Yeah, well, apparently notice of my Super Bowl sendoff wasn't as well-publicized as the Patriots.Instead of 25,000 fans thronging on the lawn of my sprawling Lakeville estate, I had a pug under my feet, three sons showing varying levels of interest in the fact I'll be gone nine nights, and a wife making me promise not to be stupid. Miss them? Yeah. A lot. Lucky to be going to my ninth Super Bowl? Unbelievably. I've said it before, while wecannotroot for the teams we cover, my work and life situation have been aided by the fact I've covered the Patriots during the Bill Belichick Era. Because they've been damn good, I've been able to cover some of the most memorable moments in NFL history, the greatest coach of the Super Bowl Era and - in my mind - the greatest quarterback that ever played. As a beat guy at the Providence Journal from February 2002 through August 2006 (and for five years before at the Metrowest Daily News), my work was more widely-read because of the success of the team I covered. That led to a national opportunity with NBCSports.com from 2006 through 2009, and that led to a chance to come back to the Boston market to write and do television for Comcast SportsNet. My first job in writing was at the Barnstable Patriot. I worked there from February 1992 through June 1994 and made 300 a week plus 20 for gas. I didn't make more than 20K until November 1995. I make more than that now. When I popped my laptop open here at Gate 22, I didn't know what I was going to write. This just came out. And I'm glad it did because - even though covering a Super Bowl with"your" team in it is a ton of work and a ton of pressure-it's an incredible opportunity I'm extremely lucky to have. I know many of you would not just do it for free, but would pay for the chance. So stick with me, Mary Paoletti and Phil Perry from Indy all week. Keep up with Rich Levine on his ingenious odyssey from Boston to Indy. Follow all our shows on TV - 60 hours work - and we hope you enjoy what we bring you. We are so happy for the chance to do it.
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.
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.
- HAGGERTY: B's need to ride hot hand of Khudobin until Rask rights himself
- Heinen beginning to look like a keeper
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: