Rolston not worrying about revenge against Islanders


Rolston not worrying about revenge against Islanders

It didnt get very warm and fuzzy when Brian Rolston talked of squaring off against the team that traded him to the Bruins the New York Islanders as Boston travels to Long Island for a Saturday tilt at Nassau Coliseum.

It wasnt anger or contempt in Rolstons voice or eyes when he spoke about his Isles experience, however.

It was more like an emotional disconnect that Long Island never really registered all that high with the 39-year-old. That probably makes sense given the Isles place in the NHLs lower rung of hockey clubs as something significantly less than an ideal hockey destination.Rolston played exactly 45 games for the Islanders with a lowly nine points. There was a liberal mixture of injuries and healthy scratches to go around for the highly respected veteran that reduced his playing time, and ultimately caused New York to go in a different direction.

Being placed on waivers by Garth Snow and the Isles must have stung a bit for a highly decorated NHL veteran like Rolston, but versatile forward has changed teams enough to temper some of the potentially strong emotional pull. In other words he wont be breathing fire on the ice when he suits up against the Islanders.

When youre younger and you play a former team it might be a little nerve-wracking, but in this situation not so much, said Rolston. Ive been around a long time. Its about trying to well yourself as an individual and play well as a team.

Its a whole new life that I have here in Boston, and you kind of put it behind you.It would be natural if Rolstons chest were puffed out a little bit more rolling into the Island with 13 points in 16 games during the month of March, and a key third line role on a team thats destined for the postseason. Rolston used the phrase bad fit as a way to describe his experience with the Islanders after arriving in Boston, but was steering clear of that kind of talk Friday after an optional team practice.

Things go through your mind. Im 39 and Ive played a lot of years, so it definitely goes through your mind wondering whether youre going to get lost in the fold there, said Rolston, alluding to when things started to go awry during his Islanders experience. But then when you get an opportunity you have to take advantage of it and its been a good fit for me here in Boston.

Sweet revenge, or whatever Rolston would prefer to call it, would be celebrating a victory that clinches a playoff spot on the Nassau Coliseum ice where things might have ended for him without a trade. But anything more would have meant the experienced higher on Rolstons emotional Richter scale and that doesnt seem to be the case.

Randy Moss: Roger Goodell is 'biggest reason' for NFL's problems

Randy Moss: Roger Goodell is 'biggest reason' for NFL's problems

With the NFL facing more PR issues by the day, Randy Moss has identified what he feels is wrong with a league that can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

In wake of the Josh Brown situation, which saw the NFL blame the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office for the lack of initial punishment given to the Giants kicker for domestic violence, Moss said on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown that commissioner Roger Goodell is the league’s biggest problem. 

“[This is] a bad time to show up now, breast cancer awareness month where we’re supporting the women, and then you come up with this Josh Brown, where it doesn’t seem like we are supporting women,” Moss said. “I think the NFL needs to take a deep look. I think the owners are mad, and Roger Goodell, he is the biggest reason to all of this stuff that’s fallen downhill with the NFL. I have to agree with that.”

Brown was initially given a one-game suspension for violating the league’s conduct policy stemming from his 2015 fourth-degree domestic violence charge. On Friday, the 37-year-old was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. 

Steelers know they'll have their hands full with Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett


Steelers know they'll have their hands full with Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett

PITTSBURGH – So far this season, Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski have combined for 39 catches, 644 yards and five touchdowns. Making the numbers that much more impressive is the fact the numbers were rolled up with Gronk inactive for two games and fairly useless in another thanks to his hamstring injury.

Will the Steelers slow the roll of Robellus Grennetski?

Hard to imagine. As Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out, Gronk alone has tuned up the Steelers with 26 receptions for 403 yards and seven touchdowns in six meetings.

Fittipaldo explored the strategies the Steelers defense may unveil Sunday afternoon when the Patriots and Steelers get going. He also pointed out that the return of linebacker Ryan Shazier after a three week layoff and injuries for safeties Mike Mitchell and Robert Golden may put Pittsburgh at a disadvantage.

Said Shazier: “They have the tandem they want at tight end. Now they can use tight ends the way they want. You have to respect everyone on the field. Both of them are good blockers, good pass threats and great at running after the catch.”

Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler said Pittsburgh will alter its approaches.

“We have to be able to play more than one defense,” Butler said. “They’re very good and they’ll pick you apart if they can figure out what you’re doing. We just have to execute the defense more than anything else. If we can do that … that’s been our problem for the most part. Some of the things that went on last week, we missed some things we should have made mentally.”

What “went on last week” was a 30-15 loss to the Dolphins.

Pittsburgh hasn’t been a big-play group so far -- eight sacks and three picks -- nor have they seen a gauntlet of great quarterbacks in the first six games. 

Interestingly, their losses have been to Ryan Tannehill and rookie Carson Wentz, probably the two quarterbacks one would figure Pittsburgh would do best against.
Between a smoking hot Brady and a can’t-be-stopped tight end tandem, there’s probably not a lot Pittsburgh can do aside from hoping for an off day.

Said linebacker Arthur Moats hopefully: “You have to continue to mix it up against (Gronkowski). You can’t give him the same look over and over. He has success on guys like that. If we disrupt him, and rush Brady and speed up his clock, I definitely think that will help out.”

In theory, perhaps. In practice? We’ll see.