Patricia, Patriots defense not satisfied with shutout

759602.jpg

Patricia, Patriots defense not satisfied with shutout

The Patriots earned their first shutout since 2009 when they beat the Dolphins yesterday, 28-0. Cause for celebration, right?

Well, not exactly. New England's defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said the team still had a lot of work to do despite its solid outing on Sunday.

"I think absolutely youre always looking for improvement," Patricia said. "Obviously youre happy with the effort and excited for the players. Theyre the ones who did all the work on the field to achieve certain goals, but certainly when you go back and look at the film, theres a lot of things we need to do better, improve on and work on and thats really what well focus on, obviously more so than just the scoreboard there."

The Dolphins helped the Patriots with a fumble near the goal line in the third quarter. And Dolphins receiver Armon Binn dropped what looked like it might've been a touchdown in the second quarter.

But, as Patricia pointed out, any time you can shut out an NFL team, it's a performance to be proud of. Certainly New England's seven sacks were a sign of the defense's continuous effort, even when it appeared the game was out of reach for Miami.

"You know, it was a good effort by everybody out there," he said. "I think guys really tried hard and did things we asked them to do and were pleased with that, but there are certainly some areas of improvement that you can really take a look at and say, 'We really have to do some things better here because they just werent good enough.' "

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

bruins_tuukka_rask_110315.jpg

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.