Patriots

Refs frustrate Bruins in Game 5

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Refs frustrate Bruins in Game 5

The Bruins were doing their best to simply grin and bear it after feeling like theyd been screwed.

But playoff hockey brings out passion, and there were plenty of impassioned responses when the conversation turned to the referees and some of the lowlights from Bostons 4-3 loss in Game 5 at TD Garden in their first round series against the Washington Capitals.

First there was the conspicuous lack of a whistle when Bruins defensemen Joe Corvo was the unwitting victim of a Mike Green slapper to the knee at the end of a long shift for Corvo and his D-partner Greg Zanon.

Corvo didnt hear the whistle and attempted to get back into the play, but he was unable to do so after being hobbled by the blast. Instead he moved aimlessly searching for his stick while the Capitals attacked the net with a 5-on-4 advantage. Alex Semin eventually smacked home the rebound of a Dennis Wideman shot, and the Bruins were suddenly down 1-0 with goals at a premium in the series.

Claude Julien recalled a pair of instances in Game 4 when plays where whistled dead with Boston possession in the Washington zone and a Capitals player down and out with an injury. But thats not what happened with Tim Peel and Steve Kozari working the game in Boston on Saturday afternoon.

Julien fumed at the referees after the goal, but to no avail.

That was probably the frustrating part for me. We were in Washington last game and twice their players go down in their own end and we had full control of the puck, said Claude Julien. The whistle was blown right away with no hesitation. Tonight were deciding were not stopping the play.

So, I guess I was a little perturbed is there two sets of rules or one? I know theyre different referees but its still the same series. So that was frustrating because they ended up scoring a goal on that. That was my frustration on that goal and its unfortunate thats how it ended up.

Perhaps even more trouble is that each of the last two game-winning goals for the Capitals have been on third period power play goals and this coming after the Washington Caps owner groused that the Stanley Cup champs will always get the benefit of the doubt on his personal blog.

The hooking call on Patrice Bergeron that led to the Game 4 winner was a borderline call at best. But the slashing call on Benoit Pouliot with less than three minutes to go in the third period of a tied playoff hockey is the kind of thing that should never happen unless one player got medieval on another with their stick.

Or perhaps that call could be made if blood was drawn or an appendage was missing. But a tic-tac penalty call in the final three minutes of regulation leading to a power play goal in the playoffs is taking things right out of the players hands.

There are almost no instances during the playoffs when a bogus penalty call should affect the outcome for either team, and it should always be decided by 5-on-5 hockey deep in the third period of a playoff game.

The game-winning power play goal for Troy Brouwer was, of course, a soft one from the outside surrendered by Tim Thomas, but the Bruins were more upset about what many considered a soft penalty.

It was like that all game. To call that slash at the end it is disappointing. But there is nothing you can do about it, said Pouliot. You just have to show up tomorrow. Its a tough call.

I will leave it to you guys, but it was a tough call to make at 2:15 in the game. It is a grind out there. Sometimes you get the calls and sometimes you dont. It happened that they got it.

Its happened that the Washington Capitals have received quite a few of the calls since Ted Leonsis made his public plea, and since the referees missed an off-side call prior to Bostons game-winning goal in Game 3. But those kinds of things tend to even out over the course of a seven-game series, and that means Boston may have a break or two headed in their direction.

The best thing the Bruins can do: make sure the last two games arent close enough that their efforts could be undone by an unfavorable call or two along the way.

Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study

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Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study

If your team makes a goal-line stop in the fourth quarter, but you can't see it on the All-22 tape, did it even happen? 

Bill Belichick said the fog that hovered above the Gillette Stadium turf on Sunday night didn't impact the play on the field, but it did make its imprint on the game in other ways. First of all, spotters and coaches up at the press level had some difficulty relaying information to coaches on the sidelines. Video on the hand-held tablets for sideline use -- as well as the old-school still-frame pictures Belichick prefers -- was also obstructed. 

Then on Monday, as coaches tried to digest the film, the fog butted in on the process again. 

"It affected us a lot this morning because it’s hard to see the game," Belichick said during a conference call. "The fourth quarter is – I don’t know – pretty close to a white-out on the sideline film. The sideline cameras are at the top of the stadium, so that’s a tough shot.

"The end zone cameras are a little bit lower and they get a little tighter shot, so the picture is a little bit clearer. But, on that shot, a lot of times you’re not able to see all the guys on the perimeter. It’s kind of an in-line shot.

"Yeah, the first half, start of the third quarter, it’s all right. As they get into the middle of the third quarter and on, for those of us with aging eyes, it’s a little strained to see it, and then there’s a point where you can’t really see it at all, especially from the sideline. So, yeah, it affected us."

Belichick re-iterated that the fog didn't do much to the product on the field (other than maybe making life difficult for kick and punt-returners), refuting Julio Jones' claim from late Sunday night. When it came to digesting the film, though, that was another story.

"It was more, I’d say, just tougher for, whether it be our video camera or the fans that were sitting in the upper deck. It’s just there was too much interference there," Belichick said. "It was probably hard to see the game. I know when we tried to look at the pictures in between series – you know, I don’t look at the tablets, so I won’t get into that – but the pictures, it was kind of the same thing. It was hard to really be able to make out exactly what you were seeing."

Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

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Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

WALTHAM -- It appears Marcus Morris’ debut for the Celtics will be when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 30.
 
The 6-foot-9 forward confirmed to reporters on Monday that, for now, that’s the target date.
 
Morris spent time after practice playing some one-one-one against rookie Jayson Tatum.
 
“I’m trying to push on it a little more,” he said. “Felt pretty good beating the rook’s ass one-on-one.”
 
The addition of Morris to the lineup can’t come soon enough for the Celtics (1-2).  They have already lost Gordon Hayward (ankle) for the season, and Marcus Smart (ankle) missed Friday’s win over Philadelphia. Smart said he would probably be in uniform for Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks. 
 
Those injuries have forced the Celtics to dig deeper into their roster, resulting in several first-year players seeing action. 
 
Having a veteran like Morris on the floor would bode well for the Celts in their quest to remain among the better teams in the East this season. 
 
Morris, who went through the non-contact portion of practice on Monday, joined the Celtics on Oct. 5, shortly after he and his brother Markieff (who plays for Washington) were acquitted of assault charges involving an incident in Phoenix in January of 2015. He appeared in one preseason game, scoring seven points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field.

Coach Brad Stevens said Morris was having some knee discomfort when he showed up for training camp. That, combined with showing up late to training camp because of his court case in Phoenix, resulted in him not having the level of conditioning he’s used to at the start of training camp. 
 
“It’s not that I’m in bad shape,” he told NBC Sports Boston earlier. “It’s just that I’m not where I expect myself to be conditioning-wise, right now.”
 
Morris echoed similar sentiments on Monday. 
 
“I’m in great condition,” he said. “I just want to be a little better. My conditioning has never been the problem. It’s the soreness in my [left] knee. It’s gotten a lot better over the past 10 days, so I feel I can play now. But be cautious because it’s a long season.”
 
Morris was acquired in the summer by Boston from Detroit, in exchange for Avery Bradley. The move was done to not only ensure there was enough salary cap space to sign then-free agent Gordon Hayward, but also for the Celtics to add a versatile player who can play both forward positions.