Bruins

Brady still unhappy with lackluster victory

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Brady still unhappy with lackluster victory

A day after saying the Patriots "didn't compete" and were "lucky to win" in a 23-16 victory in Jacksonville, it was more of the same from quarterback Tom Brady in his weekly appearance on the "Dennis & Callahan Show" on WEEI radio in Boston.

"We've got to do a better job," Brady said. "We've got some pretty important weeks of football ahead, and that's when we really need to play our best. We just came out and got behind early, something you never really want to do on the road, and didn't really do too much to help our cause. That started really from the beginning of the game all the way to the end of the game. I wish we would have played better. We didn't."

Brady wasn't backing away from his pointed postgame comments.

"The self-inflicted errors, that's the biggest problem," Brady said. "There was just a few too many times yesterday that we could've done something better that we just didn't really handle as well as we're capable of."

After his second consecutive two-interception game, Brady put some of the blame on himself.

"Turnovers hurt," he said. "We had two turnovers in the first quarter Sunday. When we don't turn the ball over, we're pretty good. We've got to do a better job protecting the football and certainly I've got to do a better job protecting the football."

Brady took some hard hits for the second week in a row and sat out a day of practice last week. Still, he said it's nothing more than the normal bumps and bruises of a long season.

"That's part of football, and that's part of playing this long," he said. "Nineteen weeks we play, so you have those little bumps, but I'll be fine."

Looking ahead to the regular-season finale at Gillette Stadium against the Dolphins on Sunday -- a game that has been moved to a 4:25 p.m. start -- the Patriots (11-4) still have a shot at the top two seeds in the AFC, depending on how they, the Broncos (12-3) and the Texans (12-3) do.

Brady said he's not focused on playoff positioning.

"I don't really care who we play," Brady said. "I would just like to go out there and play our best football here next week and beyond. I don't care who we play or where we play or when we play or the time or the place or the opponent. It's about us. We've lost four games this year. We were pretty capable of winning all four of those games. If it wasn't for some of our own mistakes that we made, we could have."

Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks

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Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while enjoying the return of Adolfo to Toucher and Rich this morning.

*Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid have received plenty of acclaim over the past couple of years as talented, young stars in the league, but Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien details how things haven’t gone ideally for either of those youngsters, or their teams, this season. Clearly, it’s not at this level yet, but just think about the hype behind Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin when they were drafted 1-2 back in 2010, and what they have, and haven’t, been able to accomplish in the league since that time.

*Outstanding rookie Brock Boeser credits a conversation with Vancouver Canucks coach Travis Green for helping spark his game this season.

*Good video piece on the near miss of Wayne Gretzky almost playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs after dominating them in the playoffs.  

*Salivating for some hockey trades? The 10 potential NHL trade deadline targets around the league as we wait for players to become available for trade later in the season.  

*Hockeybuzz is asking what the NHL, and more specifically the Hockey Hall of Fame, has against goaltenders?

*For something completely different: A great piece from Drew Bledsoe on the tragic passing of former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn, and how his death came just as he seemed to be putting all the pieces of his life together.

 

Marchand, Krug and Backes all practice, won't play vs. Devils

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Marchand, Krug and Backes all practice, won't play vs. Devils

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins are getting closer to a healthier lineup, but it won’t be in time for the Thanksgiving Eve road tilt against the upstart New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.

Brad Marchand (upper body), Torey Krug (upper body) and David Backes (colon surgery) all skated in red no-contact jerseys at practice Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena, so none of those three banged-up B’s will be making the trip to Jersey. Anders Bjork (upper body) didn’t practice and is obviously out vs. the Devils as well, but Ryan Spooner might be a possibility after making it through his first full practice since tearing his groin almost six weeks ago.

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If he can make it through Wednesday's morning skate without any problems, Spooner will likely be a game-time decision against the Devils after missing the past 14 games.  

The Bruins have continued to indicate that Marchand is in the concussion protocol, though it appears the Bruins agitator is dealing with both upper body and lower body issues. Marchand was encouraged by the progress he’s making while returning to practice, so perhaps the B’s could get back one of their leading scorers sooner rather than later.

“I feel pretty good. It’s good to be back with the guys and feel like you’re a part of the team,” said Marchand, who has missed five of the past seven games after returning for the home-and-home against the Maple Leafs. “It’s frustrating whenever you miss games and you miss time away from the team, but they had a great road trip and they’re playing well. It would be nice to be back in the lineup consistently and be back with the team...it’ll come.”

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Devils based on practice Tuesday:

Heinen-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Cehlarik

Vatrano-Spooner-Nash/Szwarz

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

Beleskey-Marchand-Backes

 
Chara-McAvoy

O’Gara/Postma-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

 
Rask

Khudobin