Wakeup Call: Magic sheds no tears over Brown's departure


Wakeup Call: Magic sheds no tears over Brown's departure

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, November 12:

Brad Keselowski would rather not have relied on Jimmie Johnson's misfortune for victory Sunday at Phoenix, but in any case he's now on the brink of his first Sprint Cup championship. (AP)

The Yankees are confident that Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte will be back in 2013. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Meanwhile, Davey Johnson has already decided to return to Washington. (AP)

San Diego State was gone with the wind -- har, har -- on the USS Midway against Syracuse. (AP)

Larry Brown starts coaching job No. 14 with a victory. (AP)

Now that's defense: Florida holds Alabama State to nine points in the first half en route to an 84-35 victory. (AP)

The UConn women win their 17th consecutive opener rather decisively, 103-39 over the College of Charleston. (AP)

Sure enough, Alabama's loss Saturday puts Kansas State and Oregon in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots in the BCS rankings. (AP)

And the AP poll, too, only their positions are reversed. (AP)

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that a few folks were claiming the Tide could beat some of the NFL's bottom feeders? (AP)

Two games away from its first-ever BCS title game, Kansas State is in tight, take-it-one-day-at-a-time mode. (AP)

But at Notre Dame, Brian Kelly wants to know: Why not us? (AP)

Meanwhile, the conference commissioners continue to plan the BCS' demise. (AP)

Mike Leach is on the hot seat at Washington State thanks to some explosive charges by wide receiver Marquess Wilson. (AP)

NHL assistant honcho Bill Daly explains the league's hard-line stance on the contract issues that apparently have scuttled this latest round of negotiations . . . and perhaps the season. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Canadiens farmhand Blake Geoffrion, grandson of former Montreal star Bernie Geoffrion, is expected to make a full recovery from a skull fracture suffered in an AHL game Friday night. (AP)

All the Phil Jackson talk was just that -- talk -- as the Lakers hire Mike D'Antoni as their new coach. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Maybe they should have kept Bernie Bickerstaff in the big chair. (AP)

Magic Johnson is shedding no tears over Mike Brown's departure, that's for sure. (Pro Basketball Talk)

As for Brown, he apparently drowned his sorrows after his firing at a nearby Chick-Fil-A. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Confronting one of San Antonio's announcers -- yes, announcers -- in a hostile manner is going to cost Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins two games and 70,500. (AP)

Mercury Morris' moment in the sun is over for another year: The Saints hand the Falcons their first loss. (AP)

Bad day for quarterbacks in the NFL: Concussions claim Jay Cutler . . . (AP)

. . . Michael Vick . . . (AP)

. . . and Alex Wilson. (AP)

Vick's job, though, will be waiting for him when he gets healthy, despite Philadelphia's five straight losses. (CSN Philly)

Tim Dobbins, whose hit concussed Cutler, says he shouldn't be fined because Cutler "ran into me." (CSN Chicago)

Texans defensive line coach Bill Kollar in a Chicago hospital because of blood clots that doctors discovered after he complained of shortness of breath. (CSN Houston)

Ties have become so rare in the NFL that the 49ers aren't sure how they should feel after their 24-24 standoff with the Rams. (CSN Bay Area)

And a bizarre tie it was. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Giants' annual November swoon is on. (AP)

Eli Manning's been "dreadful" the last few weeks, but he insists it's not anything physical. (Pro Football Talk)

As for the Jets, they've been swooning all year. And it continued yesterday. (AP)

This is a recording: Mark Sanchez is our quarterback. This is a recording. (Pro Football Talk)

Some of the Raiders said all the right thinks, but a few of them admitted how they really felt about the Ravens scoring a touchdown off a fake field goal with a 41-17 lead in Baltimore's 55-20 rout of Oakland. (CSN Bay Area)

Bruins need to "find a way to start playing with a lead"

Bruins need to "find a way to start playing with a lead"

BOSTON -- There’s only so long that a team can hope to thrive, or even survive, in the NHL if they’re constantly chasing the game on the scoreboard, and chasing the puck after digging themselves a hole. The Bruins have been that team in the first couple of weeks during the regular season, and made it five times in five games that they’ve given up the game’s first goal in an eventual 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.

It’s a pattern that is long past getting old to Bruins head coach Claude Julien, who can’t seem to play the front-runner this season despite three comebacks that have allowed for a 3-2-0 record overall this season.

“I hope it’s not a habit. It’s certainly not what we’re looking for, but there’s no doubt. I think it’s pretty obvious that with the amount of games we’ve played, five games, we haven’t scored first,” said Julien. “We talked about that this morning, trying to get that first goal, and it hasn’t happened yet.”

The start to the game wasn’t really the problem on Saturday night as it’s been a couple of times this season. Instead the Bruins enjoyed a handful of quality scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes against the Habs, but couldn’t come through and finish off those plays when it might have meant an early lead.

Instead it lead to what Julien termed a “terrible” second period that was flat, full of mistakes and ended with the B’s trailing Montreal by a couple of goals. The Bruins scratched and clawed their way to making it a one-goal game in the third period, but that was as close as the Black and Gold would get in losing their ninth straight home game to the arch-rival Canadiens.

“It’s kind of been a story about how things are going for us this far, we’ve got to find a way to start playing with a lead. If you don’t capitalize on your chances, you see what happens when you come out [flat] in the second period,” said Torey Krug, who finished a game-worst minus-3 in the loss for the Bruins. “We had another poor second period and you know it’s kind of… you got to make sure that we put our hand on that and it doesn’t become a thing for the team this year. You see that when you don’t capitalize on chances early, that’s what’s going to happen.”

It’s been a positive development that the Bruins have shown the willingness and backbone to fight back into games after early deficits, and they showed that quality once again on Saturday night by scoring a couple of goals in the third period to keep things close. But the Bruins would be best served if they can start lighting the lamp a little earlier in these games, and see how the other half lives by playing with a comfortable lead every once in a while.