Lloyd ready to succeed overseas once again


Lloyd ready to succeed overseas once again

FOXBORO -- With Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams being played overseas, one universal concern would be each player's physical and mental adjustment to the long flight and time change.
But one person that you shouldn't be worried about this Sunday in London, is Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.
He's been to England before. While a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos in 2010, Lloyd made the trip to take on his former team, the San Francisco 49ers.
In that game, Lloyd had a game-high seven receptions for 169 yards and a touchdown. So if there was any concern that Lloyd didn't know how to handle the travel, or somehow didn't enjoy playing a game overseas, think again.
"The pageantry for professional sports in Europe is always something that I've admired and always look forward to, so it's fun playing over there," said Lloyd on Wednesday. "We did the same exact schedule that we're doing this year, traveling on Thursday. And I didn't have any issues.
"I got as much sleep as I felt I needed," said Lloyd. "I think making the trip, the body naturally does what it needs to do. So we do have some time in there, if you want to pass out for six hours and re-charge and get ready for meetings. So there's time for that."
The Patriots travel Thursday, and will use Friday as a "transition" day. But as the preparation for the Rams continues here at home, Lloyd sees another familiar opponent in the film room.
Lloyd was traded to the Rams last October, and played 11 games with them, while pulling in 51 receptions for 683 yards and five touchdowns.
From what he saw in his short time with the team, St. Louis is full of emerging young talent and enough players in leadership roles to be a successful club.
"They're aggressive, very athletic," said Lloyd when asked about the Rams' defense. "They're a young defense, and they do a great job of keeping their eyes on the quarterback and making plays when the ball's up there."
Lloyd said he wasn't sure whether or not the Rams' 5-foot-10 veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan would be covering him on Sunday. But in the case that he will be, Lloyd knows what to expect, saying that after watching the tape, Finnegan -- in his first year with the Rams after spending six seasons with the Tennessee Titans -- has impressed him "as always."
"Cortland's going to be a solid player every year he lines up, every game he lines up," said Lloyd. "So you know what to expect. He's going to be physical, and he's going to be sticking his nose into the run game. So you're going to have to make sure that he's accounted for in all aspects of the game."

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic. 

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West


THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tyreek Hill had touchdowns receiving and on a punt return, Kansas City's defense made life miserable for Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, and the Chiefs beat the Raiders 21-13 on a frigid Thursday night to take control of the AFC West.

Charcandrick West also had a touchdown run for the Chiefs (10-3). They moved into a first-place tie with Oakland (10-3) but holds the tiebreaker with two wins over their longtime divisional rival.

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