Buy or Sell: Divisional Round edition


Buy or Sell: Divisional Round edition

Lou Merloni and Steve Buckley play a game of Buy or Sell.

The pair tackle a four-pack of questions related to this weekend's Divisional Round playoff games, including (remember, these are the BuySell questions, not the answers):

Stevan Ridley will out-rush Arian Foster

Sorry Ridley but neither Buckley nor Merloni think this one will happen. Foster was held to a ridiculously low output in the last matchup because Houston fell behind seemingly right after the coin toss, forcing the Texans to abandon their run game. No one expects that to happen again in this one, meaning Foster will get a healthier workload.

Rob Gronkowski will end up with more yards and TDs than Wes Welker

This one looks like it could happen and we've got a "Buy" from Buckley. "We've never seen Gronkowski tear up a postseason," said Buckley. "I think we're going to see him tear up this postseason." Gronkowski returned in the season finale against Miami and pulled in two catches for 42 yards and a touchdown.

Both home teams in the AFC win by a touchdown or more

Buckley predicts a much closer game between the Patriots and Texans and could also see the Ravens upsetting the Broncos so it's a big 'ole "sell" on this one. Mainly, Buckley doesn't like Manning outside in the cold after spending most of his career as an indoor quarterback.

By the end of the weekend, only the veteran QBs will remain
Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick get the thumbs down from Buckley, but Merloni says the Packers are "missing" something and thinks the 49ers will get the job done.

Do your expectations match up with Buck & Lou? Check out the video above and then decide.

Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss


Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss

BOSTON – The Bruins are starting to run out of adjectives and descriptors for these “no-show” performances on home ice.

The Bruins made it twice in two months that they’ve dropped a disappointing dud to one of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams when they came out flat, and never showed any signs of life in a 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders. The lack of effort and pitiful results were particularly disappointing coming off a solid five game stretch where they’d engineered high effort wins over Florida, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

Patrice Bergeron finished a minus-3 on the afternoon, and said in quasi-disgust that he knew five minutes into the game that his team didn’t have “it” on Monday.

“Something that we talked [headed into Monday was] about building from the last few weeks, and how good it felt around the room, I guess, with winning games basically,” said Bergeron. “[The shutout loss] just shows that you have to show up every night and not take things for granted. I think we did [take things for granted] this afternoon.

“It was about finding someone to get us a shift to get us going basically. We had a few good shifts there, and we sustained a little bit of pressure there. But then we just couldn’t keep that for the next lines after going, we couldn’t sustain that or build from that. It was really the whole team throughout the lineup that didn’t show up and, you know, it’s obviously inexcusable, unacceptable.”

Claude Julien mentioned the compacted schedule and potential fatigue playing into the Bruins looking “flat” on Monday against the Islanders, and perhaps that is partially to blame for an uncharacteristically lifeless performance from the Black and Gold. But the B’s essentially did nothing for 60 minutes after not having played for 48 hours dating back to a Saturday afternoon matinee win over the Flyers, so the fatigue excuse is difficult to swallow.

Instead it looked like a Bruins team that thought they were going to roll out the pucks and beat the worst team in the Metro Division that had lost four-of-five games. Instead a defensive zone breakdown led to a Nikolay Kulemin goal midway through the second period, and the Bruins collapsed after that. Josh Bailey tucked a short side goal past a late-reacting Tuukka Rask for a soft serve special allowed by Boston’s ace goaltender, and Kulemin scored again in the second period once the Bruins began cheating at the offensive end of the ice.

To make matters worse, the Bruins showed zero fight or willingness to scratch and claw their way back into the game in the third period. Instead it looked like they quit on two points that could end up being extremely important at the end of the season.

It also looked like the Bruins weren’t ready to play, and that they overlooked the downtrodden Islanders for the second time in as many months.

“Maybe we took them a little lightly, but we just weren’t ready [to play],” said Brad Marchand. “We have to look ourselves in the mirror and all be a little bit better. We all have to be prepared for every game. You can’t look at the guy besides us and think he’s going to do the job. We have to take a little onus on ourselves and all be a little bit better. As a team, again, we have to play the system together and we have to back each other up. We have to play as one unit and we didn’t do that.”

It’s long past the point where the words even matter that the Bruins are uttering after games like Monday afternoon. Instead it’s about results and nothing else, and the B’s were nothing short of putrid in that category against the Islanders with points at a premium this time of year.