Brady hopes to close first half on a high note

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Brady hopes to close first half on a high note

FOXBORO - The Patriots' all-expense paid trip to London begins Thursday night when their overseas flight departs. Can they forge a little midseason ubuntu over there and come back repurposed for the second half of the season? 
"Yeah, I think you're together for extended periods of time, which is always fun," Tom Brady agreed when asked if the trip east to play the Rams gives a chance to foster chemistry. "People are away from all their other commitments, certainly. At a home game, there are a lot of commitments that different players have, so when you go away, sometimes its really nice for the players to get some rest, to get some extra preparation, that extra time with your coaches. On this particular trip, we have more time than that."
Brady expressed surprise when told Wednesday that he was on the docket for an NFL Experience event on Saturday in London. Even though Brady said he'd probably be skipping that, chances are that, in the NFL's ever-present mission to create new revenue streams, Brady will be gently redirected to say hello to the Brits in Trafalgar Square that day. 
Nobody's showing up to see Sterling Moore. 
Still, Brady reminded, this game counts as much in the win-loss column as all the rest and the primary focus is on flying home 5-3. 
"Were focused in on the Rams," he said. "I think thats (the NFL's job to put on a show) and we have a job to do. I know they put a lot of effort into it and I know Mr. Robert Kraft is excited about us really having a chance to represent the NFL again and go over there and give the fans something to cheer about. It was a lot of fun the last time."
The last time was in 2009 when the Patriots pasted the Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium. 
The Patriots want to close their enigmatic first half of the season on a high note, said Brady. Nobody wants to sit around during the bye week staring at a 4-4 record. 
"The bye week is something that everyone looks forward to just because you get a chance to kind of take a deep breath," said Brady. "Its like the second half of the game. You go in at halftime and you have a chance to reevaluate some things. But that will come and it would feel really good for that two-week stretch to feel good about what weve done four of the last five weeks. But (the Rams are) going to make us earn it. This is a good team that provides a lot of tough challenges and weve already lost to two of these NFC teams (Seattle and Arizona), which (the Cardinals have) beaten. We know its a good football team and we have to go out there and play well."

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.