One-on-one with Theo: 'Sox can make a run'

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One-on-one with Theo: 'Sox can make a run'

Theo Epstein's in Chicago, but that doesn't mean he's not keeping an eye on his old team.

And he's not as down on the Red Sox as many people here.

"April was difficult," he told CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam in a one-on-one interview at Wrigley Field on Friday. "It almost seemed like a continuation of last September, and it was really hard. But they did a great job battling through. The Sox suffered a lot of critical injuries and still managed to fight their way back to .500."

And now?

"I think they're in a position in the A.L. East where once they get their guys healthy, they can make a real run at it," he said. "I think stabilizing the starting rotation's been a key for them. Having Clay Buchholz bounce back from his tough start and getting on track, and having Felix Doubront emerge, has been huge for them. And if they can have the other starters step up, they're going to be in a really good position when they get healthy."

On other issues, Epstein said the following:

On the aftermath of last September's collapse: "When that happens, it's important to be honest about it and step back and learn from it. And from what I can tell, everybody has. It was nobody's proudest moment, but what's important is what happens next."

On what he'll remember of his time in Boston: "When I look back on it, I feel lucky to have been a part of a group of people that helped change the organization for the better. Had a lot of success in scouting and player development and maybe changed the way people thought of Red Sox teams . . . I feel like we left the organization better than we found it. Obviously did some things that are historic in nature, and enjoyed ourselves. It wasn't perfect, but it was really good. We set a really high standard that, in the end, proved to be impossible to live up to all the time. Proud of the group of people that were involved in helping make all that happen."

On Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who also interviewed for the Red Sox job last offseason: "Dale's done a great job. It's been difficult circumstances. We haven't given him the '27 Yankees, exactly, to work with. Despite a lot of the losses, he's maintained a really even-keeled nature, set a really high standard for his expectations for the players. He's one of those rare managers who can pull off being really well-liked by the players, but also respected."

Bruins looking forward to getting World Cup teammates, coach back

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Bruins looking forward to getting World Cup teammates, coach back

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. 

Friday, Sept. 30: It's all Bruins in World Cup final

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Friday, Sept. 30: It's all Bruins in World Cup final

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.