Bruins (0-2) vs. Canadiens (2-0)Canadiens lead series 2-0Starting goaliesTim Thomas may very well win another Vezina Trophy in June, but hes being outplayed by Montreals Carey Price. Prices 0.50 goals against average and .985 save percentage lead the league in the playoffs so far, while Thomas lackluster effort in Game 2 prompted some fans and media to call for Tuukka Rask in Game 3. Thats not going to happen according to Joe Haggerty, but Thomas will have to play better than he has so far in order for the Bruins to make this a series again.Previous gamesThe Bruins have trailed from wire-to-wire for just about the entire series, as the Canadiens have jumped ahead with early goals in Games 1 and 2. It may be even harder for them to keep Montreal off of the board early in this one, as the Canadiens will be energized from one of the most raucous buildings in the NHL. The first period of tonights Game 3 will be key.Head-to-headBoston had an outstanding road record this season at 24-12-5, but that success didnt carry over into the Bell Centre, as the Bruins have lost their last four games there (including three this season). The rivals have met in the first round 18 times before, with Montreal winning 14 of them.Whos hot?Brian Gionta, Mike Cammalleri and Scott Gomez each have two points in the series for Montreal, but the difference so far has been Price. It would be difficult to label anyone on Boston as hot, as Patrice Bergeron has the teams only goal through the first two games.StorylinesZdeno Chara will likely be back in the lineup for Boston after missing Game 2 with what the team called severe dehydration. His presence and leadership are desperately needed after the Bruins struggled without him, as they try to avoid falling into a 3-0 hole. The last thing the Bruins want to have to address on Tuesday is trying to come from behind from a margin that big, for obvious reasons.
Gregg Doyel hates Josh McDaniels.
That's the only takeaway one can have after reading Doyel's latest column in the Indy Star, anyway. In it, Doyel writes that McDaniels, who is expected to be hired as Colts head coach, already got his chance to prove his chops as a head coach in Denver and showed he stinks.
We get a clean slate just once, same as Josh McDaniels, and his came in 2009 when he was hired to coach the Denver Broncos. And in less than two years he spray-painted so much graffiti on there that the Broncos fired him for a variety of reasons, so take your pick: his abrasive personality, his horrific judgment of talent, his team’s penchant for losing games, or those broken NFL rules.
Here in Indianapolis, where Josh McDaniels is about to be entrusted with our city’s crown jewel – he’s expected to be the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts – are we to pretend Denver didn’t happen?
Doyel also refers to a 2013 quote from former Broncos punter Mitch Berger, who compared playing for McDaniels to playing for an "equipment manager" and called him a "punk." Then there's this from Doyel, who likes where Berger's going with the "punk" talk:
I still can’t believe this is happening. Can’t believe McDaniels will soon be hired by the Colts, and entrusted with Andrew Luck. Can’t believe he was the hottest commodity on the coaching market this fall. McDaniels is Lane Kiffin to me, an arrogant young punk who ascended rapidly after Daddy got him a cherry first job in coaching – McDaniels’ father, Ohio high school legend Thom McDaniels, was friends with Nick Saban, who hired Josh as a grad assistant at Michigan State in 1999 – and who kept getting promoted to the point of failure.
This isn't the first time Doyel has had a take critical of the Patriots, so maybe we shouldn't be surprised. But he for sure hates Josh McDaniels.
Don’t let Tom Brady hear your nonsensical takes on the Jacksonville Jaguars. This “tomato can” is packed with all the essential elements to give the Pats QB fits.
“This is the biggest challenge we've faced all year,” Brady said Tuesday during his weekly interview with Kirk and Callahan on WEEI. “We've had a good offense. They've had the best defense. And that's always a challenge when you go up against those guys. When you watch them play over the course of the whole season, you can see why. There is not a lot of time for the quarterback to throw, and I think the whole secondary knows it. The linebackers know it. And they're aggressive. They take chances. They get a lot of turnovers. They got a really good scheme, and the quarterback is just under pressure all day. Unless you get opened very quickly, there’s a lot of sacks and sacks turns into long yardage and long yardage turns into punts . . . "
Brady spent hours on Monday pouring over film to familiarize himself with a Jags team that he last saw in the preseason.
“There’s a reason why they’re in this game,” he said. “They’re the best team we’ve faced all season and if we don’t play our best, we’re not going to advance.”
That’s why Brady won’t allow himself to be distracted by all that comes with advancing to this point, or even the lingering stench of that ESPN/Seth Wickersham article. Who’s got time for that when there is so much on the line?
“This is a long time we’ve committed to each other since we came back together in April,” he said. “April, May, all those months committed to training and walkthroughs and practices and games and injuries and the emotion -- I don’t think we’re going to let anything get in the way of this week. I think the coach -- Coach [Bill] Belichick -- he does so many great things. One thing is he sets the best tone for the players because he knows what it takes to compete at this level without -- there’s more hype surrounding the game, there’s more distractions, there’s more people, there’s more people covering the game, there’s more to talk about it but we’re focused on our job . . . The hype only gets bigger from here so we just gotta stay focused on what we need to do.”
The Jags have obviously done a good job on that front as well. There is no way they’d be at this point, on this stage, without not only talent but that singular focus. Of course with some youth comes some exuberance and Jalen Ramsey’s comments to about 10,000 fans Sunday night has been a topic of conversation on sports radio and television and even in the Patriots’ locker room.
Brady doesn’t believe that’s something that would ever come out of Foxboro, but he’s not publicly shaming Ramsey either.
“What i’ve learned over a long time is it’s how you play, it’s not what you say," Brady said. "Everyone has different ways of handling things. We do what works for us.”