Curran: 46 lines on 23 issues


Curran: 46 lines on 23 issues

FOXBORO Postgame leftovers and pregame tidbits to gnaw on as weget our bags packed for Super Bowl 46.

1. I was on the field for the final two minutes of the AFC Championship and under the goalpost when Billy Cundiff lined up his kick. My thought as he took the field was that I was now going to be stuck on the field away from my computer for who knew how long as overtime slogged forward.

2. The kick that will live in Baltimore infamy sailed directly over my head and totally missed the net. My reaction was, Holy fudge!

3. Then I was looking at exultant minutemen and stunned staties as the crowd exploded behind me. And I was glad I was on the field for that.

4. Cundiff was ghost white leaving the field and heading into the tunnel with a Baltimore assistant coach by his side. As he went up the tunnel, Patriots fans hung over the rail, screaming Thank you!

5. With the Patriots on the field for their extended postgame celebration, I went to the Ravens locker room to mine for nuggets. Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis spent an extended period talking to each other and when they were done, Suggs was near tears.

6. Ravens corner Chris Carr sat at the end of the locker room with some other defensive backs and said to his teammates, Can you believe that arrogant bleep tried to throw a deep ball on us to No. 18? I was like, Who is No. 18? "

7. The play Carr referred to was the fourth-quarter pick Tom Brady intended for Matthew Slater. It was a deep ball that worked from the other side in the season opener against Miami.

8. I asked Brady why he threw it. I just made up my mind to do it, he said regretfully.

9. It was interesting to see that, when Brady got to the podium in his postgame press conference, he immediately took the two Gatorade bottles perched in front of him and tucked them behind the podium. No free endorsements for his press conferences.

10. Brandon Spikes played well against the Ravens. He also did stupid things like throwing a punch during one post-play scuffle and shoving Marshal Yanda from behind after another.

11. Either play could have cost the Patriots defense 15 yards especially the latter. I asked him about it and he said he was playing mind games with the Ravens.

12. And that encapsulates why even though hes an entertaining guy and pretty talented hes an enigma.

13. Sterling Moore is going to be a good player for this team. Hes got excellent ball skills and quickness and his two plays at the tail end of the AFC Championship game were both proof of that.

14. O.J. Brigance played one game for the Patriots in 2002. He was with the team from September 10 to the 17th, made two special teams tackles and was released, ending a 12-year professional career that he spent in Canada and in the NFL with the Dolphins, Ravens, Rams and briefly the Patriots.

15. Confined to a wheelchair because of his battle with Lou Gehrigs disease, Brigance is now the Ravens Director of Player Development and was at the AFC Championship on Sunday, in the press box during the game and in the locker room afterwards. The 42-year-old has been a source of inspiration for the Ravens for several seasons.

16. I couldnt help but observe the unbridled excitement and joy in the Patriots locker room Sunday night and not contrast it to one of the oddest locker room scenes I remember from a victorious team. That was in January 2008 when the Patriots finished off their 16-0 regular season in New York and after a season under siege and ruined by the videotaping controversy the vibe was of a team extending a middle finger to a media horde that had ripped it mercilessly and questioned its legitimacy all season.

17. The 2007 team was better. This team and this season have been far more enjoyable.

18. When Robert Kraft mentioned Monday the interception that slipped through the hands of Asante Samuel on the final Giants drive in Super Bowl 42, it was clear he remains unforgiven. On the Saturday before that game when all the position groups were having their pictures taken, Samuel hollered for the 2008 free agent class to gather round for a shot and that did not go unnoticed.

19. It surprised me that the Giants opened up as three-point underdogs to the Patriots in SB46. They beat the Patriots in October, beat the top two seeds in the NFC on the road and played in a better conference.

20. Not surprisingly, the early money has poured in on the Giants. I say, take the over.

21. Oh, and the Ravens mismanaged the final play of their most important game in 11 seasons. A professional kicker should be able to make a 32-yarder in a scuba suit so this whining about the sinister and diabolical Patriots maybe just maybe screwing with the downs on the scoreboard and confusing the Ravens is a juvenile and embarrassing way of dodging responsibility for being unable to execute a job.

22. Seemed like the Patriots' field-goal block team was ready to go on the field. They musta gone over the If the Ravens are lining up a game-winning 32-yarder with 15 seconds left at the end of a chaotic drive, well be a down behind on the scoreboard so make sure you dont go by that strategy.

23. So Tim Thomas didnt go to the White House. Nothing wrong with a little conscientious objection as long as the guy is objecting conscientiously.

