A successful week is in the books for Boston sports. The Celtics took to the road for their first major trip of the season and came out looking great, while the Patriots got back to their winning ways after suffering a miserable loss in Cleveland last week. The Bruins on the other hand? What’s gotten into them lately?
The Boston Red Sox
So I did not mention the Sox at all in my introduction to the week, but as possibly the biggest fan favorite team in town, one has to start off by talking about them regardless if they’re playing or not. Like I said last week, it is now the “hot stove” season for the Red Sox as they try to outfit the roster for the 2011 season.
The Red Sox have already begun searching for the missing pieces on this already great team that would get them back into the playoffs. Outfielders Jason Werth of the Phillies and Carl Crawford of the Rays have been contacted by Theo Epstein about possibly moving into Bean Town. Werth would bring a big bat to the line-up that could potentially fill a void that the loss of Adrian Beltre would create next year, while Carl Crawford, an overall great player, adds speed and consistency in the outfield. Crawford was also awarded his first gold glove this week for his spectacular work in the outfield this season. Either player would be an upgrade from the aging and continuously injured, Mike Cameron.
Epstein also stated this week that one of his priorities has been to bring back catcher Victor Martinez and third baseman Adrian Beltre. If Beltre is not re-signed by Boston, a potential permanent switch to third base by first baseman Kevin Youkilis could come into effect. The Sox would then explore the options of acquiring first basemen Adrian Gonzalez (through trade), Aubrey Huff, Carlos Pena, and others among free agency.
The Boston Bruins
What’s happening to the Bruins? After such a hot start to the season the B’s have slowly climbed back down into reality. A reality that is not exactly pretty. The Bruins were coming off their worst week of the season and were looking to turn things around this week. They started off well scoring 5 straight goals for a comeback win against the Penguins in Pittsburgh (7-5 Win), but then racked up two more losses. Thursday night saw the Bruins come back home only to fall to the Capitals 3-1, followed by Tim Thomas’s first loss of the season against the Ottawa Senators in Boston 2-0. It’s time for the Bruins to get back on track with four games this week against the Devils, a short trip to New York to see the Rangers, and then back to Boston to close out the week against the Panthers and Kings.
The Boston Celtics
The Celtics hit the road this past week for their first extended trip of the season, and an easy trip this was not. The Celtics faced the Mavericks on Monday, a re-match with the Heat Thursday, and closed out the trip in Memphis on Saturday. Not an easy trip, but the Celtics went 4-1 overall, losing only to Dallas by a bucket (89-87 Final Score) on Monday (they started the trip in Oklahoma City last Sunday). As for the re-match with the Heat? The Celtics continued to baffle Miami, especially Dwayne Wade (8 points, 3 assists) who were predicted to wipe the floor with Boston after losing on opening night. The Celtics beat LeBron James and Miami 112-107.
The game against Miami was highlighted more by Paul Pierce’s post game tweet on his Twitter account. Pierce stated on Twitter that “It was his pleasure to bring his talents to South Beach, now onto Memphis.” Pierce was mocking LeBron James’s “The Decision” and made it clear that he thought James’s statements on his one hour ESPN special (and the special itself) were absolutely ridiculous. Expect some sort of reaction from James more so when the two teams meet again in February. Pierce did however bring his talents to Memphis and finished out the week with an overtime win, the third this season, 116-110.
The Celtics still showed they have a bit of difficulty with the younger and more athletic teams, but overcame that adversity. This week they will be able to activate reserve guard Delonte West who has finished his 10 game suspension from weapons charges last season. West will bring a great boost to the Celtics’s bench as Boston is back home for match-ups with the Wizards and Thunder, and then finish off the week in Toronto against the Raptors.
Rob Gronkowski and The New England Patriots
Very very rarely does a team coached by Bill Belichick lose two games in a row, and after laying an egg against the Cleveland Browns last week the Patriots got right back in the win column against the Pittsburgh Steelers 39-26 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
A great game all around for the Patriots, everything seemed to working for them. They were able to run against a team that is known for its run defense and they were able to pass with ease. Speaking of passes, rookie tight end, Rob Gronkowski, had an amazing game by hauling in three touchdown catches tonight. “Gronk” was probably looking to make-up for his own lackluster performance against Cleveland last week where he muffed their first kick off return as well as fumbled the ball near the goal line on a huge play to end the first half. Gronkowski became the first rookie in Patriots history to score three touchdowns in a game, and owes part of his success from the great game played by quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady willed his team to win this game it seemed. He was full of energy from start to finish as he was 30-43 in completions with 350 passing yards and three touchdowns. He even ran the ball into the end zone himself on the third New England touchdown of the night and followed it up with a celebration in front of the Steeler fans and all their rally towels. Brady was supposedly a game time decision today with a foot injury all week, but showed no signs at all of the injury throughout the game.
New England has become a legitimate threat after beating up Pittsburgh this week in Pittsburgh. Sunday night was a potential AFC Championship game preview that now can give the Patriots home field advantage if it comes to it. The Patriots defense recorded 5 sacks tonight, nearly as many as they had already totaled this season. They are still young and have work to do, but what a confidence boost this win against Pittsburgh will be for them. The Pats head into another tough game next week against Indianapolis and will look to put their foot down when they say “We’re the team to beat in the AFC.”
Boston College was able to rack up another win this week against Duke. The Eagles 21-16 over the Blue Devils and have moved up to fourth place in the Atlantic Division of the ACC. Their record now stands at 3-4 in the conference and 5-5 overall. They head back home for a match-up with Virgina next week.
Harvard took a 34-14 loss to Pennsylvania this weekend. They have to third place in the Ivy league with a record of 4-2 in the conference and 6-3 overall. They will close out their season next week against second place Yale.
Finally, the UMass Minutemen finished off their part of the home season with a loss to the Delaware Blue Hens 45-27. The Minutemen now have a questionable status as to whether or not they can make the playoffs as they move down to fifth place in the CAA. Their record stands at 4-3 in the conference and 6-4 overall. They will finish off their season next week in Rhode Island against the Rams.
About the Author
Written by Geoff Poster
I am a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. I currently work for WODS Radio and Mix 104.1 Radio in Boston, MA as both a board operator and member of the promotions department. I am interested in pursuing a career in sports media. I currently have a Boston sports podcast entitled The Last Name Show, and I also write for the website SportsofBoston.com