorite, team player (despite occasional defensive woes) and he is very happy here in Boston.

I said I wouldn’t dwell on the matter — here we are mid-September and we have heard from countless people on the Bruins beat that the next generation of talent is coming through. Well, let’s get Pastrnak signed and let him get chemistry with these guys. Out with the old, in with the new. I, as the pro-bono armchair GM, would like some changes on the bench. If you have to sell low on a few of these players, by all means, sell low.

Before getting to the guys I’d like off the team, for sake of a youth movement; let’s breakdown the currently projected lines and pairings.

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak; Marchand and Bergeron are one of the great duos the modern sport is seeing, there’s no need to break up what works but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bruce Cassidy throws a wrench at the vets to see how they handle it. I do expect Pastrnak on this line because when they were all together last season they made defenses quiver. Bergeron had injuries last season and is sure to be ready to rip. Still the issue is that 1 out of 3 is not signed.

DeBrusk-Krejci-Bjork; Krejci is the only known commodity in the NHL here. However, with injury problems here and there the past few seasons and slow linemates on either side of him; I see these two rookies firstly making the team and secondly, meshing well with the Czech. Bjork left Notre Dame and a possible Olympic roster slot to sign with the Bruins and he should aim to prove it as a top-6 guy. DeBrusk has been the twinkle of the Bruins beat guy’s eye and I believe he’ll push for a spot, make it and show he’s ready. He and Bjork do have three zone potential and this line could be solid all-around.

Vatrano-Spooner-Heinen; I was tempted to put JFK on this line but I think he needs more time down in the A. Spooner and Vatrano being14-vatrano-rc_1 offense first forwards I think Heinen being a scoring threat, this line could be pretty potent. The big IF is, can they play defense? I think given Spooner’s experience, his past coach and his desire to be noticed as a top 2 center in this league he will benefit by being on his own without a safety back-checking veteran on his line.

Kuraly-Nash-Acciari; Noel Acciari is coming into this season healthy and with a new paycheck and should ‘lead’ the fourth line. Sean Kuraly looked like he could spark the team when needed as proven with his playoff performance, however it wasn’t much for Erik Karlsson and company. Nash and he could swap for faceoffs as well as either one being bumped up a line if Spooner has his cold streaks. This line could become a fan favorite as they bring the intensity and compete every shift.

If you’re still here shocking predictions are ahead as we reach the defensive pairings.

Chara-McAvoy; The captain and the kid, both studs but in different decades. Chara hasn’t been his beastly self since the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs and McAvoy is ready to play and compete for perhaps as long as the giant he’ll be paired with. I expect to see Chara decline greatly this year so I’d imagine he’ll get bumped down as Krug and Carlo bring up their games.

Krug-Carlo; That brought me to the next pairing; Krug and Carlo. Speedy and confident will blend well with young and steady. This pairing has sleeper potential to distribute lots of points if teams over-look Krug as they have.

McQuaid/Miller-Grzelyk; 2016 Beanpot Tournament - SemifinalsI think some of the reason that McQuaid and Kevin Miller were protected from the Golden Knights over Colin Miller is that they flat out can’t stay healthy and they do need veteran guys to lead the youth movement. With Miller and McQuaid swapping crutches there will be a spot on the bottom pairing of the defense. None other than Charlestown’s own Matty Grzelyk will take the spot. Krug 2.0 (but taller) will prove to have an equal or greater season than Colin Miller when it comes down to it.

Tuukka will have a bounceback season and the backup situation will fall solely to Zane McIntyre.

You and I are still hanging in there and we got to the most exciting part of the post; snubs and scrubs.

First the scrubs, otherwise known as guys that need to be off the team or sold for popcorn vendors; Matt Belesky and David Backes. I want to like these guys on the Bruins but their subpar performances and age are becoming a not so sneaky problem. Don’t get me wrong I’d be thrilled if they proved me wrong and won us the Cup. However, I’d take a 4th rounder for the both of them. I’m completely on board with a youth movement. Which leads me to the snubs I left off the depth chart.

As I mentioned earlier JFK was a close call on the third line but I opted for him having more seasoning in the AHL, he will learn there and be ready for the NHL whenever Spooner leaves us. Austin Czarnik who made the team last year out of camp had a hard time coming back from multiple injuries which might just be the story of his career. New Hampshire’s own Tim Schaller also got the snub from me due to a pure numbers standpoint but I’d like to see him on the 4th line occasionally for a jolt. Speaking of jolts Jesse Gabrielle has turned lots of heads recently as he seems to be following in the Brad Marchand mold of players, another guy I would like to see up in the Garden at times this year. Kenny Agostino is someone who, like Vatrano has a ‘wicked rippah’ of a wrist shot, he could spend time on the 3rd or even second line if they need a look.

