Curran Events: Is Lloyd getting job done?


Curran Events: Is Lloyd getting job done?

In the latest Curran Events, Tom E. Curran wonders if Brandon Lloyd's inability to generate yards after the catch is creating a problem for the Patriots offense.

Lloyd has never been particularly good at generating yards after the catch, coming into the season with a 2.77 average, but this year it's down even further, at just 2.71 yards after the catch.

Compare that to Deion Branch who last season put up 6.7 yards after the catch.

Curran also looks at the schedule during the second half of the season. After Sunday's game in London, the Patriots will go on their bye and when they come back they'll have an easier travel schedule but the opponents will be harder, especially in December. Not only will the Patriots play three of their first four games out of the bye against division opponents, but they then host two of the best teams in the NFC in back-to-back weeks. New England will host the Houston Texans at Monday Night Football, and then face the San Francisco 49ers on a short week on Sunday Night Football. Yikes.

Finally, Curran looks at the similarities between the Red Sox collapse over the past two seasons, and the Patriots of the 1990s.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally


Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.