Jerry Ballgame gives his random thoughts on Boston hockey, the slow start by the Red Sox and even apologizes to Rex Ryan.
HOCKEY YEAR IN BOSTON
If there exists some sort of crown or special title for one city winning both Lord Stanley’s Cup and the Frozen Four in one twelve month stretch, then the Hub, at least for the moment, is sitting rather pretty in the eyes of the hockey universe. I suppose purists will insist that it has to occur in the same calendar year to be considered legitimate, but Boston College winning its third title in five years last weekend is still worth celebrating.
I am old enough to remember what hockey was like in these parts back in the days of the NHL “original six”, and how it was changed at all levels with the arrival one Robert Gordon Orr. There was an explosion that radiated through out New England, and could be felt on every pond and and backyard rink through the late 60’s and early 70’s. Although it eventually moderated, it planted the seeds that helped make the six state area one of the dominant places of hockey in the country. At one time there were actually three professional teams playing in, and selling out, the old Boston Garden. In addition to the Bruins, there was their minor league team the Boston Braves (now in Providence) and the WHA’s Boston Whalers. The Whalers eventually moved to Hartford, before heading to Carolina and renaming themselves.
Speaking of the Hurricanes, they are considered by many to be one of the chief threats to stopping Bruins from doing what no one has done in about 20 years: repeating as Stanley Cup champs. Although Boston seems to be in decent shape to defend their title at the moment, it seems unlikely they’ll need to reserve the Duck Boats for a parade in the June. Yes, Tim Thomas is back to concentrating on saving pucks and not the republic, but injuries to Nathan Horton and defenseman Johnny Boychuk, could make things difficult. (As could the Rangers, the Penguins, the Red Wings, and the Canucks of Vancouver.) We shall soon see. As you read this, they should have already opened the playoffs, starting with the Capitols.
AT LEAST THEY DIDN’T GO O-6
If there is one thing this edition of the Boston Red Sox cannot afford, it’s a bad start. More specifically, it’s a bad start with weak starting pitching and inconsistent hitting. Jon Lester could easily be 2-0, and Felix Doubront had a nice appearance, but beyond that, there’s not much to be happy about, as they are amongst the league’s worst in most categories. Weak starts from Youkilis and Ellsbury are also major concern. I would have to believe that they are going to shake off their hitting woes and sort the pitching out, but I just don’t think they can afford to fall too far behind this early. Although I did get some guilty pleasure out of Jobu’s rant over the Yankees slow start, I expect they will straighten themselves out. The Sox; not so sure.
I OWE REX AN APOLOGY
Last week I insinuated that Coach Ryan’s intellectual capabilities might not be up to speed because of his interest in returning to HBO’s Hard Knocks television program next summer. Upon further review, it seems I was wrong on two counts. Count one was that it wasn’t actually Rex who expressed an interest in a return engagement, but rather one of the higher ups, and count number two, he came out today saying he wouldn’t do it. Something about not wanting a “circus atmosphere”. OK, now you don’t want the circus. It only took him three years to figure it out. Maybe I wasn’t so wrong after all…..
Featured image courtesy of: Ray Lussier/Boston Herald/ Brearley Collection
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