The many non-controversial Patriots controversies

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The many non-controversial Patriots controversies

By Justin Aucoin
WickedGoodSports.com

If nothing else can be said of this years team, the New England Patriots have become experts at fabricatingcontroversiesout of absolutely nothing. Really, for a team that only wants to talk about the next big game, they do an awful good job at breathing air into the fire of some fun but minor stories, all while making a big deal out of thin air.

Theyre like wizards of controversy.

Exhibit A:

Tom Bradys Get lubed comment a few weeks back. Back when he was trying out his heel persona for a few weeks:

"Yeah, start drinking early. Get nice and rowdy. It's a 4:15 game, a lot of time to get lubed up. Come out here, and cheer for the home team."

A fairly simple comment; he encouraged fans to do what theyre probably already decided to do anyways have a few beers and then get rowdy at the game. Most people were cool with what Tom said. If nothing else, they were surprised he actually showed an iota of a personality while at the mic. But a handful of people the ones who probably couldve actually used a drink or two to chill out got all upset.

Then the Pats released a statement to clarify what Brady meant.

"He meant 'stay hydrated, drink a lot of water. Be loud, drink responsibly.'"

Thus the controversy began. What went from a fun, rallying of the fans became an issue. Some of the very reporters who laughed at Toms jest started sharpening their knives for the carving that would ensue.

Also, we didnt know that one had to drink water responsibility. Who knew that over-hydrating is such a huge pandemic in this great nation of ours?

Exhibit B:

During the bye-week Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski tweeted a picture of him with a different tight end: porn star Bibi Jones.

OMG, look at all that skin Gronk is showing?

Pats owner Robert Krafts response:

Apparently Kraft is against attractive women wearing his teams jersey or his players from hanging with attractive women (just look at Toms wife, for instance) cause Gronk had the unpleasantness of having to apologize for his indiscretion:

"I didn't send anything to hurt the reputation of anyone on the New England Patriots or on behalf of Robert Kraft," Gronkowski said. "That's all, just a simple picture, that's all. From here on out, I'm just here to talk about thePittsburgh Steelersand the big game this weekend."

Gronks right. It was a simple picture. Fans got a laugh and metaphorically high-fived him while discussing the tweets by the water cooler. The media got a cheap story on an otherwise dull bye-week. Not to mention hes not doing anything any other 22-year-old guy wouldnt do in his position. Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane gets grilled for the same thing. Its insane. If Gronk should apologize for anything its for not hanging with a better known porn star or not getting video to share with the rest of the class. Really, though, apologizing for that picture is about as absurd as saying drink water responsibly.

Good thing the Pats are A students in absurd PR.

Still, were trying to figure out exactly how taking a picture of a clothed woman is hurting the reputation of the Pats organization. Maybe were getting this all wrong and Kraft wanted to see more of Bibi? Perhaps hes jealous of Gronk?

Kraft wishes he had guns like that

Lets be honest, Gronk is showing more skin than Bibi is and those two photos are probably the most clothes youll ever see Bibi wear in a picture on the Internet.

"I'm just glad I'm no longer the one that people are making fun of on my team on a daily basis," Brady said Tuesday on WEEI-AM. "Gronk has definitely pulled into the lead there.

Yea, about that Tom. This still lives on the Internet.

You're still the king, baby.

Acciari glad to be back with B's after missing a month

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Acciari glad to be back with B's after missing a month

BOSTON -- Noel Acciari missed a month of game action with a lower body injury, so it would have been perfectly acceptable to show plenty of rust in his game upon returning to the Boston lineup.

But the former Providence College standout didn’t look rusty, a step behind or out of place in any way as he played the fourth line energy forward role to a perfect fit after missing the last 13 games. Acciari did get in one game with the Providence Bruins prior to suiting back up for the Black and Gold on Saturday, and perhaps that helped him manufacture a couple of shots on net to go along with three thumping hits against the Maple Leafs.

The 25-year-old Acciari didn’t factor into the scoring at all for the Bruins, but that’s just as well given that his focus should be on killing penalties, being hard to play against and taking the body whenever the chance presents itself. Claude Julien reformed the B’s energy line that had so much success earlier in the season with Acciari, Dominic Moore and Tim Schaller, and didn’t hesitate tossing them back into the mix together while looking for energy and a spark for an offensively stunted team.

“It’s good to be back with my linemates, and you know, I think we kind of picked up where we left off, but there’s definitely things we need to work on. That’ll come with a couple more practices and games together,” said Acciari, who finished theSaturday loss with three registered hits packed into 11:35 of ice time. “Kind of getting back to our familiarity and kind of get back to where we were before I got injured.

