Monday, June 27, 2011

E'Twaun Moore On Choosing #55.

"I chose 55, it's motivation," said Moore. "Growing up, I used to wear 55. I used to like Jason Williams -- White Chocolate -- I used to like the way he passed, so I used to wear 55, too, when I was younger."

As a guy who owns a Sacramento Kings Jason Williams jersey... i really like this.

E'Twaun Moore is a combo guard with a clean jumpshot, works the pick and roll nicely, and has a strong defensive intensity.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Possible Bruins Target: Ryan Murphy
Ryan Murphy was featured on Hockey Night in Canada last year as Don Cherry's favorite to win this years race to first pick overall. His stats suggest he could do it but with recent developments and a draft class that could be one of the deepest in years, he seems destined to be a top 10 instead of a top 3. This year, he has been lighting it up offensively from the back side but isn't as refined as a Siemens or Larrson project to be. Think Mike Green but better offensively but a little on the smallish side. Better offensively, yes! He might be the most prolific offensive player in the draft. Anyone wishing to see Paul Coffee type rushes can look no further than Murphy. A cure to any teams powerplay woes. He could step into the NHL soon too as he will be drafted to provide offense and could be paired as a 6th d-man.
Submitted by: Robert Urner

If this guy was 6'2, he would easily be the first overall pick in this years NHL draft. Murphy is explosive with the puck and excels as the quarterback on the Powerplay. Murphy has worked extremely hard in Kitchener, developing his play in the his own end, his first pass is one of the best in all of the OHL. Murphy eats tons of minutes of the blueline and is not a one denominational player. Murphy has developed in a very talented offensive defenseman who will have his name called around 5-10 in this year's NHL draft.
Submitted by: Jeff Bomben

The most skilled of all blueliners in this year’s draft class, Murphy excels in the offensize zone. He has high end vision and hockey IQ and can make pinpoint passes, and exploit holes in defensive coverage. He also has a howitzer from the point and can double as a trigger man. He’s a more than gifted skater, and can blow past others with ease, as well as having the ability to elude with sharp turns. Outside of his lack of size, and ‘work-in-progress’ defensive game, there isn’t much to not like.
Submitted by: Brian Huddle @BrianHuddle

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When Jacoby Figured It Out.

After hitting the scene in the 2007 Playoffs, Jacoby was an instant star. With his speed, good looks, and undeniable upside he seemed to be a force to be reckoned with. And after only playing 33 regular season games... he looked to be the favorite for '08 Rookie Of The Year.

Jacoby was off to a hot start in his first full year in the Big Leagues. Ellsbury hit .280 with 3 HR's and 8 Stolen bases (had still yet to be caught stealing). At the All-Star break he was hitting well with a .272 average, 88 hits, and had 35 stolen bases but something seemed to be missing. In the '07 Playoffs Jacoby was unstoppable, he hit .360 and had a 1-1 walk to strikeout ratio, and looked like the next Ricky Henderson, but maybe everyone expected too much too soon. While Jacoby finished 3rd in ROTY voting and put together a very good rookie season (98 runs, 155 hits, .280 BA, and lead the AL in steals with 50) it almost seemed like Sox fans expected more.

Going into '09 it seemed like it was time for Ellsbury to take that step forward and over the first two months he did. Through the first 49 games Jacoby would start 48. He was hitting .299, and looked to be on pace for his first 100 run/ 200 hit season (a benchmark for elite leadoff men.) Ellsbury would finish the season strong but would finish with 94 runs and 188 hits. The progress was their but the slight disappointment still lingered. He once again led the AL in steals, this time with 70, but it still felt like Ellsbury's ceiling wasn't even close to being reached.

2010 came along and all the same expectations were present in Red Sox Nation, only this year Jacoby would play in left field. In theory this was supposed to make room for former Gold Glover Mike Cameron, and save Jacoby's legs for baserunning (ALA Ricky Henderson). After a collision with Third Baseman Adrian Beltre just 6 games into the season, The Sox promising leadoff man found his way onto the DL. Ellsbury would return on May 22nd for just 3 games, then on August 4th for another 8, but on August 13th Jacoby's season would end with only 18 games played, in those injury plagued games he would fail to hit .200. Then after his teammates questioned his toughness and commitment to the team, many of the fans turned on him.

With the off-season signings of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, it seemed likely that Jacoby Ellsbury may be expendable. But GM Theo Epstein made it clear that Jacoby Ellsbury was still an important piece to the Red Sox future success, and despite doubt from all the usual doubters... looks like Theo was right again.

73 games into 2011 and Jacoby Ellsbury just may be the key to Boston's lead in the American League East. Everyone's fantasy puzzle is finally coming together: Jacoby gets on base, gets moved along or steals a bag, then the big bats drive him home. Jacoby has 92 hits, 52 runs, leads the AL with 24 stolen bases, and is hitting a career high .312. 2011 also looks to be the first year of Jacoby the All-Star, looks like the cat is finally out of the bag.

Outside of Jacoby's jump in average he's also seeing a rise in power. 73 games in and Ellsbury is just 1 HR shy of his career high or 9. This along with his improvement in plate patience has lead to a .471 Slugging %, good for 4th best on the team His previous season high was .415. These improvements are what have Jacoby on pace for 203 hits and 118 runs, both potential career highs.

