Patriots

Rolston not worrying about revenge against Islanders

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Rolston not worrying about revenge against Islanders

It didnt get very warm and fuzzy when Brian Rolston talked of squaring off against the team that traded him to the Bruins the New York Islanders as Boston travels to Long Island for a Saturday tilt at Nassau Coliseum.

It wasnt anger or contempt in Rolstons voice or eyes when he spoke about his Isles experience, however.

It was more like an emotional disconnect that Long Island never really registered all that high with the 39-year-old. That probably makes sense given the Isles place in the NHLs lower rung of hockey clubs as something significantly less than an ideal hockey destination.Rolston played exactly 45 games for the Islanders with a lowly nine points. There was a liberal mixture of injuries and healthy scratches to go around for the highly respected veteran that reduced his playing time, and ultimately caused New York to go in a different direction.

Being placed on waivers by Garth Snow and the Isles must have stung a bit for a highly decorated NHL veteran like Rolston, but versatile forward has changed teams enough to temper some of the potentially strong emotional pull. In other words he wont be breathing fire on the ice when he suits up against the Islanders.

When youre younger and you play a former team it might be a little nerve-wracking, but in this situation not so much, said Rolston. Ive been around a long time. Its about trying to well yourself as an individual and play well as a team.

Its a whole new life that I have here in Boston, and you kind of put it behind you.It would be natural if Rolstons chest were puffed out a little bit more rolling into the Island with 13 points in 16 games during the month of March, and a key third line role on a team thats destined for the postseason. Rolston used the phrase bad fit as a way to describe his experience with the Islanders after arriving in Boston, but was steering clear of that kind of talk Friday after an optional team practice.

Things go through your mind. Im 39 and Ive played a lot of years, so it definitely goes through your mind wondering whether youre going to get lost in the fold there, said Rolston, alluding to when things started to go awry during his Islanders experience. But then when you get an opportunity you have to take advantage of it and its been a good fit for me here in Boston.

Sweet revenge, or whatever Rolston would prefer to call it, would be celebrating a victory that clinches a playoff spot on the Nassau Coliseum ice where things might have ended for him without a trade. But anything more would have meant the experienced higher on Rolstons emotional Richter scale and that doesnt seem to be the case.

EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

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EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

On this episode of The Ex-Pats Podcast...

0:10 - Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen give their takeaways from the Patriots win over the Falcons including the defense coming up strong against Atlanta but New England still taking too many penalties.

2:00 - Why it felt like this game meant more to the Patriots, their sense of excitement after the win, and building chemistry off a good victory.

6:20 - Falcons losing their identity without Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator and their bad play calling and decisions on 4th downs.

10:00 -  A discussion about Matt Ryan not making the throws he needed against the Patriots and if he has falling off the MVP caliber-type player he was last season.

14:00 - How and why the Patriots secondary seems to be playing better without Stephon Gilmore and why Malcolm Butler has been able to turn up his play as of late.

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."