Tom E. Curran: Make stops; contain the kicker; find Gronk


Tom E. Curran: Make stops; contain the kicker; find Gronk

Tom E. Curran lays out his three-point-plan for the Patriots to take down the Rams in London.

First, the Patriots defense has to stop somebody. The Rams have a depleted passing attack and the Patriots will need to capitalize on that. They've been porous all season, but the Patriots can't allow themselves to get shredded by a Rams offensive that just don't have a lot of weapons.

As weird as it sounds, the Patriots will need to contain the St. Louis placekicker, Greg Zuerlein. Zuerlein has a cannon for a leg and can regularly make kicks of 60 yards. This means the Rams barely need to cross mid-field to be in scoring position.

Finally, the Patriots will need to contend with antagonist Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan figures to draw Wes Welker and that means Rob Gronkowski will have to draw away some of the heat in the middle of the field in order to open up the passing game.

Two-goal night for Pastrnak not enough for Bruins in 4-2 loss to Avalanche


Two-goal night for Pastrnak not enough for Bruins in 4-2 loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – Some nights are emotional, come-from-behind efforts full of hope and energy that the Bruins have turned a corner, and then others are like Thursday night’s slog against the Colorado Avalanche. 

The majority of the Bruins simply didn’t show up to start the game, and most of them never really fully showed up in a 4-2 loss to the Avalanche at TD Garden that snapped a 4-0-2 stretch of games with points for the Black and Gold. 

It all started with 4-on-4 play during the first period when Matt Duchene was allowed way too much time and space in the offensive zone, and hammered a shot past Anton Khudobin while all alone in the slot. Seven minutes later the Bruins power play was leaking oil all over the ice, and Torey Krug laid out for a puck at the blue line while he couldn’t keep possession. Instead Nathan MacKinnon beat him in a race down the ice and buried a shot past Khudobin to give Colorado a commanding, early 2-0 lead over Boston. 

A John Mitchell score on a short side wrist shot off the rush to makes it a 3-0 advantage, and that’s when things turned into the David Pastrnak Show. 

The 20-year-old scored a pair of goals to get the Bruins back into the game, electrify the crowd and give Pastrnak an amazing 18 goals scored in 23 games this season. The first was a breakaway after a long stretch pass from Tim Schaller connected with the dangerous Pastrnak, and the second was a bazooka one-timer off a Brad Marchand feed from the corner. 

Unfortunately the Bruins couldn’t hold onto that momentum while playing at their lollygagging pace for the night, and allowed a late Carl Soderberg score late in the second period that wiped out all of their momentum.

It was a rough night all-around, and that goes for Khudobin as well while allowing four goals on 20 shots that dropped his record to 1-4-0 on the season.