The Sox newly acquired First Baseman Adrian Gonzalez looks to be the early favorite for AL MVP, and is a threat to the Triple Crown. But Gonzo may owe one of his teammates a bit of credit for his ungodly numbers. Of Adrian's MLB leading 68 RBI's, 20 of those runs were scored by none other than Jacoby Ellsbury. If Jacoby isn't getting on base 47% of the time neither Adrian nor The Red Sox are where they currently stand... on top Baseball World.

Bruins Biggest Hits Of The 2011 Playoffs

Credit to Dafoomie for the video.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Marc Savard's Name Will Be On Cup.

Here are the rules from regarding names on the Cup.
To have one's name engraved on the Stanley Cup certain requirements must be met. A player must have at least 41 games played with the club or one game played in the Stanley Cup Finals. However, in 1994 a stipulation was added to allow a team to petition the Commissioner for permission to have players' names put on the Cup if extenuating circumstances prevented them from being available to play.

The Bruins are pulling to get Savard's name on the cup alongside his teammates. The rule is in place for circumstances exactly like these, it's been done before, and it will be done again.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nathan Horton Playoff Montage

Thomas The Greatest American Goalie Ever?

Over the history of the NHL there have been a lot of great goalies. Hasek, Brodeur, Dryden, Burnan, Larocque, Thompson, Plant, Sawchuk, and Roy to name a few. All of which won multiple Vezina Trophies, all of which have there name etched on the Stanley Cup at least once. But none of them were born in the United States.

Tim Thomas is now a Stanley Cup Champion, a Conn Smyth Trophy winner, and will soon be a two time Vezina Trophy winner. With his accolades he can throw his name in the hat as one of the best ever, and especially as the best ever to be born in the United States.

Timmy's Career Save Percentage of .921 is 2nd All-Time behind Dominik Hasek, from Czechoslovakia, this season Thomas also broke Hasek's single season Save Percentage of .938, a record that stood for 12 years. Statistically Thomas' 08-09 and 10-11 seasons can stack up against almost anyone, but numbers alone can't put you in the "Greatest" conversation. You have to carry your team to a title.

In the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs Tim Thomas' star has shined brightest. Despite already being a 3x All-Star and Vezina Trophy winner, Tim seemed to be a player on the outside of that Star Category. But after tremendous performances in Game 5 against Montreal, 52 saves in Game 2 on the road against Philadelphia, a Game 3 shutout in Tampa Bay, and to top it off a Game 7 shutout to win the Stanley Cup? The guy has been simply incredible.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

For The Bruins The Future is Bright

Whether the Bruins win the Stanley Cup, get swept out, or go all the way to game 7, one fact remains the same: This Boston Bruins team isn't going anywhere. After nearly upsetting the heavy favored Canadiens 3 years ago, then the next season where they finished with the top seed in the Eastern Conference, even the monumental collapse in the 2nd round vs Philadelphia... everything happens for a reason, and everything can be used as a lesson for the future. The Bruins 2011 success shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone and even though they have some veteran's on the roster this team core is still very young.

In The 2011 Playoffs, 4 out of Boston's Top 5 point-getters are 25 or under. Captain Zdeno Chara may be 33 but no one see's him slowing down any time soon due to his legendary work ethic. Tim Thomas is a Vezina Trophy finalist at 36 but even when he's gone they'll have a very able young goalie in Tuukka Rask. Then most importantly Tyler Seguin will grow and step into a much more prominent role for this team, entering next season he'll be 20 years old with a deadly shot, superstar passing skills, and experience playing in the Stanley Cup Finals. Not too bad.

Here's a list of all Bruins players under contract for next season, and the ages they will be:

Tyler Seguin- 20
Milan Lucic- 23
David Krejci- 25
Nathan Horton- 26
Patrice Bergeron- 26
Dan Paille- 27
Gregory Campbell- 28
Rich Peverley- 29
Chris Kelly- 31
Shawn Thornton- 34
Marc Savard- 34

Steven Kampfer- 23
Adam McQuaid- 25
Johhny Boychuk- 28
Dennis Seidenberg- 30
Andrew Ference- 32
Zdeno Chara- 34

Tuukka Rask- 24
Tim Thomas- 37

Another key for the future is the status of Marc Savard's career. As sad as it would be, if Savard retires it could bring serious cap space to go out and sign another young key asset. The Bruins could target restricted free agents like All-Star sniper and excellent two way forward Zach Parise from New Jersey, or maybe even Boston's own Keith Yandle who is a David Krejci type of player. Regardless of who they sign, or if they win this season, the future is very bright for The Boston Bruins. So enjoy the game Boston, cause unlike with The Celtics, the windows is wide open.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tom Brady To Lead Patriots Workout.

Starting today Tom Brady will be leading some of his teammates in off-season workouts. It's rumored that many players including rookies Nate Solder and Ryan Mallett will be in attendance. Some players like Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Tate have been in NE for some time, while other players like Julien Edelman will be flying accross the US to get some reps with his teammates during the lockout. All in all there were 40+ Patriot players in attendance.

In recent years Tom Brady's offseason has changed quite a bit. He's gone from the young player who's always at the practice facility, he's always the first man in last man out, but since he's grown up and gotten himself a family Tom has been in New England less and less. It seems the NFL Lockout has forced Tom to be the player he once was, the leader who will work tirelessly to improve himself and those around him. Maybe this is the same Tom we all remember, different hair and clothes... but the same TB12 nonetheless.