FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick sounded as if he was past preparation mode for the Jets on Friday and is starting to warm to the intensity that's looming. Belichick even squeezed in one of his accidentally-on-purpose non-sequiturs when illustrating the climate, saying, "Its a pretty intense atmosphere when these two teams play. I think if you played in a parking lot out there by CBS News, whatever it is, itd be pretty intense." Belichick was referring to the parking lot near Patriots Place which has a restaurant called CBS Scene. Anyway, back to Belichick's appraisal of the bitterness between the two teams. "A lot of energy here, a lot of energy down there,"Belichick said."Its a good football game. Two teams that know each other well, a good rivalry." Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald decided to probe Belichick with a question about the day back in 2000 when Belichick resigned as head coach of the Jets. (HC of the NYJ). Rapoport noted that Belichick looked younger then. "What's that supposed to mean," Belichick said sternly. He entertained the question, though, saying, "That wasnt a great situation all the way around, with Bill Parcells resigning the day before and me resigning the day after that. Thats all water under the bridge."
It's not something he spends time reminiscing about. "I honestly dont spend a lot of time looking back on that," he said. "At that point in time, that situation, I did what I felt I needed to do, and I don't have any regrets about that. There's certainly a lot of things that could have been handled differently or whatever, but anyway, that doesnt matter now." Not so much.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while getting ready for the February heat wave headed our way.
*In the interest of self-promotion, here’s a podcast I did on Tuesday talking Bruins with former Hartford Whalers great and current outstanding TSN hockey analyst Ray Ferraro, who is also a great FOH (Friend of Haggs).
*Good piece on a Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster that has already gained plenty of internet plaudits for his great, and now legendary, Nick Bonino goal call in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
*It’s never too early to look at this summer’s crop of NHL draft-eligible players. Right, Kevin Allen?
*Apparently Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews has his own rap song, so he’s got that going for him…which is nice.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) and PHT writer Jason Brough has James Wisniewski trying to revive his NHL career after a short stint in the KHL.
*There’s a call for Nashville backup Juuse Saros to get more playing time between the pipes for the Predators.
*Larry Brooks brings his always interesting take to the Bruins situation in allowing Claude Julien to take the head gig in Montreal, and said it all came down to money. Big surprise there. I think there was also a concern from the B’s about having another PR nightmare on their hands if it was perceived that they stepped in and didn’t allow Julien to gain employment someplace else, regardless of what waited for him in the offseason. It also tells me that the Bruins aren’t afraid of Julien coaching their arch-rivals, which makes perfect sense since they just fired him.
*For something completely different: the image of Woody Harrelson in the Falcon cockpit is both jarring and super awesome.