Leftovers from breakfast with Belichick


Leftovers from breakfast with Belichick

PALM BEACH - Bill Belichick spoke - at times reluctantly, at times expansively - for 45 minutes Tuesday morning.

Some leftover nuggets and quotes from the session.

On the competition at the wideout position: "We've always had about that many receivers going into camp 10, 11, somewhere in there. I don't know. We'll see what the roster ends up being this year. Yeah, there's going to be a number of receivers some guy at that position might not even be on our team right now and we're not even talking about. It's just a process. We're a long way from . . . we signed a couple guys the beginning of March. We're not even a month into the whole offseason team-building process. We've got March, we've got April, we've got May, June, July. Training camp starts the end of July. It's a long process. We'll see how it all comes together."

I saw a list of Miami Dolphins' talking points drawn up for the NFL Owners Meetings in the hands of their PR guy Harvey Greene. Before I stopped reading, because I felt guilty, I noted that there were guidelines for the owner, head coach and GM. Mostly, it was about being open, accessible and that their was a new era beginning. Bill Belichick's talking points for the morning? "We'll see how it goes." He spit that out at least two dozen times.

No word on Matt Light's possible (it's been reported as likely) retirement or Chris Simms joining the coaching staff.

Chris Fiammetta and Spencer Larsen - short-yardage and goal-line options to replace BenJarvus Green-Ellis? "Yeah. Possibly."

Jonathan Fanene being a player similar to Mike Wright? "Sure there are some similarities. Sure there are some differences."

One difference is Mike Wright not being Samoan. "Mike's not Samoan, no. He's about as far from Samoan as you can get."

On an extension for Wes Welker. "I don't know, we'll see how it goes. All the players that are on our roster, there's some degree of looking to thefuture with every player so, we don't have anything to announce or report so Idon't know."

On plans for the London game: "I think last time we played we went out Thursday. We've done the trip before sowe've got a little bit of experience with it. There's a few things we've gottaput in place but that's not really at the top of the list right now. The factthat we've done it definitely helps, no doubt about that. At least we know whatwe're dealing with. I imagine we'll do something similar to what we did lasttime. It all worked out fairly well. Our operations guys and travel guys, Ithought they did a good job. It's a long way to go but all things consideredthe trip went pretty smoothly. I would think we'll do something pretty similarto what we did last time."

Asked why I want to know about the London trip already, I told him I'm thinking about seeing if I can bring the family over and need to know if he's going to screw up the vacation with a lot of events. "You might want to go to Paristhen Amsterdam then swing down to Rome and then back to London for the game," Belichick offered. "Maybe we'll go to Moscow for an afternoonwalkthrough."

Pastrnak's two goals lead Bruins past Panthers, 4-3

Pastrnak's two goals lead Bruins past Panthers, 4-3

BOSTON – The Bruins are undefeated this season when they manage to cobble together three goals in a game. 

It took a little extra as David Pastrnak knifed through former BC defenseman Mike Matheson in overtime for his second goal of the game, and his 15th of the season, to take a 4-3 win over the Panthers at TD Garden. 

It was thought the final offensive push they needed took place in the third period when Ryan Spooner hopped on the David Krejci line with David Backes, and fired a shot at the Boston net that Backes redirected through Roberto Luongo for his seventh of the season. 

But the Panthers tied it up on a Demers goal late in the third period, and that set up Pastrnak’s brilliant one-on-one move for the game-winner for the Black and Gold. 

The Bruins led off the scoring on a nice play by Tim Schaller winning a battle to enter the Florida zone, and then circling around behind the net before burying a one-timer from the slot as he crashed the net to connect with a David Krejci dish headed straight his way. 

The Panthers tied it a period later when the legend, Jaromir Jagr, buried a chance from the slot after his line had hemmed in the David Krejci line and Torey Krug/Adam McQuaid pairing for an extended shift in the Boston zone. It was goal No. 754 of Jagr’s brilliant NHL career as he continues to go strong for the Panthers, and it also tied the game 1-1. 

The Bruins looked like they might haven the lead for good on David Pastrnak’s 14th goal of the season, but it wasn’t mean to be. Pastrnak started it all by protecting a puck and retaining possession from his knees in the corner of the offensive zone. Eventually Patrice Bergeron fired a puck wide of the net, and Brad Marchand unleashed a spinning, no-look pass to a waiting Pastrnak for the easy score past Roberto Luongo. 

The Panthers tied it a second time in the third period when Reilly Smith stripped a puck from Patrice Bergeron going up the center of the ice, and eventually it found its way to Aleksander Barkov for a ripped shot from long distance for his fourth goal of the season. 

Then Florida tied it again in the final minutes of the third on a Jason Demers rebound bid after Mike Matheson’s shot went wide of the net and took a wild carom off the end boards in the exact opposite direction. 

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics struggling with three-pointers


Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics struggling with three-pointers

You knew the 3-point shots were going to be flying all game long when the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets tipped off Monday night. 
Now whether they would go in, that’s another matter entirely. 
Boston’s struggles with knocking down the long ball played a pivotal role in them going into the half trailing the Houston Rockets, 58-48.
Houston, the NBA’s leader in three-pointers made (14.0) and taken (37.0), were 8-for-21 in the first half on 3s while the Celtics were a not-so-impressive 5-for-18.
Despite the shooting struggles, Boston managed to lead 37-36 after a driving lay-up by Jaylen Brown. 
But the Rockets had too much firepower and when they weren’t knocking down shots, they were getting to the free throw line where there 18-for-20 compared to Boston which was just 1-for-2.
Here are the first half Stars, Studs and Duds from Monday’s game. 


James Harden

The MVP candidate was bringing it all areas, scoring 21 points to go with seven assists. But he was far from perfect, evident by his six turnovers. 
Isaiah Thomas

He led the Celtics with 11 points, but looks to be growing frustrated with the lack of calls going the Celtics’ way. Near the end of the second quarter, Thomas was grimacing while holding his right groin. But it didn’t appear to be too big a deal as he hit a 3-pointer just moments later. But it’s worth keeping an eye on in the second half. 

Jaylen Brown

He gave Boston a surprisingly strong lift off the Celtics bench. At the half, he had seven points which included a lay-up that put Boston ahead 37-36.

Trevor Ariza

He doesn’t get a ton of attention, but Ariza’s play has been one of the keys to Houston’s success this season. At the half he had 10 points and six rebounds.


Jonas Jerebko

He got the start tonight, but looks nothing like the high-energy, impact player he has been of late while coming off the bench. He was scoreless in the first half while missing all three of his shot attempts.