Welcome to our first “Monday Replay on Tuesday” as Sunday and Monday were busy days for me and I just didn’t have time to make this posting. Actually, had my boiler worked this morning and I didn’t have to wait for the repair guy I probably still wouldn’t have had time for the post.
As we do during football season we’ll start with the New England Patriots 43-40 win over the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night in Foxborough. If it wasn’t well known by now, teams shouldn’t give Tom Brady any time to make a last minute game winning drive because more often then not he makes them pay for it.
One thing we did learn was Chiefs rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the real deal, leading his team to 31 second half points after being held mostly in check for the first half. He picked apart the Patriots defense in the final 30 minutes, leading his team on four TD drive culminating in his 75-yarder to Tyreek Hill.
But that last TD gave the Patriots the ball with three minutes to go, more than enough time for Brady to get within the field goal range of Stephen Gostkowski. His 28 yarder as time expired was right down the middle of the pipes.
The Patriots defense is a huge concern for me. While it played well in the first half, in the third and fourth quarters it was incredibly bad. They had only one stop in the second half, and had it not been for a couple mistakes by Mahomes early in the game we’d have likely seen a different result on the scoreboard.
The Red Sox are in the American League Championship series, and as I mash on these keys are tied 1-1 heading to three games in a row in Houston. Pitching has remained a big problem for the Sox, with starters Chris Sale and David Price still not performing well. Closer Craig Kimbrel has also been shaky, which has caused some consternation for fans.
I’ve been very vocal in hoping Price opts out of his contract at the end of the season, and seeing Sale falter again in the late season I’m starting to think Boston would be wise to maybe allow him to walk away. Sale is great in the regular season but his falling off in September and October makes him worth a lot less than he’ll be asking.
Plus now there is Sale’s shoulder issues that have to be looked it. His velocity is down by a bunch, and his control is not as pinpoint as it was all season. So possible shoulder issues and can’t pitch well in the playoffs? Yeah, sorry. Not for me.
One pitcher I’d like to see them bring back is Nathan Eovaldi. He won’t command the salary Sale and Price get, and he’s a solid pitchers who has proved he can pitch in Fenway Park. The problem is the list of starting pitchers in free agency this winter isn’t full of great options for most teams, which will drive Eovaldi’s salary offers up.
Doesn’t really matter. The Red Sox have to have him back.
It was a three win week for the Boston Bruins with victories over Ottawa, Edmonton, and Detroit by a combined score of 18-6. Both the offense and defense are really rolling, and the top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak is the best in hockey right now.
This is hardly the place most fans thought the team would be after the Bruins got blown out of the building in Washington on opening night. Since that game Boston has been firing on all cylinders.
It’s going to be interesting to see if the Bruins can continue this torrid pace. With Toronto currently in front of them in the standings and playing just as well as Boston it’s going to require a high level of play all season to capture the Atlantic Division crown and the playoff home ice that comes with it.
The Boston Celtics regular season opening night is Tuesday, and expectations are high for the team. With everyone back healthy the Celtics have the best line-up in the Eastern Conference and on paper should have an easy run during the regular season and through the conference finals.
But games aren’t played on paper, so they’ll still have to have high caliber play to meet expectations.
For me, if I’m going to keep doing these “Monday Replay” posts I’m going to pay more attention to the Celtics.
Last weekend the Worcester Railers opened their season with a pair against the Reading Royals in Pennsylvania. Saturday was a big 2-1 overtime win that saw great goaltending on both sides stopping great scoring opportunities.
Sunday’s 6-4 loss got a little ugly in the middle but the Railers continued to try to fight back despite being down by five goals at one point. To me we earned a lot more about the team in that loss than Saturday’s win. Character helps win games, and the Railers showed they have some.
Railers home opener is Saturday at the DCU Center with a 7pm puck drop.
The Worcester Blades also opened their season on the road, with two games against the Canadian Women’s Hockey League defending champion Markham Thunder.
The Blades are obviously in rebuilding mode after a handful of tough seasons playing in Boston, but you can see there’s a lot of talent on that team and they aren’t as far behind the other squads are some would think.
The Blades also play their home opener on Saturday, with a 3pm start time at Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center.
SOMETHING ONLY I CARE ABOUT
I’m a stat guy, and have always been a stat guy. While I don’t understand many of these advanced stats people are coming up with I’m enjoying learning about them and gaining an understanding on what they show. But teams and leagues still need to keep track of the older ones.
It annoys me to no end that the CWHL doesn’t track shots for individual players. I know entering stats like that in real time is tough, but adding them at the end of periods shouldn’t be that big a deal. It’s not like I’m looking for location and shot type, just that a player actually took one.
I don’t think that’s too much to ask of a professional sports league.
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
(Sorry missed these)
Red Sox at Houston, TBS, 5:00pm
Celtics vs Philadelphia, TNT, 8:00pm
Red Sox at Houston, TBS, 8:30pm
Bruins at Calgary, NBCSN, 9:30pm
Red Sox at Houston, TBS, 8:00pm
Bruins at Edmonton, NESN, 9:00pm
Revolution at Real Salt Lake, NBCSB, 9:00pm
Celtics at Toronto, ESPN, 8:00pm
Blades vs Toronto, CWHL stream, 3:00pm
Red Sox vs Houston, TBS, 5:00pm (If necessary)
Railers vs Maine, 98.9FM, 7:00pm
Celtics at New York, NBCSB, 7:30pm
Bruins at Vancouver, NESN, 10:00pm
Patriots at Chicago, CBS, 1pm
Blades vs Toronto, no TV/radio, 2:00pm
Red Sox vs Houston, TBS, 7:30pm (If necessary)
Someone needs to tell me why anyone thinks throwing a beer–or anything else for that matter–at a player on the team you’re not rooting for is a good idea. Never mind that guy who threw the beer at Tyreek Hill spent something like $11 for it, but what was the gain at throwing it at Hill?
Now I’ve been, well, let’s call it “overserved” at sporting events before, and never once did I ever contemplate throwing something at a player or on the playing surface. Sure I’ve yelled at opposing players, and maybe yelled things I wouldn’t want my mother to hear, but I’ve never done anything even close to the “illegal” line.
Now the dude, whose name will come out eventually, has a lifetime ban from Gillette Stadium and according to several news sources faces disorderly conduct and throwing an object at a sporting event charges.
It’s going to make the $11 he wasted on that beer seem almost trivial.
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