My friends, it’s been over 1000 words and you have stuck with my pro-bono work as the Bruins GM.

As they say, keep your ear to the grindstone,
Lomonte

 

It’s Been Awhile

Welcome back readers, sports fans, probably just my mom; it has been a long while since I’ve posted or even recently thought about posting. Bringing me to the song of the post, It’s Been Awhile by Staind so click the link, take a listen and away we go into my musings on Boston sports.

Since I last posted on November 18th, 2015 Boston Sports Journal has semi-stolen my New England Sports Brief. Bygones will be bygones and I would highly suggest taking a look at Greg Bedard’s material, he’s the best in the business and gets far more technical than these ramblings I spill to you.

Recapping since my last post:patriots-falcons-3-28

The Patriots lost to Denver en route to Peyton (Asterisk) Manning’s exit. We had the last laugh from that loss because we are now FIVE time Super Bowl Champions and headed into a season where we are very dangerous and a superb contender to go back-to-back. I believe that despite our second Kansas City meltdown.

The Red Sox and their sarcastically wonderful manager came off of a terrible season to wish Papi a happy retirement. In doing so they got their doors blown off by the Indians in the ALDS and got to watch Theo and the Cubs win their 1st World Series this century. I wish the Cubs another 108 year curse, but I’m in the minority there. This season however we are in first place and look to close on that in the near weeks. However this year’s team is not winning any popularity awards given some of their actions. I hope for a rocky ending to finally get John Farrell out of town.

The Celtics, since I last posted, have come a long, long way. They were still scrappy underdogs and barely getting to the playoffs. Now, however shocking the trade was, are expected to compete for the Eastern spot in the NBA Finals. My takeaways from the Kyrie Irving – Isiah Thomas trade are; the Celtics are going to be a fun team to watch this year and I expect great things from them but I become heartbroken thinking about how much that I.T. and Jae Crowder had to go through in their personal lives and then getting traded away from a city and team that loves their gritty players and their toughness.

The Bruinspasta barely missed the playoffs last time I posted but then screeched into them while losing to Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson in the first round this past season. Now however, PAY PASTRNAK ALREADY! More on that in an upcoming post, where I play armchair GM for the Bruins pro-bono.

If you’ve stuck with me thus far, I commend your persistence. That’s all I have in this post, I hope I don’t go AWOL again and stay up-to-date with my Boston Sports takes for your sanity.

Until next time,
Lomonte

 

Drop ‘Em; Gloves, Players and Coach

Song of the post: I See Fire by Ed Sheeran

Here we are again (no not another apology to why I haven’t posted in awhile) but here we are again, creeping closer to the NHL Trade Deadline.

Up here in New England all we want is no more snow. Please, please no more snow! Also here in New England we are looking towards the trade deadline and the Bruins front office. The dismal looking Bruins, who are in the playoff hunt, but are also dragging ass towards the Cup run.

The Bruins are in the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, and are not going anywhere fast, they look frustrated and confused as if they aren’t playing the same game as the opposition. They are in cap jail and the league has noticed that the Bruins stars aren’t stars at all; seemingly not wanting to acquire a cup winning player from the Bruins. 600x400_Pastrnak_Action_vsFLA

As much as we’d like to see a Lucic for Oshie trade, the chances are very slim to that. As much as we’d like a time machine, we have neither the technology or the steady hands for an operation like that.

The Bruins need to focus in on the cancer in the locker room and trade him, look at 2011 for example, or trade off all pieces but Bergeron, Krejci, Hamilton, Rask and Pastrnak.

Yes, they don’t want to shed the impression that they are kissing goodbye on the season but they also can’t keep putting that product on the ice. I think they need to start the overhaul sooner rather than later.

Free up cap space, obtain draft picks and retool the roster this summer. It’s high-time for a change in the TD Garden. Perhaps its not the players, however.

Perhaps the coach is a broken record and can’t get his players to react to his preachings. The tenured coach may need to be replaced, the game is changing but he is not.

There is a place for the Big Bad Bruins but with some speed too.

-Lomonte

+It should be noted that I had no idea that Ed Sheeran played music until our second snow day at UNH