EAST RUTHERFORD - High drama at the Meadowlands. Goose eggs everywhere after the first quarter. Some notes after one quarter of the Patriots-Giants dress rehearsal. Ryan Mallett got the start at quarterback. He nearly got picked throwing late to the sideline on the Patriots first drive, a throw better not made. Also, he threw a screen to Jesse Holley that was aimed directly at Holley's right hip as the play flowed left. Not that solid. Other offensive starters were all backups (oxymoron?). Sebastian Vollmer did get his first preseason action starting at right tackle and was just fine over there in place of The Marcus Cannon Experience. Darrion Weems and Vollmer were the tackles, Derek Dennis and Jeremiah Warren were the guards. Ryan Wendell started at center. Holley and Jeremy Ebert were the wideouts. Eric Kettani started at fullback and Brandon Bolden was the running back. Daniel Fells was the tight end. Vollmer and Wendell came out after two series. Cannon and Dan Koppen entered. Koppen played just one series before Dan Connolly took over. Jermaine Cunningham split a double team and came up with a sack. He started at defensive end. The other end was Trevor Scott. Brandon Deaderick and Ron Brace were the defensive tackles. The linebackers were Bobby Carpenter, Niko Koutouvides and Mike Rivera. Rookies Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner started at safety. Alfonzo Dennard and Ras-I Dowling were the corners. Marquice Cole got the night off, a signal he's probably going to make the team which is sensible. Jeff Demps returned kicks in the first quarter.
BOSTON – The Bruins ice a young lineup for their preseason opener against the Blue Jackets, and they got some solid results from the next generation of skaters ready to wear the Black and Gold. It wasn’t enough for the win, however, as Sam Gagner won the game in the shootout for the Blue Jackets by a 3-2 score after both Riley Nash and Jake DeBrusk dinged the left post with their first two shootout attempts.
DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Brandon Carlo, Jakub Zboril and Austin Czarnik all had very strong games as young players vying for NHL roster spots with a couple of jobs potentially open at the NHL level.
DeBrusk set up Jimmy Hayes for Boston’s first goal, and Heinen redirected a Carlo point shot past Curtis McElhinney in the third period to tie things up.
Sonny Milano opened up the game’s scoring by beating Anton Khudobin to the short side on a play where the B’s backup goaltender was a little bit sloppy with his technique. Hayes scored to tie things up for the Black and Gold on a nifty transition play up the ice that embodied the “play fast” philosophy that Claude Julien is espousing.
Daniel Zaar added a goal for the Blue Jackets midway through the second period that again gave Columbus the slim one goal lead, but that evaporated in the final 20 minutes when Heinen redirected a Carlo point shot from the slot area past the Blue Jackets netminder.
The Bruins will get back at it with another home preseason game at TD Garden against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.
WALTHAM, Mass. – Like so many players who have spent part of their NBA journey having Kevin Garnett barking in their ear words of encouragement or just telling them to get the hell out his (bleepin’) way, you can count Avery Bradley among those who will miss the man affectionately known as ‘Big Ticket.’
Garnett recently announced his retirement after 21 NBA seasons, leaving behind a legacy that includes an NBA title won with the Boston Celtics in 2008.
Among the current Celtics, Bradley is the only current member of the team who played with Garnett in Boston.
When Bradley got the news about Garnett’s retirement, he said he sat down and wrote Garnett a letter.
“To let him know how much I appreciate him, how special he is to me,” said Bradley who added that his relationship with Garnett was impactful both on and off the court. “Kevin’s just an amazing person.”
Leon Powe, a member of the Celtics’ championship team in 2008 with Garnett, echoed similar praise about his former teammate.
“As a teammate, as a player, KG meant the world to me,” Powe told CSNNE.com. “Intensity … he brought everything you would want to the game, to the practice field, he was just non-stop energy.”
And when you saw it time after time after time with him, pretty soon it became contagious.
“The intensity just motivated every guy on the team, including me,” Powe said. “It made you want to go out and lay it out on the line for him and the team. You see how passionate he is. You see he’s one of the greats. And when you see one of the greats of the NBA going hard like that all the time, you’re like ‘Man, why can’t I do that? It trickled down to me and every young guy on the team.
Powe added, “He brought that every single day, night, morning, it didn’t matter. He brought that intensity. That’s all you could ask for.”
And Garnett’s impact was about more than changing a franchise’s fortunes in terms of wins and losses.
He also proved to be instrumental in helping re-shape the culture into one in which success was once again defined by winning at the highest levels.
“KG has had as big an impact as anybody I’ve been around in an organization,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “The thing that stands out the most to me about KG is his team-first mentality. He never wanted it to be about KG, individual success to trump team success. He lived that in his day-to-day practice. That’s something I’ll remember about him.”