Troy Brown leads the champs' charge on the Patriots' Hall

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Troy Brown leads the champs' charge on the Patriots' Hall

Troy Brown is the leading edge of a "tsunami of quality" that is about to crash into eligibility for the Patriots Hall of Fame.

The term "tsunami of quality" was blurted out by longtime Patriots reporter Ron Hobson, formerly of the Patriot Ledger, on Tuesday at a meeting to discuss candidates for the 2012 Patriots Hall of Fame class.

Brown is the first of the Super Bowl-winning Patriots to become eligible since he's been out of the league for five seasons. Next year, Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison and Willie McGinest are eligible. Ty Law becomes eligible in 2014 and Mike Vrabel and Lawyer Milloy are eligible in 2015.
It is indeed, a tsunami.

On Tuesday, the 19-member Hall of Fame nomination committee gathered at Tavolino at Patriot Place to discuss the candidates for this year's class.

Each year since 2007, the committee votes for three candidates to be presented as finalists for the Patriots Hall of Fame. Fans then vote on the finalists and the winner of that fan vote is the inductee.

Last year, Drew Bledsoe was inducted. The other nominees were Bill Parcells and Houston Antwine, a three-time finalist who dominated as a defensive lineman in the AFL.

Brown's eligibility and the presence of former finalists Parcells and Antwine means there are three likely nominees already in the mix. But a significant amount of time was spent discussing other Patriots greats, including Leon Gray, Irving Fryar, Julius Adams, Raymond Clayborn, Jim Plunkett, Curtis Martin, Mosi Tatupu and Fred Marion.

Coaches Chuck Fairbanks and Mike Holovak were also debated.

Personally, I cast my votes for Brown, Parcells and Antwine.

In the past, I've cast my vote for Leon Gray, a tremendous tackle who played alongside John Hannah to form one of the greatest guard-tackle duos in league history. But there's no real groundswell for Gray aside from myself and a couple of others and I believe Antwine deserves to ultimately get in given his three-time finalist status.

No player epitomized the Patriots' rise to prominence more than Troy Brown, an eighth-round pick who contributed on offense, defense and special teams and was the best football player on the team from 2000 through 2003.

Parcells, despite his messy departure, was there for the first dawn of the Patriots post-Kiam Era and impacted everything with his presence, ability and personality.

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

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McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.