Morning Skate: B's not quite over the hump

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Morning Skate: B's not quite over the hump

SAN JOSE, CA For the Bruins its something akin to Groundhog Day.

Twice in this month of March the Bs have put together two consecutive wins that had most optimistic they were pulling out of their forever .500 rut of the last two month. Twice the Bruins have dropped that third game to keep from hopping onto the season-ending roll that would signify that the Bruins are headed into the postseason at the top of their game.

Thursday night the Bruins dropped a flat 2-1 decision to the San Jose Sharks at their HP Pavilion home and truly didnt register much of an offensive blip until Zdeno Chara finally got them on the board in the third period.

The 17 shots signified a team that wasnt working hard enough to generate offensive chances or pay the price around the net. But Bruins coach Claude Julien said it was important that the Bruins avoid falling into the vicious cycle of frustration after again failing to prolong a winning streak.

I dont think were going to get frustrated every time we lose a game, said Claude Julien. We did do some good things out there. We allowed two goals the whole game. We didnt allow a ton of shots. Offensively we just didnt have the legs to create any kind of attack.

The first couple of periods there was a big gap between the defensemen and the forwards because the forwards were standing still instead of coming back to create speed. It got a little better in the third period, but we didnt have enough time to come back.

Tim Thomas was the best player on the ice for the Bruins with 25 saves many of them of the death-defying circus variety in the second period and was just as surprised at anybody else given the positive, energetic vibe in the dressing room prior to the San Jose loss.

There was no momentum carryover from the prior two wins at home when the Bruins were hoping with every fiber there would be.

If you asked me before the game I would have thought we would carry over the momentum. I thought wed turned the corner in the last two wins at home, said Thomas. Were having a hard time picking up momentum and keeping it for a long time. We have to pick it up again Saturday against the Kings.

But the Bruins need to bring that energy to the game rather than simply having it during warm-ups, and then theyll be the team they were against the Flyers and Maple Leafs and the team everyone expects them to be in the playoffs.

Morning Skate Links

Daniel Sedin appears to be out with a concussion but I dont think Ive heard an actual, official diagnosis from the team.
http:www.theprovince.comsportsDanielSedinreturndateunclear6345152story.html

Eric Duhatschek asks what is going on with the San Jose Sharks to which I would reply: a really cool yard sale of hockey players after the season is over.
http:www.theglobeandmail.comsportshockeyeric-duhatscheksan-jose-sharks-a...

FOH (Friend of Haggs) Joe Yerdon has an NCAA hockey tournament preview prior to games getting going this weekend.
http:prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com20120319back-to-class-your-pht-ncaa-tour...

Plenty of interesting thoughts here in a Calgary Sun piece about Brendan Shanahans philosophy about playoff suspensions, and the issue the league may have with some of it.
http:www.calgarysun.com20120322nhl-backtracking-on-punishment-with-shana...

Justin Bourne says when in doubt that players should probably shut up on the bench.
http:blogs.thescore.comnhl20120323nothing-gets-accomplished-on-the-bench...

A scathing hatchet job on Duncan Keith throwing a head shot at Daniel Sedin which ends with the line Friends dont let friends act like Canucks. Damn, I wish I had written that.
http:www.chicagotribune.comsportsrosenblogchi-keith-acts-like-a-canuck-2...

For something completely different: Bo Jackson has never played Tecmo Bowl. This seems all kinds of wrong to me
http:kotaku.com5895676bo-jackson-hero-of-tecmo-bowl-has-never-played-the...

Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

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Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

We're into the Top 10 now.

These are the plays of the Bill Belichick Era you best never forget. And probably can't. They're the ones that led directly to championships -- most for New England, a couple for the other guys. Or they're plays that signified a sea change in the way the New England Patriots under Belichick would be behaving from there on out.

I did my best to stack them in order of importance. You got a problem with that? Good. Let us know what's too high, too low or just plain wrong. And thanks for keeping up!

PLAY NUMBER: 4

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Feb. 3, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 20, Rams 17

THE PLAY: Vinatieri 48-yarder in Superdome delivers SB36 win

WHY IT’S HERE: When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, it was viewed nationally and locally as a cathartic moment for a long-suffering region. Deliverance for a fanbase that resolutely suffered through 90 years of star-crossed heartbreak with a mix of stoicism and fatalism. “Long-suffering Red Sox fan” was a badge of honor, an identity. And New Englanders – baseball fans or not - would self-identify with the hideous notion of Red Sox Nation. There was no “Patriots Nation.” To drag out the forced metaphor, Patriots fans were living in tents and cabins in the wilderness, recluses. Reluctant to be seen in town where they’d be mocked. And suddenly, they cobbled together one of the most improbable, magical seasons in American professional sports, a year which gave birth to a dynasty which was first celebrated, now reviled but always respected. And while so many games and plays led to this 48-yarder – ones we’ve mentioned 12 times on this list – Adam Vinatieri kicking a 48-yarder right down the f****** middle to win the Super Bowl was an orgasmic moment for the recluses and pariahs that had been Patriots fans when nobody would admit to such a thing.
 

PLAY NUMBER: 3

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Jan. 19, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 16, Raiders 13

THE PLAY: Vinatieri from 45 through a blizzard to tie Snow Bowl

WHY IT’S HERE: Two thoughts traveling on parallel tracks were running through the mind while Adam Vinatieri trotted onto the field and lined up his 45-yarder to tie Oakland in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff Game, the final one at Foxboro Stadium. “There’s no way he can make this kick in this weather,” was the first. “The way this season’s gone, I bet he makes this kick. It can’t end here. It can’t end now.” From where I was sitting in the press box I couldn’t see the ball clearly, probably because I was looking for it on a higher trajectory than Vinatieri used. So I remember Vinatieri going through the ball, my being unable to locate it in the air and then looking for the refs under the goalposts to see their signal. And when I located them, I saw the ball scuttle past. Then I saw the officials’ arms rise. Twenty-five years earlier, the first team I ever followed passionately – the ’76 Patriots – left me in tears when they lost to the Raiders in the playoffs. Now, at 33, I was covering that team and it had gotten a measure of retribution for the 8-year-old me.
 

OFFSEASON

Report: Celtics to bring back Gerald Green with one-year deal

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Report: Celtics to bring back Gerald Green with one-year deal

The Celtics will sign free agent Gerald Green, the guard they drafted with the 18th overall pick back in 2005, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reported.

Green, 30, played for the Miami Heat last season and averaged 8.9 points a game. Deveney reports Green will sign a one-year guaranteed contract. 

Green has been well-traveled since being traded by the Celtics in the Kevin Garnett deal in 2007, the year he won the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest. He has played for seven other NBA teams and played two seasons in Russia. His best season was 2013-14 in Phoenix when he averaged 15.8 points a game for the Suns. 

Deveney also reports that sources around the league continue to indicate the Celtics are looking to make a trade for a "star-caliber type" player. Last week, he reported on their interest in the Clippers' Blake Griffin.