Bruins Find Twine Seven Times; Take Series Lead 1-0

The Boston Bruins rode a three goal second period en route to a 7-3 butt-whooping of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game One in Philadelphia.  The Bruins got 2 goals apiece from David Krejci and Brad Marchand, and one each from Mark Recchi, Gregory Campbell, and Nathan Horton.  Tim Thomas made 31 saves preserving the victory for the Boston Bruins giving them the all important Game One win.

The first line, that was on milk cartons for much of the Montreal series, really showed up today.  Krejci had 2 goals and 2 assists, Horton had himself a goal and an assist, and Milan Lucic had a plus 3 with 4 hits.  The Bruins dominated the game from start to finish on Philadelphia’s home ice.  It was clear they enjoyed the more physical play that Philadelphia provides rather than Montreal.

The Bruins were able to expose the Flyers’ weakness knocking Brian Boucher out of net as the Flyers goalie problems continue.  As a Bruins fan it was a lot more enjoyable watching the Bruins fire away against Boucher rather than Carey Price.  If the Bruins can continue to pepper whoever the Flyers trot out to net, the series should be over rather quickly.  The Bruins must continue to apply as much pressure as possible much like they did today.

The problems with the power play have continued for the Bruins however.  The Bruins were 0-5 tonight on the power play prompting me to start with a series of “The last time the Bruins scored a playoff goal…”  Until they do score, I will have a quote on every power play.  This started in the third period of today’s game.  I invite you to join me in these quotes!

The last time the Bruins scored a power play goal women weren’t allowed to vote.

The last time the Bruins scored a power play goal the drinking age was 18.

There is apart of me that really wishes they Bruins could decline the penalty like in the NFL because they are playing better when its 5 on 5 out there.

I am cautiously optimistic with the Game 1 win over the Flyers.  It wasn’t long ago (1 year) that the Bruins got up 3-0 on this Flyer squad and lost the series.  That was the past.  The time is now.  The Bruins were able to finish their opportunities in Game 1 that they were unable to finish in the Montreal Series.

Let’s hope those trends continue.  And let’s hope for some power play goals!  Game 2 is Monday, 7:30 in Philadelphia.

I can be followed on Twitter @ ScottieNTCF

2011 New England Patriots Mock Draft

Solder was the selection at #17, and #28 was dealt away for some picks, both in this draft and next year’s draft.  Now that round 1 is in the books, I’m going to take a look at who the Pats might look to draft throughout rounds 2-7.  I am not predicting trades, so I’m sticking with the selections that the Pats have as of Friday morning.

2nd Round – #33 (CAR) – Jabaal Sheard, DE/OLB Pittsburgh

Sheard’s talent was exposed after star defensive end Greg Romeus went down with an injury.  Sheard turned in a great season, earning Big East defensive player of the year honors.  He combines rare strength for a defensive end with enough speed to beat NFL caliber offensive lineman.  With the ability to set the edge against the run, Sheard has drawn comparisons to Patriot great Willie McGinest.  Although I doubt the Pats will keep this pick, if they stick around Sheard may be the selection.

2nd Round – #56 (NWO) – Ryan Williams, RB Virginia Tech

Aside from Mark Ingram, there have been arguments made that Ryan Williams could be the second most talented back in this draft.  After a great freshman year at Virginia Tech, the former lock first round pick had a shaky sophomore campaign, which is why he is available in round 2.  Williams provides a good combination of strength and speed.  Although he needs some work in the pass game and picking up blitzers, he won’t be forced into full duty with the BJGE and Woodhead still around.  With some coaching, Ryan Williams could be the back of the future in New England.

2nd Round – #60 – Allen Bailey, DE Miami

Allen Bailey was also once considered a first round prospect, but a sub par senior season has Bailey still available late in round 2.  Bailey has drawn comparisons to Warren Sapp with his athletic ability, but at 6’3, 290 lbs Bailey could add some more bulk and be a solid 3-4 defensive end.  Bailey is a bit weak against the run, but he has pass rushing ability uncharacteristic of a guy his size.

3rd Round – #74 (MIN)Greg Little, WR UNC

Greg Little is an athletic freak.  He has the size of a tight end and the speed of a wideout.  Concerns about Little’s health and inconsistent play have him sliding down draft boards.  Although it is unlikely that Little falls this far, if he is here the Pats need to take him.  Little is a similar player to Brandon Tate with a bit more physicality involved with his game.

3rd Round – #92 – Mark Herzlich, OLB Boston College

Arguably my favorite player in the draft, in my mind Mark Herzlich will not look right in any other uniform than a Patriots uniform.  Herzlich was once a top 5 prospect, but his battle with cancer set him back big time and he is still getting back some of the speed and strength that he lost.  If Herzlich is around in round 3, he would be one of the best picks in the draft.

