Les Miserables

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Les Miserables

By Michael Felger

We have another Montreal game tonight?

Oh, goody . . .

Felger,Which fans do you think are the worst? Philly sports fans or Montreal fans? As a Boston sports fan, I believe that Philly sports fans are animals.WillNewton

In terms of pure menace, youre right. There is nothing worse than a Philly fan. But if youre talking the "worst" fans in North America, its Montreal and there isnt really a close second. I mean, we all remember the Eagles fans being ugly down at the Super Bowl in Jacksonville, but as far as I can remember, I dont remember any of them calling the cops on Rodney Harrison after the game.

Montreal fans are babies of the highest order. Frauds. Hypocrites. And the worst part is that the media up there doesnt keep them in check. They make it worse.

What Montreal has attempted to do to Zdeno Chara through all of this is despicable. Arrest him. Ruin his reputation. Vilify him. All for a questionable hockey play that the NHL deemed 100 percent legal. Not even Philadelphia fans would do that.

Hey Felger,I was watching you and Haggerty the other night debating about who would be a good matchup for the Bruins in the playoffs. I cannot believe Haggs is dismissing the Penguins so easily. Is he watching the games or does he just look at box scores and see that Crosby and Malkin arent there and assume they are no longer a contender? Not sure why he is commenting on hockey if he isnt watching the games.VictorCambridge

Its hard to see when your glasses are tinted black and gold and your poo bear underwear are riding up high in the back. Poor Joe. Watch that team play. Theyre tough. Theyre smart. As their coach likes to say, they grind you down. Theyve been without three of their best players (add Orpik to Crosby and Malkin) and without the very best player in the league (Crosby) for months -- and yet they have virtually the same record as a Bruins team thats been relatively healthy the entire season. If the Penguins had their full lineup, theyd beat the Bruins in five. In their current state, theyd still probably beat them in seven.

Mikey,Im liking this bickering with you and Haggs. How long have you two been married now? Good stuff, keep it up!But anyways, my hockey question of the week: Why is the NHL and Bettman so scared to exercise their power and only go straight by the book? Is it the NHL union? Also, I'm on the Tyler Seguin bandwagon. I'm convinced that if he'd gone to the Oilers and Hall was here, Seguin would be a 20-30 goal scorer. He needs 12-15 minutes a night and to be on the PP. He has the skills and, from what I read, has the work ethic and a great attitude. I am totally convinced he will be a top 10 scorer!And on to Tuukka. I've thought about this a lot: Wouldnt you have been flipping your lid like he was with the crap playing in front of him? I dont think he got a fair chance to be the No. 1 goalie this year. There was no competition since Thomas was so good early. If Im pissed about it, he's probably pissed too, and this is his way of venting frustration towards his team and mostly towards Claude for the way he has not allowed him to get into a routine. He didnt play back to back games until January!DaveWoburn

Agreed on the by-the-book nature of NHL justice. They could easily invoke the "intent to injure clause more than they do and eliminate plenty more dangerous hits from hockey. They could have gotten Chara on in and they could have gotten Cooke on it last year. The NFL has gone outside the book and its had an impact. Head shots are down. Just another example of how the NHL is behind the rest of the leagues in North America.

Meanwhile, Seguin to the power play? Yes, of course. Beyond that, nothing is more important to the future of the Bruins than his development. Whoever the coach is next year, that has to be priority No. 1.

And dont worry about Rask. Hes got a long career in front of him. Hell get over it.

Hey, Felg,I agree with everything you say about the Bruins. The ONLY thing we disagree on is Bergeron; I like him. Everything else you say is genius. Let me ask you this, where is Haggerty? I remember after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup on their westCanada trip (oops, I mean after they went 6-0), the Bruins were all the sudden the best team in the league? Wow, let's not get ahead of ourselves. A lot of callers were even agreeing with that -- and I just could not believe it. Also, insanely good job calling out the buffoons on that radio show up in Montreal. That was priceless. Keep up the awesome workThanks againNeal

A: A quick clarification: I like Bergeron very much. I just dont love his contract (I dont think hes a 5 million player) and I think Krejci is better. But Bergeron is huge for this team. They need him in the playoffs big time.

Hey Felger,The only word to describe the Bruins this season has been inconsistent. They win 6-of-6 on a road trip and fans are starting to think of a parade down Causeway in late Mayearly June. But then they follow that up with losing 6-of-7. Incredibly inconsistent.The success of the Bruins is extremely dependent on the play of their goalies. When they play well, the Bruins usually play well. With only 10 games remaining in the regular season, I think it is time for Claude to pick a goaltender and stick with him for the remainder of the season and the playoffs (an off night here or there is fine, but he needs to pick one). Having two goalies and playing them both consistently doesnt allow them to get into any rhythm and flow. You dont want to go into the playoffs with your starting goaltender cold and rusty, thats why I think now is the time to pick a goalie and ride him. That guy is Thomas in my opinion, tough to go against his experience in the playoffs.Ryan
Yup, its Thomas. Peter Chiarelli even said the other day that he expects Thomas to get 6 or 7 of the remaining 10 starts. So thats the guy, as it should be.

And the inconsistency is easily explained. Its what happens when youre good but not great.

Felger You DB!I think you greatly underestimate the backlash from the NFL rule changes that increase on-field instant replay. The reason why I brought up sponsorship is pretty simple. While anyone selling anything wants to be associated with the NFL, you wont find a bit of signage or a single logo on those sideline replay confessionals. You would assume that, say, Sony would love to see its name burned into tens of millions of viewers retinas as officials review a call. But for once, advertisers know better. They know that they way replay is currently conducted in the NFL is a joke perpetrated on viewers just to allow the on field staff to save face. The way to go is obviously a full-time official buzzing Hochuli and telling him, "Hey Pecs, you blew it reverse the call. But instead were subjected to an impromptu commercial break as the crew chief decides for five minutes what the meaning of inconclusive is. Viewers are sick of the never-ending commercials as it is. And now there is the possibility of one of these after every scoring play? Thats the NFL equivalent of Potassium nitrate, because nothing will collapse a touchdown pants tent faster than being subjected to five minutes of Hochulis beefy ass sticking out of the replay booth like a peep show with arena seating. Oh yeah, sponsors want a piece of that! Sony adores customers going into Best Buy for a new 5-D TV before the Super Bowl and getting the douche chills when they see their logo. BTW, any idea on why Mazz gets so worked up when I agree with you? Youd think I had trademarked the phrase "Youre Absolutely Right Mike!MikeAttleboro

Now, now, Mikey. Theres plenty of me to go around to both you and Tony.

As for the new replay provision, I see your point. But you know more commercials are coming. The touchdown-commercial-kickoff-commercial thing is already insufferable. Just wait until we get the touchdown-commercial-Hochuli explanation-extra point-commercial-kickoff-commercial flow. I just thought it would open up more sales opportunities, but maybe youre right. No one will want to be associated with it.

Bottom line: I dont think people understand how bad its going to be. Every time a runner slams into the pile at the goal line the ref is going to go under the hood. Its going to be brutal.

Hey Felger,Just listened to a recent interview Mike Francesa had with John Mara, the Giants owner, where he discusses the Giants' policy regarding the payment schedule of season tickets during the lockout. (Giants season-ticket holders are not required to pay up front during the work stoppage). Now, put yourself back in college where your professor had you "compare and contrast." Do that with the Patriots payment schedule policy that requires payment in full by March 31. See the difference? Like the saying goes, "it's all about the money."
Would you pay full price for a Broadway production or theater district performance five months in advance if you didn't know who was in the cast, or how many rehearsals they had? Probably not. But Patriot season-ticket holders are expected to pay for a similar situation. The Giants have the proper approach.Your comments please.Dick

If Kraft wanted to be a mensch on this he could easily tell the fans to hold their money during the lockout but he doesnt feel like being a mensch. Simple as that. Up to you whether you want to continue to give him your business.

Felger,I didnt like it when it happened. I have watched for weeks as all the folks in the official Greg Dickerson Celtics NBA ball bag sold us Krstic as a tremendous offensive rebounder and scorer and Jeff Green as the replacement for James Posey in waiting.Just me, or did it seem like the urgency to bring back the "small lineup" went from 0 to 60 on trade day? I haven't heard the C's say they missed that lineup for two years, and all of a sudden it's all you hear out of the sack.I listened to them list this trade as a steal because Green brings you length, youth, energy, quickness and flexibility. (And did you hear he can play the 3 and the 4?) Perkins brought defense, toughness and championships. I like the second list.Hows your boy Tony feeling about that "chance that the Celtics might be "significantly better?Didnt like it then. Dont like it now.Peace,
JakeBoston

Careful, Jake. Youre going to make Dickerson cry.

Yo, Felger,Listen to 98.5 every day and watch Comcast reruns every morning out here in Northern California. Below is something I e-mailed to the local sports station regarding the eminent moving of the Sacramento Kings to Anaheim. It is only my opinion, but the repercussion of what Stern did to make sure Los Angeles got a chance at Game Seven (in 2002) has had a decade-long ripple effect that will ultimately kill an entire team. . . . the recent power-hungry, look-at-me comments from the dictator Stern concerning Van Gundy, as well as the twitter crap with the MN ref, are just a reminder of how those conniving a--holes screwed up royally in Game 6. Stern took control of history like a puppet master controls his dummies on strings. Sacramento WAS devoted to the NBA and the Kings, and if the league was true to us, we would have been true to the league-even during these financially hard times. Stern blew it, created a game for big TV bullies and continues to control a fraudulent league . . . "Jeff

Ah, were getting to that time of year again. You cant talk about NBA playoff series without talking about the refs. Nice league you got there, Tanguay.

Felger,I saw that you answered my question about Mark Sanchez on Sports Sunday. Are you out of your freakin' mind? So down the road, you would be okay with your 17-year-old high school daughter sleeping with a 24-year-old dude she met in a club at two in the morning? There is a huge maturity discrepancy between a high school senior and a 24 year old working man. I wonder if Mrs. Felger would be on board with your twisted view!!KenWhitman

Im not going to let my daughter date until shes 30 (the windows and doors of my house are going to lock from the outside), so the scenario you lay out is completely impossible.

Nice try, though.
Read Felgers weekly column Mondays. E-mail him HERE and read the mailbag Thursdays. Listen to him on the radio weekdays, 2-6 p.m., on 98.5 the Sports Hub.

Sunday, July 24: Dominic Moore mulls NHL offers

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Sunday, July 24: Dominic Moore mulls NHL offers

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling at how good the Justice League and Wonder Woman trailers were this weekend.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has veteran center Dominic Moore mulling a couple of offers as he looks for an NHL contract for next season.

*Jordan Eberle joined Canadian sports radio, and agreed that something needed to change with the Oilers after continually missing the playoffs.

*I will miss Jim Prior’s trademark “The Teams are ready, so let’s play hockey!” open to every game as a PA announcer, and I’ll miss his warm personality around the rink. It’s a sad day for the BU hockey program.

*The Arizona Coyotes continue to put together a very interesting D-men picture by signing Luke Schenn to a two-year contract. For my money, Schenn has long been one of the most overrated players in the NHL.

*The Hockey News’ Mike Brophy has some thoughts and observations about the NHL offseason as it continues to wind on.

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dave Stubbs on Andrei Markov and his candid thoughts on everything from the Montreal traffic to the PK Subban/Shea Weber trade.

*Here’s a spot to track the travels and stories of the Pittsburgh Penguins amid their summer with the Stanley Cup.

*For something completely different: as mentioned above, here is the trailer for the Justice League that shows a much lighter, better touch with what should be a fun movie to watch. Hopefully this means it won’t be another pretty-looking, Zack Snyder funeral dirge.

 

Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

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Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

While much of the focus is going to be on the young D-men headed into Bruins training camp, it would be foolhardy to overlook a forward prospect Danton Heinen, who is in position for a real dark horse run at an NHL roster spot. 

The strong odds are that the former University of Denver star is going to be begin the season in the AHL for the Providence Bruins after putting up a couple of points in four games there at the end of last season.

