Blakely: Last call for World Peace


Blakely: Last call for World Peace

BOSTON The NBA didn't have much of a choice.

Ron Artest. Metta World Peace. Beta Globe Destruction. Whatever name he goes by these days.

He's still the same dude that lost control seven-plus years ago and beat up a fan that cost him a season's worth of income, crushed the title hopes of a proud, basketball-rabid fan base in Indiana, and he's been trying to live it down ever since.

Ron Artest -- I know he legally changed it to Metta World Peace, but considering the wicked elbow he delivered to an unsuspecting James Harden, 'world peace' and this guy can not go hand-in-hand anymore -- is in deep trouble.

He knows it. And so does the NBA.

The fact that he leveled Harden is bad in and of itself.

But it's hard to pinpoint which was scarier: Artest hitting Harden and being completely oblivious to it, or him hitting Harden and not giving a damn that he laid out an unsuspecting fellow player, who may not be able to play in the postseason.

There have been plenty who have called for him to be suspended for as long as Harden's out.

That's not enough; not when you're talking about a guy who played a major role in one of the ugliest basketball-related melee's in NBA history.

He should be kicked out of the game. Period.

No return date. No appeal process.

The NBA has to take a firm stand, and now is that opportunity.

When you look at the replay -- and I have countless times -- you can't help but shake your head and wonder, ''What the hell was he thinking?''

And that is part of the problem. He didn't think. Again.

Just like he didn't think about the ramifications of running into the stands at The Palace when he had momentary lapse in common sense that hurt so many people, the least of which was the first person he attacked (who was later determined to be an innocent bystander).

Of course the Los Angeles Lakers will be worst off without him. He can be a productive player.

But then again, nobody felt pity for the Indiana Pacers who are just now starting to cleanse themselves of that sad episode in their franchise's history. They're now one of the best teams in the NBA and could be a sleeper coming out of the East.

But this isn't about the Pacers, or the Lakers.

This is about Artest, who continues to test the patience of common decency with actions that are, in a word, stupid.

Harden has a concussion and will (we hope) eventually recover from it and resume playing sooner rather than later for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

But what's to say Artest won't get excited after a big play in the playoffs, or maybe next season, and deliver a similar blow to a player and pull the 'I'm sorry, I didn't know he was there' card?


Nobody will buy it then, and they're certainly not going to buy it now.

Just like the NBA slapped him with an unprecedented suspension following the brawl at The Palace of Auburn Hills seven years ago, the league once again must be heavy-handed with their punishment, and send him on his way . . . forever.

Talking Points: DeBrusk provides energy in win


Talking Points: DeBrusk provides energy in win

GOLD STAR: Jake DeBrusk gave the Bruins all kinds of energy out of the starting gate, and made a couple of plays that allowed his team to hold a lead despite getting outplayed in the opening 20 minutes. DeBrusk went hard to the net splitting a couple of San Jose defenders on the first goal, and fired a shot on net that created a rebound for Peter Cehlarik to cash in on. Then DeBrusk scored a little bit later on a rush where he beat Brent Burns in a foot race to a loose puck, then whistled a wrist shot past Aaron Dell for his fourth goal of the season. DeBrusk finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-2 and a team-high four shots on net while falling just short of 16 minutes of ice time in the victory. It was a strong effort from DeBrusk shortly after being a healthy scratch, and showed what he’s capable of when he gets his skating legs going.

BLACK EYE: Brent Burns was a complete mess for the Sharks. He was burnt by Jake DeBrusk in each of the first two Bruins goals in the first period with the B’s rookie going right at him with the attack. He also didn’t make it to the net with 12 of the 16 shots that he attempted and Burns finished with seven giveaways as well. It’s been a rough follow-up season for Burns after last year’s Norris Trophy season where he’s tried to do too much for the Sharks, and his game has suffered as a result. That seemed to be the case for Burns against the Bruins as well where his mistakes played a big role in the Sharks dropping the game.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins won the game when they managed to survive an opening 20 minutes where they were outshot 17-5, and even better they had a 2-1 lead based on some offensive fireworks from Jake DeBrusk. They were also aided by a couple of video reviews where the Bruins took a San Jose goal off the board when it was ruled that a crashing Joonas Donskoi punched a puck into the net with his glove. The Peter Cehlarik goal was also upheld at the other end after a challenge from the San Jose bench. It looked like DeBrusk was tripped before he partially crashed into Aaron Dell that set up the Cehlarik goal, and that’s clearly how the referees saw it after reviewing the play.

HONORABLE MENTION: It’s got to be Anton Khudobin, who stopped 36-of-37 shots and improved to 5-0-2 on the season with another strong win aided by a stalwart defensive effort in front of him. Khudobin now has 12 of the 20 points that the Bruins have amassed on the season, and he absolutely rewarded the B’s for opting to go with the Bruins backup for a second game in a row as they ride the hot goaltender. Khudobin was helped by a number of Bruins blocked shots in the third period when the game was still very tight, but it was also about Khudobin coming up with 16 saves in the first period when the Bruins were getting outplayed by the Sharks.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – the number of Bruins rookies that have scored their first NHL goals this season, including Peter Cehlarik finally getting his first NHL score Saturday night in his 14th career game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We need them. They’re in the lineup and they’re playing significant minutes. We need them to produce for us. Tonight we needed some offense early, and they provided it for us.” – Bruce Cassidy, on the role of the rookies in the win where it was all first-year players Peter Cehlarik, Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen doing the scoring vs. San Jose. 

Khudobin stops 36 shots to help Bruins beat Sharks, 3-1


Khudobin stops 36 shots to help Bruins beat Sharks, 3-1

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Anton Khudobin stopped 36 shots to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

Peter Cehlarik, Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen scored to help the Bruins get their second straight win after a four-game skid (0-3-1). Boston had totaled nine goals in its previous five games, scoring more than two for just the second time in nine November games.

Khudobin remained unbeaten in regulation (5-0-2) and improved to 4-1 with a 0.99 goals-against average in five games against the Sharks.

Timo Meier scored and Aaron Dell finished with 18 saves for the Sharks, one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. San Jose has been held to two of fewer goals in five of their seven games this month.

Meier gave the Sharks, losers of two straight following wins in six of seven, a short-lived 1-0 lead after tapping in a rebound 4:50 into the game. Daniel O'Regan, making his season debut, won the puck behind the net and skated around to take the shot that bounced to Meier. It was O'Regan's first career assist and second career point.

Cehlarik, in his 14th game, scored his first career goal about 1 1/2 minutes later to tie it for the Bruins.

Boston took the lead on DeBrusk's goal with 9:14 left in the first. Charlie McAvoy cleared a puck in his zone that DeBrusk chased down and easily beat Dell 1-on-1.

Heinen made it 3-1 with 5:51 left in the third. Kevan Miller skated down the ice, drawing all the attention on the right side. He passed across the crease, from where Heinen tapped it in.

The Sharks had a goal negated for the second straight game, this one two minutes in.

NOTES: Sharks F Danny O'Regan was recalled before the game. He's the leading scorer for the Barracuda of the AHL. ... The Sharks have had three consecutive goals reversed after challenges dating to Thursday's game against the Florida Panthers. ... Sharks F Joel Ward has recorded points in six of his last eight games. ... DeBrusk, who assisted on Cehlarik's goal, recorded his first multi-point game since Oct. 14, a span of 14 games.


Bruins: At the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

Sharks: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.