“It was a good start tonight, but we definitely just weren’t clicking like we used to, but that’ll come. I think that will come. Like I said, a couple practices and just kind of getting some games in [are good things]. I thought we were pretty good tonight, but, you know, should get more pucks to score [goals].”

Clearly there is room for improvement for everybody including Acciari, but it was encouraging to see the fearless competitor again flying around on the TD Garden ice playing high intensity hockey for a fourth line that could use every little bit of that. 

Backes: "Offensive frustration is warranted at this point"

Backes: "Offensive frustration is warranted at this point"

BOSTON -- This may not come as a surprise, but the Boston Bruins are having some trouble putting the puck in the net.

Despite outshooting the Maple Leafs by an 11-2 margin in the first period and outshooting them by a 32-21 margin over the balance of the 60 minute game, the Bruins scratched for just a single goal in a frustrating, constipated 4-1 loss to Toronto at TD Garden. Clearly some of the offensive difficulty was caused by a solid Frederik Andersen, who improved to 6-0-0 in a career against Boston that’s beginning to take on Bruins Killer proportions.

But a great deal of the B’s struggles to finish scoring chances on Saturday night is a malady that’s dogged the Bruins all season, and marked the 20th time in 29 games this year that Boston has scored two goals or less. In most of these games the Bruins have dominated puck possession and outshot their opponents, but still have come away mostly empty handed in the goals scored department while dropping deep in the bottom third of NHL offenses this season.

“It seems like every game we’re out-chancing teams, but we don’t outscore teams. That’s where the biggest issue is right now. Our scoring is not there and if you don’t score goals you don’t win hockey games,” said Claude Julien. “Because of that we criticize everything else in our game, but our game isn’t that bad.

“If we were scoring goals people would love our game right now, but that’s the biggest part. There’s not much more I can say here except for the fact that if we don’t score goals it’s going to be hard to win hockey games.”

But the Bruins aren’t scoring goals consistently, their power play is below average while trending in the wrong direction and the team has been forced to watch steady offensive players like Patrice Bergeron suddenly slump in a concerning way. Clearly David Pastrnak is doing his part with 18 goals scored this season in 24 games, and others like Brad Marchand and Dominic Moore have also performed above, or beyond, their acceptable level of play.

But there are other players failing with the chance to make an offensive dent: Austin Czarnik has been on the roster for nearly two months, and has zero goals and two points in his last 15 games as the offense is again dried up on the third line. He missed wide on a shorthanded chance in the third period after a Moore centering pass set up him all alone in front, and was critiquing himself for fanning on a perfect dish to him in the slot.

Moments later the Leafs had an insurance score from James van Riemsdyk to make it a 3-1 game, and it was all over for the Black and Gold at that point.

Czarnik is an easy target because he’s young and inexperienced, but there is more than enough struggle and frustration to go around with a bunch of offensive players that can’t seem to get out of their own way. David Backes admitted it’s reached a point where the Bruins are frustrated when they can’t score enough to beat a team like Toronto, and that it falls squarely on the lead guys in the Black and Gold dressing room that are underperforming.

“I think offensive frustration is warranted at this point; we just haven’t done a good enough job scoring goals. We played a heck of a first period. We limited them to two shots and we had an opportunity to have a team that’s coming in here that’s a younger team, to really put them behind the eight ball,” said Backes. “Instead, they think they got a second lease on life and they were able to capitalize. All of the sudden, they were up 2-0 and we’re fighting an uphill battle again rather than -- we have that opportunity to play a heck of a first period and we don’t find a way – it’s easy to talk about, but it’s going out there and doing the job and putting it past or through the goalie, or however it needs to happen. “You’ve seen our goals; you want to do a study on it unless you’re Pasta [David Pastrnak] with the one-timer on the side, it’s been ugly, it’s been rebounds, it’s been greasy goals and that’s our equation and we need more of it, and we didn’t do it. They did a good job of being in front of their net and boxing out, eliminating those second chances. But, we’ve got good players in here that need to create more and find those second chances and win those battles, find those loose pucks, and throw them in the net.”

The Bruins have been talking seemingly all season about the need to get to the “dirty areas in the offensive zone”, and for players to jump all over the second and third chance opportunities currently going by the board unchallenged on goalie rebounds.

Now it’s about speaking with action for the B’s, and more specifically speaking volumes with goals and offensive finish instead of “chances” that aren’t doing much of anything if they’re not being snapped into the back of the net.