Is Lloyd's Patriotic bent hurting him?

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Is Lloyd's Patriotic bent hurting him?

Maybe Brandon Lloyd was a little too open about his preferred employer in 2012. If Lloyd wants to be a Patriot and the Patriots would like him to be a Patriot, why should any other team buy him a plane ticket and spend a day introducing him around the facility? That's the prevailing reasoning among the NFL people I've spoken to when I asked why all's been quiet on the Brandon Lloyd front. He didn't appear to be keeping his options open. With the initial burst of free agency subsiding and all the best wideouts on the market having settled at new addresses, Lloyd remains on the market. He did visit the San Francisco 49ers but sources close to the team there speculate that was a favor done for agent Tom Condon. The Niners host Lloyd, show the rest of the league - and specifically the Patriots - that Lloyd has a market and, somewhere down the road, Condon makes business easier for the Niners on some future deal. Happens a lot. But back to Lloyd. This week has been all about wide receivers. Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne, Josh Morgan and Laurent Robinson have all signed somewhere. Garcon - who hasn't had a season remotely as productive as Lloyd - got a five-year, 42 million deal from the Redskins. And Lloyd hasn't had a reported sniff except from the Niners. The level of contact between the Patriots and Lloyd is unknown. What is known is the affinity of offensive Josh McDaniels for Lloyd and the receiver's belief that McDaniels is the man he wants to play for. A week ago, Lloyd told me he was "very interested in hearing the Patriots pitch."Are the Patriots still standing on the mound looking in for the sign or have they delivered their pitch and LloydCondon judged it too low.

The dynamic that now exists is that Lloyd could (and this is speculation because I haven't had contact with him) become indignant over having been stood up. And given the history between Condon and the Patriots, the agent will not be bending over backward to make sure he facilitates a team-friendly deal when the rest of the league is stuffing millions in the waistbands of middling wideouts. The Patriots will use leverage to their benefit. And if they don't have it, they may try to create it (Danny Amendola?). Lloyd gave the Patriots all the leverage they needed by making it very clear he wanted to play in New England. In the end, the Patriots' offense will be better with Lloyd in it. They have the belly to wait things out. We'll see if Brandon Lloyd has the patience.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.