Bruins get their third-period groove back

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Bruins get their third-period groove back

NEWARK The third-period letdowns were the first sign that the recent road trip through the NHL sunshine belt didnt represent the real Bruins.
The B's dropped two of the first three games and were outscored 6-2 in the final period, which has been winning time for the Black and Gold this year. They looked tired and resigned to their fate while dropping games to the Hurricanes and Lightning.
But all that changed after Andrew Ference rattled home a howitzer from the left point minutes into the third period against the New Jersey Devils Thursday night. It was the first of four consecutive goals in a 4-1 win at the Prudential Center.
We had competed a lot harder in the first two periods than we had in a while, but I thought we needed more shots and opportunities in the third period, said coach Claude Julien. The Devils were making it hard on us, but once we got that Ference goal in the third period, breakouts were cleaner and things seemed to be a lot better.
Our execution was better, we got our second wind and that goal really lifted us.
Was it case of enough is enough after the emotionally skimpy first 40 minutes against New Jersey?
A little bit . . . we were also trying not to get frustrated and start pointing fingers, said Shawn Thornton, whose line accounted for two of the goals. We werent getting the calls, but sometimes you need to play through that stuff and do it together. Its in this room. You cant put it on anybody else.
I think that was the biggest thing: Going out and playing our game as a team without getting frustrated. We wanted to try and put a good 20 together. We knew that we had a chance if we could do that, and we did.
The Bruins are still outscoring opponents 67-30 in the final period this season, and it speaks volumes about the teams depth that it immediately reverts back to form when its whole forward lineup is intact.
The Red Wings rank as the only team higher than the Bs plus-37 goal differential over the final 20 minutes, but it appears its only a matter of time before it's the Bruins' domain again now that they have their third-period groove back.

Turner jokes that Celtics will retire his number

Turner jokes that Celtics will retire his number

It’s not the craziest thing someone has said on Twitter, but Evan Turner tweeted Monday that the Celtics should retire his number. 

It was a joke, of course, as the former Celtic was reacting to news that Isaiah Thomas had said he liked the No. 11 and would change his jersey number if so many people in Boston hadn’t already purchased his No. 4 jersey. 

After Turner joked that No. 11 was going to be retired, Thomas joked back that he would wear No. 11 as a tribute to the current Trail Blazer. 

Prior to being traded to Boston, Thomas wore No. 22 for Sacramento and No. 3 for Phoenix. 

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 

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The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability.