Boston Bruins

Wakeup Call: Michael Vick's problems extend to Twitter

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Wakeup Call: Michael Vick's problems extend to Twitter

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, November 6.

BASEBALL
In the Miguel Cabrera-vs.-Mike Trout debate, the players vote for Miggy. (AP)

Pat Corrales? He's still around? (AP)

Whatever it was Melky Cabrera did, no one's blaming his agents. (CSN Bay Area)

Some people don't agree with David Ortiz about Michael Bourn. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Joakim Soria will be "all ears" if the Yankees come calling. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
These early November games are supposed to be easier than this, aren't they, Kansas? (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
The Belichickian-like grunts of Kansas State coach Bill Snyder were enough to spark hope that quarterback Collin Klein may play Saturday against TCU. (AP)

Now Joker Phillips really is a dead man walking. (AP)

HOCKEY
They're headed back to the table. (AP)

But this time, Steve Montador and friends aren't getting their hopes up. (CSN Chicago)

Sounds like Dan Cleary is, though. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Don Cherry thinks Roberto Luongo would just be exchanging one headache for a similar headache if he approves a trade from Vancouver to Toronto, and should go to someplace quiet, like Florida, instead. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Attention, JJ Barea and Donald Sloan: The NBA wasn't kidding about this flopping stuff. (AP)

Really? This is the Spurs' first 4-0 start in their history? (AP)

New city, new arena, new colors, same old Nets. (AP)

Same old Heat, too. (AP)

Speaking of Brooklyn . . . who's idea was this?? (NBC's Off The Bench)

It wasn't that long ago he was talking retirement. Now Kobe Bryant says he wants to play until he's 40. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
They may argue in Jacksonville and Tennessee (see below), but last night's 28-13 loss at New Orleans was enough to convince Reuben Frank that the Eagles are the laughingstock of the NFL. (CSN Philly)

As if Michael Vick didn't have enough problems, he's also got a brother with a Twitter account. (CSN Philly)

Which is something he a) isn't too happy about and b) plans to address. (CSN Philly)

At least he still has a job, though. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

And there are folks in Philly who wish Juan Castillo still had one, too. (Pro Football Talk)

Now that Sean Payton's contract extension has been nullified, will Jason Garrett become the Joker Phillips of Dallas? (Pro Football Talk)

Drew Brees doesn't think so. (AP)

Good news in Indianapolis: Andrew Luck is hardly satisfied with what he's accomplished so far in his young career. (AP)

Better news in Indianapolis: Chuck Pagano's leukemia is in complete remission. (AP)

They're 7-1 and they scored 51 points Sunday, but the Bears are still worried about their offense. (CSN Chicago)

Attention, Mike Munchak: It's never a good sign -- and I mean never -- when the owner says his team was "grossly outcoached". (AP)

And attention Gene Smith (he's the GM of the Jaguars, by the way): It's never a good sign -- and I mean never -- when the owner says his team is "embarrassing". (Pro Football Talk)

Romeo Crennel's decided to give up his duties as defensive coordinator and focus on the head coaching job as he attempts to salvage something from the free-falling Chiefs' season. (AP)

No ETA for Maurice Jones-Drew's return. (AP)

Mike Shanahan says he didn't say what you thought you heard. (CSN Washington)

Bruins have just as good a chance as the Celtics do this season (which is small)

Bruins have just as good a chance as the Celtics do this season (which is small)

Dan Shaughnessy ran a piece this week calling the Bruins the No. 4 team in town these days. He wasn’t wrong. They are. 

Of course, the claim isn’t really a discussion about the Patriots or Red Sox, as they’ll always be the two most popular teams in town. It’s about the Bruins being behind the Celtics, which again, they are. 

Yet while the general premise of the story was correct, there was an issue to be taken with the piece. Shaughnessy wrote that, “In terms of overall interest and championship hopes, [the Bruins] are a distant fourth.”

That’s where he’s wrong. Nobody would argue against the Celtics garnering more interest (even if the Bruins might have a stronger fanbase), but championship hopes? The teams are deadlocked. 

The Celtics are one of the top teams in a league in which only one team (the Warriors) has a chance. The Bruins are a middle-of-the-pack team in a league in which the literal last team in the playoffs (the No. 16 seed Predators) went to the Stanley Cup Final last season. 
 
This isn’t about which team is better, because that’s not close. The Celtics have three All-Stars in their starting five and the third overall picks from each of the last two drafts. They’ve also got one of the best coaches in the league. 

It’s also not about who will likely go farther. The Celtics will at the very least reach the Eastern Conference finals. The issue is that they’ll then either be eliminated by the Cavaliers or earn the opportunity to perhaps get swept by the Warriors in the Finals. 

That leaves the Celtics with a certainty of a very good season, but also close to an impossibility of a championship season. 

As for the Bruins, they probably won’t be much better than they were last season, if at all. This season was always the one to watch in the Sweeney era, as it will see the biggest implementation of the young players drafted. There should be at least four Sweeney draft picks on the team this year (Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson), plus youngsters from the Chiarelli era still pushing for jobs. 

The biggest change figures to be on the back end, where the Bruins should have the best top-four they’ve had since Sweeney dealt Dougie Hamilton. A lot of that rides on McAvoy, but there remains hope on the back end in future seasons with Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril trying to eventually break in. 

Will the Bruins rule their division the way the Celtics will? Most likely not. The guess here is that Tampa and Montreal will finish ahead of teams like Boston, Ottawa and Toronto. 

Yet there isn’t a Cleveland or a Golden State waiting to swallow up whoever does emerge throughout the playoffs, and that’s what leaves the Bruins and Celtics with equal chances at a title. The Penguins have won back-to-back titles, but the Bruins have gone 4-1-1 against them in the regular season the last two years. They’re hardly the unstoppable force that exists in Golden State. 

So in terms of buzz, offseason moves and anticipation for a new season? Sure, the Celtics have it all over the B’s. I’m certainly way more excited for basketball season. When it comes to championship hopes, however, the B’s and C’s are no different. 

CSNNE SCHEDULE

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Rams hold off 49ers for wild 41-39 win

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Rams hold off 49ers for wild 41-39 win

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Coach Sean McVay walked into the postgame news conference and immediately asked, "Anyone have a beer?"

He probably wasn't the only person who wanted a drink after watching a surprisingly thrilling Thursday night shootout between his Rams and the San Francisco 49ers that wasn't decided until Los Angeles prevented a potential game-tying 2-point try and then delivered a rare defensive stop after blowing the onside kick in a 41-39 victory.

"We talk about mentally tough, be your best regardless of the circumstance," McVay said. "I thought the players did that. They found a way in spite of some of the ups and the downs to come away with the win."

While the defense came up big late, it was the offense that carried the day for the Rams (2-1), who have gone from the lowest-scoring team in the NFL a year ago to a dynamic one through three games under McVay.

Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns, Todd Gurley ran for 113 yards and scored three TDs and Robert Woods (108) and Sammy Watkins (106) each topped the 100-yard mark receiving in Los Angeles' second 40-point performance of the season. The Rams have 107 points in all so far, the second-most in franchise history after three games to the 119 by "The Greatest Show on Turf" squad in 2000.

"Since I've been here we haven't been able to do that," Gurley said. "Hopefully we can keep putting points together, keep working together and keep learning from this. I think we left a lot more points off the board."

This win didn't come easy as the Rams nearly blew a 15-point lead, giving up two late touchdowns, fumbling a kickoff return and failing to recover an onside kick. But Los Angeles managed to stop a potential game-tying 2-point conversion on a deflection by Troy Hill and then used an offensive pass interference penalty against Trent Taylor and a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald to stop the Niners after the onside kick.

The 49ers (0-3) scored five touchdowns after failing to get any the first two weeks but still came up short in part because a missed extra point by Robbie Gould forced them to try for 2 on their late touchdown.

"I just rushed it, I missed it, I made a mistake," Gould said. "Obviously, I wish I didn't do that, or we'd probably be playing in overtime right now.""

This time it was a tired defense that hurt San Francisco. After facing 79 plays in a 12-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the 49ers appeared to run out of gas on the short week as Goff frequently had wide-open receivers, especially on third down.

The Rams were 8 for 12 on third down, including all three of Goff's touchdown passes.

The Rams needed all that offense on a night where Brian Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score.

QUICK START: The Rams took just 12 seconds to get on the board as Nickell Robey-Coleman intercepted Hoyer on the first play from scrimmage and returned it to the 3-yard line. Gurley ran it in on the next play to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.

"I just told him to start over," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. "Got to go back to work. We didn't change anything, went right on with the script. But it was a tough way to start out."

DROUGHT BUSTER: The 49ers came into the game without a touchdown on the season but broke through in the first quarter with some help from the Rams. After Blake Countess jumped offside on a punt, the Niners took advantage of the second opportunity and drove to score on Hoyer's 9-yard run 126:43 into the season. That was the longest it took a team to score its first TD since 2006 when both Tampa Bay (143:03) and Oakland (127:10) took more time.

FOURTH DOWN CALLS: Both teams drove to the opposing 1 on their opening drives of the second half with help from a Willie Mays-style basket catch by Watkins and a perfect toe drag on the sideline by San Francisco's Pierre Garcon. But the Rams opted to kick a short field goal, while the 49ers went for it and converted on Carlos Hyde's 1-yard run that cut Los Angeles' lead to 27-20. Hyde added a second 1-yard run on fourth down in the fourth quarter.

INJURIES: Rams S Lamarcus Joyner left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury. ... Los Angeles C John Sullivan injured his groin in the second half and Watkins and Tavon Austin left with concussions. ... 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt (concussion), FB Kyle Juszczyk (neck), DL Tank Carradine (ankle) and LB Brock Coyle (concussion) all left with injuries in the second half.

UP NEXT: The Rams travel to Dallas on Oct. 1. The 49ers visit Arizona.