Light: 'Awesome opportunity' to be honored


Light: 'Awesome opportunity' to be honored

FOXBORO -- It's expected to be a rainy, messy show at Gillette Stadium when the Patriots and Texans square off for their game Monday night. Perfect conditions to recognize a man who spent his career in football's trenches.

Longtime Patriots left tackle Matt Light, who retired before the start of the season, will be honored at halftime by the team.

"It's fitting isn't it?" Light said with a smile. "You look like your dog after a while. You go through things in your life, they seem to fit better than others . . . It's rainy and nasty and mucky, it's a good day to be honored if you're an offensive lineman."

It is just the fifth time in team history that a former player will be honored at halftime. Kevin Faulk was honored in Week 4 at halftime of New England's game against the Bills earlier this season. Troy Brown was honored in Week 2 against the Cardinals.

Light met with reporters before the game to discuss some of his memories as a player, and how he's adjusting to his very different post-football life.

"Everybody asks me, what do you miss the most," Light said. "The thing that I miss the most is competing for something on the level that most people don't. You do things -- it's almost military precision with which we go about each day, our focus and everything else. And it's really difficult to find that in the real world."

As a player, Light had a reputation of always being able to find the humor in things. He was notorious for pulling pranks on teammates and coaches, things he thought helped bring his Patriots teammates together.

"Most of 'em we cannot talk about," Light said. "Most of them, I can't even tell my own family which is horrible. But we had a lot of fun . . . Shocked Bill Belichick with a couple remotes. That was always fun. That was great. Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, poor Dante, he had to suffer quite a few little issues in our offensive line room.

"I think the best thing you could say about it is, if you do it the right way, you're never getting one person in a negative manner. But you do things that kind of bring everybody together. For me when you're laughing, at a time when you don't laugh a whole lot when you're working, those are the moments that stick in your mind. Man we had a lot of those over the years, it was a lot of fun. Great group of guys, man."

Those fun moments are a part of his football career that Light says he now misses. Things he doesn't miss? Early morning positional meetings, and facing defensive linemen like current Texans star JJ Watt.

"There's a lot of people I'm glad I don't face anymore," Light said. "My life is a lot more relaxed. I miss a lot of things about the game of football. Tonight's an awesome opportunity to come back and watch these guys do what they do. Of course it's an exciting season, as it always is. For me it's an opportunity to share with my family and friends what's been an awesome journey."

Haggerty: Subban looking more like a 1st-round bust than NHL goalie

Haggerty: Subban looking more like a 1st-round bust than NHL goalie

BOSTON, Mass – Malcolm Subban says that he believes that he can still be a No. 1 goaltender in the NHL.

While that’s admirable on some level for the sheer, brazen self-confidence involved in saying this after getting yanked from a 5-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden, pretty much all of the evidence points out the contrary. Nearly two years after getting pulled from his NHL debut in against the St. Louis Blues after giving up three goals on six shots, Subban was pulled from Tuesday night’s appearance after giving up three goals on eight second period shots with the Bruins desperately in need of a quality start in goal.

He maintained a defiantly confident tone after another humbling NHL effort against Minnesota, and that’s a testament to the maturity and mental toughness of the person behind the goalie mask.

“It sucks. Obviously, I’m just trying to finish the game, let alone win one. Obviously it sucks, but what can you do now, right?” said Subban, who has now allowed six goals on 22 career shots faced in two starts. “Obviously I want to be a number one goaltender in the league. I was a high pick for a reason. I have the potential, and I just have to show it. Obviously I haven’t done that so far yet, but I think I’m getting closer to it. Honestly, I think I can do it right now. I just got to show it. Obviously, I didn’t [do it] today, but tomorrow’s a new day.”

Given the stunningly bad quality of his two NHL starts combined with a thoroughly pedestrian body of work at the AHL level over the last three years, there is literally zero tangible evidence Subban is tracking to be a franchise goaltender. Instead he’s the emergency goaltender called on by the Bruins only after Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin have both been shelved by injuries, and he’s now flunked the two pop quizzes when the NHL team needed him to come through.

Meanwhile, a sizeable selection of goaltenders taken after him in the 2012 NHL Draft class have already proven their NHL worth and broken through at the elite level: Matt Murray, Frederik Anderson, Connor Hellebuyck and Joonas Korpisalo.

Subban was hoping all along to break through this season in Boston, but things went south on him quickly with a Bruins team not playing well in front of him. The first goal was a fluttering Charlie Coyle shot that trickled between his glove hand and the top of his leg pad. The third goal was a softie low and to the glove side, power play strike authored by Ryan Suter. It added up to poor goaltending and shoddy defense, but it also added up to a Bruins goaltender that didn’t even give his hockey club a chance to win.

“It could be a combination of both. There are some goals – I’m not going to lie – there are some goals that we thought our goaltenders should have had. But I’m not here to talk about a goaltender who’s in one of his first few games because he let in a couple of bad goals,” said Julien. “We were terrible in front of him and we weren’t any better, and that’s the big picture. That’s more important.

“I don’t care who’s in net. I think when you have some injuries you need to be better in those situations and we weren’t good enough tonight. It doesn’t matter if Tuukka [Rask] is in net and we had injuries up front, or we’re lacking players here or there. You’ve got to let the system take care of the game. If you play it the right way, you have a chance to win. When you don’t, you don’t. That’s what happened [against Minnesota].”

There’s no question the defense in front of Subban wasn’t nearly good enough, and Adam McQuaid and Torey Krug in particular struggled to lock things down in the defensive zone. The wide open shots from the slot - like the Chris Stewart score in the second period that arrived 12 seconds after Minnesota’s opening goal - are indicative of a hockey club that’s not sticking to the game plan once things start to get a little wonky.

But this is about a player in Subban that should be entering the NHL stage of his career after being a first round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, and anybody would be hard-pressed to see him as an NHL goalie after failing in each of his first two NHL starts. Combine that with the lack of dominance at the AHL level over the last three years, and there’s a better chance that Subban will be a major first round bust for the Bruins rather than suddenly develop into a late-blooming No. 1 goaltender in Boston.

The scary part is that Subban and fellow young netminder Zane McIntyre are all the Bruins have for Wednesday night’s game at Madison Square Garden, and perhaps longer than that if Rask can’t make rapid progress with his lower body injury.

Maybe Subban can be a bit better than he’s shown thus far, and the four goals allowed to Minnesota were not all his fault. The bottom line, however, is that Subban should be up for doing this job right now. Tuesday was a big chance for the young goalie to make a statement that he was ready for it.

Instead he looked like the same goalie that’s been pulled from two of his first four AHL starts this season, and plays like a goaltender that’s never going to truly be ready for the call in Boston.