Bruins' first line gives and takes away


Bruins' first line gives and takes away

BOSTON -- It was an adventurous Saturday for the newly configured forward line with David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin.

They continued their offensive rampage by supplying both of Bostons goals, but they were also on the ice for the definitive play that meant the difference between winning and losing in a 32 defeat at the hands of the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon.

Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic were both chasing Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald in what appeared to be an icing call against the Bruins with less than five minutes to go in the third period.

But the refs never called icing as the puck skittered past MacDonalds stick, and both Seguin and Lucic stopped skating on the play. The Islanders took full advantage of the momentarily disoriented Bs defense, and suddenly John Tavares had tipped a Matt Moulson blast past Tim Thomas for the game-winning score.

It was too bad because Tavares goal wiped out a beautiful display of speed and backhanded shooting close to the net when Zdeno Chara connected with Seguin on a bank pass off a face-off that freed him up for his 22nd goal of the season.

Seguin jumped into the arms of the 6-foot-9 Chara for a spontaneous hug that made it seem that the Bruins might just win consecutive games for the first time in seven weeks.

Thomas was right on the post-icing play as soon as the Isles continued it up the ice, but at that point they had speed, momentum and at least a couple of Boston forwards stuck up ice.

As soon as MacDonald picked it up somewhere near their blue line, I just forgot about it for the time-being and just went back to the play and worried about whether there was a messed up call there or not later, said Thomas.

Its a shame as the LucicKrejciSeguin has been offensively brilliant with six goals produced in each of the last two games, but there is a downside to that forward combination as well. There will be defensive breakdowns on the ice without Patrice Bergeron to cover for a 20-year-old Seguin still developing the two-way player that he wants to eventually become.

That was the case on Saturday afternoon when the game was decided on a single play, and Seguin was admirably taking responsibility afterward for failing to play until he heard the refs whistle.

I didnt touch it. Their guy touched it and we didnt hear the linesman say anything so we all kind of stopped. I guess in the end its kind of our fault, said Seguin. Usually people always say you play right until the whistle is blown and we didnt do that.

The one third-period mistake doesnt wipe out the 12 shots on goal, two goals produced and half-dozen Grade A scoring chances created by a forward line humming with confidence and top-end speed. But it serves as a good reminder that even a moments hesitation can cost a team like the Bruins thats going to have to work for everything they get as an undermanned hockey club.

Whether its a mistake or not, we make mistakes and the refs are entitled to make mistakes too. But that puck still went by two of our guys, and theyve got to take the blame. Weve got to play to the whistle, said Julien. Maybe it was icing, but we still could have handled it better than we did.

In the end, youve got to look at it and say, 'Yeah, maybe it was icing.' It looked like McDonald touched it, but at the same time, that doesnt excuse us from not playing it through. There was no whistle blown.

Patriots undrafted free agent signing Josh Augusta cut out pizza and lost a lot of weight

Patriots undrafted free agent signing Josh Augusta cut out pizza and lost a lot of weight

FOXBORO -- There are a lot of things in Josh Augusta’s past in football that makes him an intriguing player as the undrafted defensive tackle enters his pro career. Among them: a high-school career as a 320-pound receiver and fullback reps in college. 

Also in his past: About 50 pounds. 

That’s how much weight the Missouri product says he has lost since the end of last season, when he began slimming down from 390 pounds to where he is now with the Patriots. 

How did he do it? Cutting out pizza, for one. 

“I cut out all the fast food, late-night eating, cut out all that,” Augusta said Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. 

There were ample reasons to lose the weight. He’s had asthma all his life and has also dealt with sleep apnea and a thyroid condition in recent years. He wanted to be able to not only move better, but breathe better. 

Now in the 340s as he nears what he previously set as a 335-pound target weight, Augusta’s body is getting closer to what it was when he arrived at Missouri. 

“I feel faster. My breathing’s getting better, just because I lost the weight,” he said. “Just stay on track and hopefully everything still goes right.”

For Augusta, everything going right would entail him enjoying a long NFL career. For all the potential versatility with Augusta -- he says he could still see himself playing some fullback for the Pats if they wanted -- there was little surprise when he went undrafted given that he was not a consistent starter throughout his college career, which he finished as a second-stringer. There were also questions of his stamina, which he feels the weight loss has helped.

Yet the Patriots have done plenty with works in progress, particularly ones who can be used in multiple spots. As he looks to shape his professional career, Augusta thinks New England is the best-case scenario. 

“I feel great here,” he said. “I know I know I’m in good hands, just because of the history they have.” 

Quick Slants The Podcast: Arkansas coach discusses his Patriots pipeline

Quick Slants The Podcast: Arkansas coach discusses his Patriots pipeline

Listen to Phil Perry’s interview with Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, who has funneled his college players — James White, Trey Flowers, and others — to the Patriots in this edition of Quick Slants The Podcast.