Talking Points: Price a problem for Bruins once again


Talking Points: Price a problem for Bruins once again

BOSTON -- GOLD STAR: The Bruins have a very hard time beating Carey Price, and that was proven once again on Saturday night in Boston. The best chances for the B’s probably came earlier in the game with Ryan Spooner getting a couple of quality scoring chances in the early going, and Price making a very solid stop on a spinning David Pastrnak surprise shot from the high slot through traffic in the closing seconds of the second period. In total, Price made only 19 saves but didn’t give in when the Bruins really needed a mistake to open the door and let them back in. It certainly won’t go down as Price’s best, but it was another great example of why the Montreal netminder is so important to the success of his Canadiens team.

BLACK EYE: Torey Krug had a rough night in 22:29 of ice time. He was on the ice for three goals against, he had five of his shots blocked throughout the game and he was beaten in a race to the puck by Paul Byron for a shorthanded goal during a key sequence in the third period. Krug was also on the ice for the crucial final goal scored by Torey Mitchell when both the D-man and David Krejci were prime culprits in the play developing as it did. It’s certainly not helping Krug that he’s playing on his “off” side with Joe Morrow right now, and that he’s doing all of this while also still ahead of when he was supposed to return from major offseason shoulder surgery. Krug has been “okay” through the season’s first two weeks, but he wasn’t good at all on Saturday night in the loss to Montreal.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins had a decent first period and played to a 2-2 draw in the third period, so it was the “terrible” second period, in the words of Claude Julien, which ended up sinking the Black and Gold’s battleship. The B’s made plenty of mistakes in managing the puck, had some very long shifts on the ice where they couldn’t get an easy change and started making mental mistakes as a result of the overextended shifts. That turned into some very soft defense on Montreal’s first goal of the game, and a bad decision by John-Michael Liles to pinch with skilled guys Alex Radulov and Phillip Danault ready to make the Bruins pay at the other end of the ice. The second period was Boston’s bugaboo plenty of times last season, and it was again on Saturday night vs. the Habs.

HONORABLE MENTION: It’s tough to pick out players from the losing side that really stood out, but Dominic Moore certainly deserves some consideration for the way things have started out for him in Boston. He and Tim Schaller executed a beauty of a give-and-go before Moore finished with a flourish against Carey Price, and that goal gives the fourth line center a pair of goals in his first five games with the B’s. Moore finished with the goal and four shot attempts in 13:02 of ice time along with 6-of-12 face-off wins, and earned a take-down, along with an extra two minutes, for grabbing Alexei Emelin in a headlock and driving him into the ice.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2-8-1 -- the Bruins overall record against the Canadiens in their last 11 meetings, and that doesn’t include nine straight home losses to the Habs dating back to 2012.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "There's no consistency in my game for whatever reason. I've gotta make sure I'm working to get better, so that my teammates can count on me every single shift. It’s not there right now, and I’ll take the blame for that. I’ve just got to work through it.” -- Torey Krug, who struggled with a minus-3 rating in Saturday’s loss to the Canadiens. 

Bruins 4-2 loss marks nine straight to the Habs at home


Bruins 4-2 loss marks nine straight to the Habs at home

BOSTON -- The Bruins made things interesting with a couple of goals in the third period to keep things close, but another home game against the Montreal Canadiens ended exactly the same way they have for the Black and Gold over the last four years.

This time the B’s dropped a 4-2 decision to the hated Habs at TD Garden on Saturday night despite a late push, and have now failed in nine straight home games versus their arch-rivals dating back to a Jan. 12, 2012 win. Some may remember that as the night Montreal traded Mike Cammalleri in between periods of the game, and unfortunately most others remember it as a period of time when Boston could still beat Montreal at home.

It didn’t look good with the Bruins down by a couple of goals entering the third period after earlier second period scores from Brendan Gallagher and Phillip Danault. But that’s when the Black and Gold once again attempted to engineer a comeback as have become commonplace for them in this young season.

Dominic Moore scored on a nice give-and-go with Tim Schaller to get the B’s on the board in the third period, and then the Bruins traded special teams’ goals with a Paul Byron shorthanded strike and a Ryan Spooner power play marker. It looked like the Bruins had some momentum to potentially tie things up in the third, but bad things happened once again with David Krejci and Torey Krug as they had for most of the night.

A turnover in the defensive zone allowed Torey Mitchell to score a backbreaking goal while simultaneously getting a high-stick to the face courtesy of Krejci. The Mitchell goal gave the Habs a two-goal cushion lead in the third period, and made the Bruins 2-8-1 in their last 11 overall games against their arch-rivals from Montreal.