Yeah, well, apparently notice of my Super Bowl sendoff wasn't as well-publicized as the Patriots.Instead of 25,000 fans thronging on the lawn of my sprawling Lakeville estate, I had a pug under my feet, three sons showing varying levels of interest in the fact I'll be gone nine nights, and a wife making me promise not to be stupid. Miss them? Yeah. A lot. Lucky to be going to my ninth Super Bowl? Unbelievably. I've said it before, while wecannotroot for the teams we cover, my work and life situation have been aided by the fact I've covered the Patriots during the Bill Belichick Era. Because they've been damn good, I've been able to cover some of the most memorable moments in NFL history, the greatest coach of the Super Bowl Era and - in my mind - the greatest quarterback that ever played. As a beat guy at the Providence Journal from February 2002 through August 2006 (and for five years before at the Metrowest Daily News), my work was more widely-read because of the success of the team I covered. That led to a national opportunity with NBCSports.com from 2006 through 2009, and that led to a chance to come back to the Boston market to write and do television for Comcast SportsNet. My first job in writing was at the Barnstable Patriot. I worked there from February 1992 through June 1994 and made 300 a week plus 20 for gas. I didn't make more than 20K until November 1995. I make more than that now. When I popped my laptop open here at Gate 22, I didn't know what I was going to write. This just came out. And I'm glad it did because - even though covering a Super Bowl with"your" team in it is a ton of work and a ton of pressure-it's an incredible opportunity I'm extremely lucky to have. I know many of you would not just do it for free, but would pay for the chance. So stick with me, Mary Paoletti and Phil Perry from Indy all week. Keep up with Rich Levine on his ingenious odyssey from Boston to Indy. Follow all our shows on TV - 60 hours work - and we hope you enjoy what we bring you. We are so happy for the chance to do it.
BRIGHTON, Mass. – With the World Cup of Hockey and Team Canada crowned as champions, the final few Bruins players involved in the international hockey tournament will be filtering back into regular training camp.
It was a brilliant tourney for Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, especially while forming the World Cup’s best forward line with Sidney Crosby. Marchand was one of the leading scorers and had the clutch game-winner in the decisive game.
As a line they combined for a ridiculous 25 points in six games and it was Marchand who scored a couple of the biggest goals in the biggest games against Russia and Team Europe.
“They did it all of last season for us, so I’m not shocked. They played well throughout the entire time they played there, so I’m really happy for them,” said Ryan Spooner. “It’s been kind of a weird camp. We’ve been missing a lot of guys, and to get all of those guys back is huge. They’re the leaders of the team, so to get them back is good.
“Marchand around the room is a funny guy, so he’s definitely missed. We miss them all.”
Zdeno Chara was a force for the surprising rag-tag group of players on Team Europe and led them to the best-of-three final series against Team Canada. Now that it’s over, the B’s teammates are looking forward to all three joining fellow World Cup participants Tuukka Rask, David Pastrnak and David Backes at camp probably at some point next week.
“It does [feel like training camp], but it will be nice to get those guys back,” said Adam McQuaid. “They are big parts of this team. We’re looking forward to having those guys back, for sure.”
That also includes getting their coach, Claude Julien, back as well after missing his presence while he served behind the Canadian bench with Mike Babcock and Barry Trotz. He’ll be rejoining the Bruins over the next couple of days, and getting through preseason road games against Detroit and Philadelphia before making some tough decisions on cuts at main training camp.
That’s when things will officially start getting back to normal for a training camp that’s felt like something was a little missing over the first few weeks of getting ready for the season.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while taking a nap this afternoon so I can watch the 1:30 am replay of tonight’s Bruins/Red Wings game on the NHL Network.
*Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara scored the goals at the World Cup’s decisive game on Thursday night, and No. 63 got the clutch game-winner late in the third period for Team Canada. Then he watched as linemate Sidney Crosby won the MVP for the tournament in what could be perceived, from a Boston point of view, as a largely Canadian-based hockey media fawning over Sid the Kid once again. Look, he was the tournament’s leading scorer, but last night’s heroics probably should have tipped the scales toward the B’s agitator getting the World Cup hardware.
*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Halford has Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm seeking an eight year deal from his team. That could be another contract negotiation to watch closely if you’re a Bruins fan.
*Zach Werenski, one of the D-men the Bruins were trying to trade up to get two years ago in the first round of the draft, is looking like he might be NHL-ready for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
*Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov is holding out with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and just wants to get paid like the rest of his teammates.
*Marian Hossa says he still wants to play hockey when he’s 42 years old, or close to the age that countrymen Zdeno Chara is right now.
*Here are some preseason college hockey storylines with the world of NCAA hockey about to start up in force.
*A judge has ruled that the family of the late Derek Boogaard may pursue a lawsuit against the NHL over the death of their son.
*For something completely different: “Tex Ryan” takes his jokes to open mic night and I’m fairly this is Toucher and Rich skewering the Buffalo Bills head coach. And rightfully so.