What to do with win streaks?


What to do with win streaks?

With last night's blow out over the New Jersey Devils, the Bruins remain entrenched as Boston's undisputed best team. Even though the B's season isn't even halfway complete, if you ask anyone in the city: Who has the best chance to win a title in 2012? The Bruins are the only logical answer.

But right now, of Boston's three active teams, the Bruins actually sport the least impressive win streak. Sure, they've won eight of their last nine, and 22 of their last 26 games, but thanks to their New Year's Eve loss in Dallas, the Bruins current winning streak is at one.

Meanwhile, the Patriots are still riding hot on eight straight games, and after last night's beat down of the Nets, the Celtics, after starting the season with three straight losses, have now won four straight.

But unlike the Bruins, of whom Boston knows what we have and are confident in what they can do, the Pats and C's remain a mystery. Despite a combined 12 straight wins, neither has shown enough to sell us on any serious long term success (aka: a ring). Then again, they haven't had the chance.

It's a tough little predicament that fans find themselves in. On one hand, teams can't control their schedule. They can only beat who they're allowed to play. So while wins over the Jets (the best of the bunch), Chiefs, Colts, Eagles, Broncos, Redskins, Dolphins, Bills, Pistons, Wizards, Wizards and the D-League Nets, aren't entirely impressive, it's not the Pats' and Celtics' fault. They've literally done as well as they possibly can. When it comes down to it, what more could we really expect them to give? Yet, it's still not enough.

Unlike the Bruins, who over the course of this amazing stretch have consistently embarrassed quality teams like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Florida, Los Angeles, Ottawa and (this year at least) Toronto, with the Pats and C's we still have to wonder: What happens when they face legitimate competition? This while holding on to lasting images of ugly losses to the Steelers and Giants, the Knicks and Heat.

It's not that we don't think they can beat the good teams, we're just not sure that they can, and that's a problem. It's unbelievably strange, when you consider the Pats haven't lost since two weeks before Thanksgiving and the Celtics now sport the second-longest winning streak in the entire NBA.

But thankfully (or maybe not), this indecision won't last much longer. Starting Friday, the Celtics host the Pacers, who are 4-2 and maybe even a little better than their already impressive record suggests. After that, they have four days off before hosting the defending champion Mavericks on Wednesday, and Derrick Rose and the Bulls on Friday. The very next night they're in Indiana for a very tough back-to-back against the Pacers before returning home that Monday to host Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins and the Thunder probably the best team in the West. By the end of that stretch, for better or worse, we'll know what we have in the 2012 Celtics.

And by that time, we'll also know a thing or two more about the Pats. Not that anyone can or will be content with only one win in these playoffs, but winning one game (at least to start) will go a long way in increasing our expectations, and easing some of our fears. Whether they beat the Bengals or Broncos, or more than likely, the Steelers, the Pats will have shown us something and have that four-year-old monkey off their backs.

If not, hey, we always have the Bruins.

That's all I'll have today on Standing Room Only, but tomorrow's another day, with a big AFC Playoff preview and NFL playoff picks. So stay tuned, and until then, have a merry Thursday.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Morning Skate: Chiarelli taking heat in Edmonton


Morning Skate: Chiarelli taking heat in Edmonton

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after a rough weekend for the Justice League movie. 


*Radko Gudas was suspended for 10 games after slashing at the head of Mathieu Perreault, and it’s an appropriate sentence for a play that has no place in the NHL, and from a player that really deserves to get slapped around by the Department of Player Safety. Some like the Hockey News here believe it should have been a more severe suspension, but this is the right move with a player that’s headed toward a Raffi Torres sentence the next time he crosses over the line. Let’s hope the message finally gets through to a dirty player, but I’m not holding my breath given his past history.  


*Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is beginning to take some heat in Edmonton with a hockey team that’s performing way under expectations to this point. 


*All Alexander Radulov wanted was to feel like he was wanted, you guys. The Dallas Stars just so happened to say that to him in the form of money and contract years. 


* does a Calder Trophy voting poll with their own staff and it looks like Clayton Keller is strongly in the lead, and that Charlie McAvoy isn’t getting nearly the mount of consideration that he should be getting right now. This is the only rookie averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game, people…c’mon now. 


*It’s officially over for the Montreal Canadiens just a couple of months into the season, and it may be for GM Marc Bergevin as well. I’m not sure the Habs are dead and buried quite yet, but Carey Price as a question mark certainly doesn’t help matters. 


*Hall of Famers Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne were both honored in Anaheim this weekend after their Hockey Hall of Fame honors last weekend. 


*For something completely different: Here’s a petition for fans to get a home release of the Zack Snyder cut of the Justice League movie. These people thirsting for ponderous, bombastic drudgery in their comic book movies amazes me. While I feel for Snyder and his family given their tragedy over the last year, I think his movies are god-awful and can’t fathom why anybody would be pounding the table demanding to see a cut that left the DC and Warner Brothers execs running and screaming for Joss Whedon. 

Belichick remembers Glenn: 'A good person with good intentions'


Belichick remembers Glenn: 'A good person with good intentions'

Terry Glenn, the Patriots' top draft pick in 1996, died early Monday morning in a one-car accident in Irving, Texas. He was 43. 

Bill Belichick coached Glenn as an assistant with the Patriots during Glenn's rookie season. He was later Glenn's head coach in 2000 and 2001. Belichick traded Glenn to the Packers before the 2002 season after a tumultuous run in New England that involved legal trouble, injuries and clashes with the coaching staff.

During a conference call with reporters soon after the news of Glenn's death was published, Belichick remembered Glenn for his natural physical ability and "a good heart."

"I was pretty close with Terry," Belichick said, "and his rookie season was my first year here in '96, and so I had a lot of interaction with him and other people that were involved in his life and his upbringing separate from the Patriots. Terry's a very smart individual. Had a lot of, obviously, a lot of physical skill and talent. Could do a lot of things on the football field very naturally. And I think he was deep down inside a good person with good intentions and, you know, a good heart. Obviously it's very unfortunate. Very unfortunate passing. I mean, it's a sad day. Sad news."

According to reports, Glenn was with his fiancee at the time of the accident. She's being treated at a local hospital for unspecified injuries.