Belichick praises Andre Johnson


Belichick praises Andre Johnson

FOXBORO -- On the offensive side of the ball, Bill Belichick sees Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson just as any other coach in the league sees him: as a real threat.

Belichick spent some time on Saturday praising Johnson's abilities to hurt a defense.

"Hes really a special player," said Belichick. "He does a lot of things well, hits a lot of deep balls, a big target, obviously, double moves, go-routes, back shoulder-type throws. Hes a tough matchup for anybody one-on-one. Its like throwing to a tight end, theres always a place to get the ball to him. But hes also very good on underneath routes, the under routes, the tear screens, even plays like hitches and slants, they hit them and he breaks tackles, like he did in the Jacksonville game. He does it every week really.

"He can take a short pass, a two, three-yard pass and turn it into a long run or he can run by the defense like he did against Denver on the post pattern," he added. "Go-route, double moves, stop-and-gos, all those things; hes got a good route tree, he has a variety of routes. Sometimes they put him in the slot, usually hes outside but they do move him around so you have to find him. Hes good on the catch-and-run plays, hes good on the vertical routes, hes good in the red area, he can go up and get the ball, he blocks well. Hes a great player. Hes done it for a long time. He puts up big numbers every year and people are keying on him, theyre looking for him and he keeps producing. Hes a hard guy to cover."

Bruins need to 'find a way to start playing with a lead'

Bruins need to 'find a way to start playing with a lead'

BOSTON -- There’s only so long that a team can hope to thrive, or even survive, in the NHL if they’re constantly chasing the game on the scoreboard, and chasing the puck after digging themselves a hole. The Bruins have been that team in the first couple of weeks during the regular season, and made it five times in five games that they’ve given up the game’s first goal in an eventual 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.

It’s a pattern that is long past getting old to Bruins head coach Claude Julien, who can’t seem to play the front-runner this season despite three comebacks that have allowed for a 3-2-0 record overall this season.

“I hope it’s not a habit. It’s certainly not what we’re looking for, but there’s no doubt. I think it’s pretty obvious that with the amount of games we’ve played, five games, we haven’t scored first,” said Julien. “We talked about that this morning, trying to get that first goal, and it hasn’t happened yet.”

The start to the game wasn’t really the problem on Saturday night as it’s been a couple of times this season. Instead the Bruins enjoyed a handful of quality scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes against the Habs, but couldn’t come through and finish off those plays when it might have meant an early lead.

Instead it lead to what Julien termed a “terrible” second period that was flat, full of mistakes and ended with the B’s trailing Montreal by a couple of goals. The Bruins scratched and clawed their way to making it a one-goal game in the third period, but that was as close as the Black and Gold would get in losing their ninth straight home game to the arch-rival Canadiens.

“It’s kind of been a story about how things are going for us this far, we’ve got to find a way to start playing with a lead. If you don’t capitalize on your chances, you see what happens when you come out [flat] in the second period,” said Torey Krug, who finished a game-worst minus-3 in the loss for the Bruins. “We had another poor second period and you know it’s kind of… you got to make sure that we put our hand on that and it doesn’t become a thing for the team this year. You see that when you don’t capitalize on chances early, that’s what’s going to happen.”

It’s been a positive development that the Bruins have shown the willingness and backbone to fight back into games after early deficits, and they showed that quality once again on Saturday night by scoring a couple of goals in the third period to keep things close. But the Bruins would be best served if they can start lighting the lamp a little earlier in these games, and see how the other half lives by playing with a comfortable lead every once in a while.