Still, that certainly hasn’t stopped Heinen from setting his sights on an NHL spot out of this fall’s camp, most likely in a third- or fourth-line capacity to start things off, or perhaps at the top-six right wing spots that have given the Bruins some problems filling permanently over the past couple of seasons.

Either way, the 2014 fourth-round pick knows that his clock to fulfilling his dreams as an NHL player has started and that it’s up to him when he can start making that a reality.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to work toward my whole life, so I’m just going to try to keep getting better, have a good rest of the summer and then put my best foot forward to see what happens,” said Heinen, who had an assist and a sweet goal in the Friday scrimmage at development camp when he twisted D-man Cam Clarke around like a pretzel on a nifty rush to the net. “I just need to continue to get stronger this summer, and working on my skating to get a bit quicker.

“[The AHL] was a lot of fun to get in there and see what it was all about. It was a lot different than college hockey, and it was definitely good to get a taste of it. [Bruins officials] told me to have a really big summer getting faster and getting stronger, so that’s what I’ve been doing.”

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Heinen, 21, continued to show in development camp last week, however, that he has the playmaking skills and hockey IQ to flourish while surrounded by more accomplished players and in tighter situations. It’s exactly what he showed while posting 36 goals and 93 points in his freshman and sophomore seasons for the Pioneers and it was what he showed while finishing last week as one of the best forwards in camp.

“He’s looked really good at [development] camp. He’s a smart player, he’s committed and I think you’ll notice him in training camp. It will be up to him, but I think he’ll definitely be pushing some guys [for an NHL job],” said Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo, who was running the Bruins development camp. “He looked good [in Providence]. He fit in well. He’s the type of player that can play with good players because he’s got high hockey IQ, and he’s got really good skill.

“Anywhere you put him he’s smart enough to figure it out. You could tell in his first game there was a little bit of an adjustment for him, but the second time game it really looked like he’d been playing [at that level] for a long time. He’s a quick study, and he looked really good last year.”

The Black and Gold management hope he continues to look good at main NHL training camp in a couple of months, where he’ll undoubtedly be featured, and could be a lot closer than many people think as a polished skill forward coming out of a big-time college hockey program. 

Saturday, July 23: Hammer Time for VP pick Kaine with Caps

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Saturday, July 23: Hammer Time for VP pick Kaine with Caps

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while everybody is working for the weekend...or during the weekend.

*The vice-presidential candidate for Hillary Clinton, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, made quite an impression while hanging out a Capitals game with MC Hammer. They call this guy boring, but that doesn’t sound very boring to me.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bob Stauffer has the news that the Edmonton Oilers are parting ways with fancy stats lad Tyler Dellow. Boy, it seems like some teams are reversing course pretty quickly on some of these smarter-than-thou advanced statistics types, aren’t they? I certainly wish Dellow well and hope he finds another gig. But Instead of baselessly wondering whether the Oilers are going to continue down the fancy stats road (which they most certainly will), perhaps this is more a referendum on nonsensical stats-driven decisions like handing out that long term contract to a perpetually underachieving Benoit Pouliot.

*The New York Rangers have locked up Chris Kreider to a four-year contract at a reasonable number, and now he has the time with the Blueshirts to see how good he can be.

*Brian Leetch opens up to the Players Tribune about his NHL experiences playing with the New York Rangers, and all of his favorite experiences from a Hall of Fame career.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker says that Carey Price’s injury from last season is no longer a concern, according to Habs coach Michel Therrien.

*The Chicago Blackhawks will appear a whopping 21 times on national television across the NBC Networks next season.

*Incoming BU goaltender Jake Oettinger is among the names to look out for at the 2017 draft, according to the NHL Central Scouting bureau.

*Travis Yost says that the Carolina Hurricanes are on the rise thanks to winning the shot differential battle. I think it’s because they have an outstanding cast of young defensemen, who are helping them control the puck and win that shot differential battle. But they still need to score more if they’re going to really be a team on the rise, so we’ll see what happens there.

*For something completely different: for those that think I’m a Democrat because I am anti-Trump, here’s a story on the DNC machinery attempting to torpedo Bernie Sanders during the presidential campaigning over the last year.