4th Round – #125 – Stephen Schilling, OG Michigan

Schilling was a four year starter at Michigan that is an athletic and strong interior offensive lineman.  Although he is not an overly impressive player, Schilling’s consistency is one of his most intriguing traits.  Schilling is a mauling run blocker with serviceable pass blocking skills.  He can be a solid back-up lineman and could turn into a starter with some seasoning.

5th Round – #159 – Zane Taylor, C Utah

Zane Taylor isn’t the fastest lineman in the draft by any stretch of the imagination, but after throwing up 41 reps at 225 pounds, the guy is clearly very strong.  Taylor is arguably a top five center in the draft, and with Dan Koppen aging, the Patriots could use to add some depth at center.

6th Round – #193 (NWO) – Greg McElroy, QB Alabama

Greg McElroy may be the smartest quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft.  McElroy’s arm isn’t very strong.  He is decently accurate.  McElroy will be one of the first guys in the building and one of the last guys out of the building in the NFL.  Nick Saban will certainly give rave reviews to coach Belichick about his former starting quarterback.

2011 NFL Draft First Round Review by: “The Better Looking Mel Kiper”

After watching a first round where unexpected picks were happening all over the board, I’m sad to say that my mock draft was a disappointment.  With the amount of trades that happened, I couldn’t have expected many of my predictions to come true, but I didn’t do as well as I had expected.  That being said, let’s get into a quick review of the good, bad and ugly trades and picks that went down on Thursday night.

Best Trade: Cleveland

Cleveland Received: Atlanta’s 2011 1st , 2nd, and 4th round picks (27, 59, 124) and 2012 1st and 4th round picks.

Atlanta Received: Cleveland’s 2011 1st round pick (6)

Cleveland is a team that needs an abundance of youthful bodies rather than one great player.  Mike Holmgren was able to pull off one of the more lopsided trades that I have seen in a while.  Atlanta wanted one of the top two wideouts in the 2011 Draft, but they gave up way too much (five valuable picks) in my opinion

Worst Trade: Atlanta

See explanation above.

Best Pick: New York Giants / Pittsburgh Steelers

With the 19th overall pick the New York Giants selected Prince Amukamara, cornerback from Nebraska.  Before the start of the draft, Amukamara was thought by many to be a lock top 10 pick, with the lowest spot he could fall being 11 to Houston.  But, surprisingly, Prince slipped all the way down to #19 where the Giants stuck to their philosophy of picking the best player available.  Last year it was Jason Pierre-Paul and this year it’s Amukamara.  Prince should be able to contribute immediately, and could wind up being an absolute steal for the G-Men.

With the 31st overall pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Cameron Heyward, defensive end from Ohio State.  The Pittsburgh Steelers know how to draft, and they proved it again on Thursday night.  In any other draft, Heyward may have been a top 15 selection, but the defensive line depth had Heyward slipping down the board until the Steelers grabbed one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the draft.  A once aging front three in Pittsburgh is now looking like a young, explosive front that should cause trouble for offensive lines over the next several seasons (Ziggy Hood, Casey Hampton, Cameron Heyward).

Worst Pick: Minnesota

With the 12th overall pick the Minnesota Vikings selected Christian Ponder, quarterback from Florida State.  I’m a big advocate of the thought that teams are usually picking in the top 12-15 picks for a reason, because they have made some draft day mistakes over the years.  It’s looking to me like the Minnesota Vikings have made a draft day mistake in 2011.  To be rational, I have absolutely no idea how Christian Ponder will be as a pro.  He could come out and be the next Aaron Rodgers for all I know.  But, from the tape that I’ve watched on Ponder, his arm isn’t that amazing and he is very inconsistent.  This isn’t an indictment of Christian Ponder, I’m attacking the Vikings.  I understand their need for a quarterback, and don’t have a problem with them drafting one, but taking Ponder at 12 was ridiculous.  Christian Ponder was thought by many to be a late first pick if he was lucky.  At least trade down just a few spots and pick up some extra picks if this is your guy.  The placement of this selection is baffling.

PATS REVIEW

I’m not going to lie to you, last night I was livid with the Pats selection of Nate Solder with the 17th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.  I don’t have an issue with Nate Solder, I actually believe that he will turn out to be a good NFL lineman.  The issue I have is that the Pats keep ignoring their biggest need areas.  Yes, I know that I’m only an ignorant fan that knows nothing about these prospects.  The almighty Bill Belichick knows a lot more about every one of these prospects than I do.  I should have faith in the Pats because their last two drafts have been really good.  If you agree with these last three statements, stop reading now!

