Debating importance of No. 1 seed for Patriots


Debating importance of No. 1 seed for Patriots

Just two No.1 seeds have won a Super Bowl since 2003: the 2004 Patriots and 2010 Saints.

Half of the Super Bowl winners came from Wild Card weekend, half came from first round bye. Looking at that, there doesn't appear to be an advantage, but the guys on Sports Tonight still want a top two seed.

"More important for them to be No. 2 vs. a No. 3 than No. 1 vs. a No. 2," Mike Felger said.

What Felger is saying that a bye either one is huge, not so much the No. 1 seed.

But the Boston Herald's Steve Buckley says that it's the No. 1 seed that Bill Belichick and the Patriots are after.

"I was looking at that same chart 20 minutes in the news room. I don't care what it says, I don't care what the numbers say, and you're not supposed to do that. I'm fairly confident that Belichick is ticketing a course to get them the No. 1 seed. I just think it's an edge there's that old thing, you give Bill Belichick an extra week to get ready for a game, which is why the first round bye is important. And I just think he would rather have his team on his court, if you will, then to fly to Houston."

Check out the video for much more from Felger, Buckley, Gary Tanguay, and former Patriot great Troy Brown.

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.