First, how about being critical of Belichick for a minute.  Yes, last draft was a good one, but let’s no start calling this guy the best drafter of all time.  To begin, last year the Pats selected Ted Larsen in the 6th round, and eventually released him during training camp.  Larsen then signed with Tampa Bay and started for nearly the entire season at offensive guard.  Would be have a need for an interior offensive lineman if they kept Larsen around?  Probably not.  Was 2009’s draft really all that spectacular.  With all the wheeling and dealing that the Pats did to stockpile second round picks, they used those selections on Ron Brace, Darius Butler, and Sebastian Vollmer.  Vollmer has worked out well, but Brace and Butler can’t stay on the field.  Jerod Mayo is the only player that has done anything from the 2008 draft.  Terrence Wheatley, Shawn Crable, Kevin O’Connell, Jonathan Wilhite, etc are either no longer on the team or do not contribute.  So, let’s not anoint Belichick as the all-mighty drafter before we actually take a look at his success rate.  I’m not saying that the Pats need to hit on every pick, and they probably are more successful with their picks than most teams, but they do make mistakes.

It was very, very evident last season that the Pats were desperate for a pass rusher.  Sure enough at #17, there was an abundance of talent available at the 3-4 defensive end position.  Adrian Clayborn, Cameron Jordan, Cameron Heyward, and Muhammad Wilkerson were all available.  3-4 outside linebacker Robert Quinn, who is a pass rushing stud was taken at #14.  The Pats could have easily jumped up to grab a supreme talent like Robert Quinn.  At some point in time the Pats need to address their lack of pass rushing ability and I want to see them do it sooner rather than later.

Also, let’s stop making a huge deal about stockpiling picks.  There has been excitement entering the last few drafts about the number of picks that the Pats have and how amazing of a job they did the previous draft of grabbing extra picks for the current year.  Can the Pats really be commended for stockpiling picks if they never use them?  Seriously, this was supposed to be the season that they made a huge move because Belichick’s genius got them the Raiders first round pick for Richard Seymour.  Yes, they selected at #17, but 28 got dealt for picks next season.  Sure enough, next year is going to come around and the fans will be looking for the Pats to load up on young talent, only to be disappointed when they trade those picks again.  All I’m saying is don’t accept everything the Pats do as the right move.  Let’s be critical…after all we essentially pay their salaries as fans.

Speaking of Richard Seymour, the Patriots essentially traded Richard Seymour for Nate Solder…I’m not sure I’d still make that move.

Five by Five Mock by: “The Better Looking Mel Kiper” Final Picks

Again…Nate Solder…really?

1. Carolina (2-14) – Cam Newton, QB Auburn

2. Denver (4-12) – Marcel Dareus, DE/DT Alabama  Von Miller, DE/OLB Texas A&M

3. Buffalo (4-12) – Von Miller, DE/OLB Texas A&M  Marcel Dareus, DE/DT Alabama

4. Cincinnati (4-12) – A.J. Green, WR Georgia

5. Arizona (5-11) – Patrick Peterson, CB LSU

——————NEXT FIVE—————————

6. Atlanta from Cleveland (5-11) – Julio Jones, WR Alabama

7. San Francisco (6-10) – Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska  Aldon Smith, DE Missouri

8. Tennessee (6-10) – Nick Fairley, DT Auburn  Jake Locker, QB Washington

9. Dallas (6-10) – Tyron Smith, OT USC

10. Washington (6-10) – Jacksonville (8-8)Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri

————————-NEXT FIVE————————————

11. Houston (6-10) – Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska J.J. Watt, DE Wisconsin

12. Minnesota (6-10) – Robert Quinn, DE UNC  Christian Ponder, QB Florida State

13. Detroit (6-10) – Anthony Costanzo, OT Boston College  Nick Fairley, DT Auburn

14. St. Louis (7-9) – Nick Fairley, DT Auburn  Robert Quinn, DE UNC

15. Miami (7-9) – Mike Pouncey, OG/C Florida

——————-NEXT FIVE————————–

16. Washington from Jacksonville (8-8) – Ryan Kerrigan, DE Purdue

17. New England from Oakland (8-8) – Prince Amakumara, CB Nebraska  Nate Solder, OT Colorado

18. San Diego (9-7) – Cameron Jordan, DE California  Corey Liuget, DT Illinois

19. New York Giants (10-6) – Mark Ingram, RB Alabama  Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6)Da’Quan Bowers, DE Clemson  Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa

———————NEXT FIVE————————————

21.Kansas City (10-6) – Brooks Reed, DE/OLB Arizona  Cleveland (5-11) – Phil Taylor, NT Baylor

22.Indianapolis (10-6) – Anthony Costanzo, OT Boston College…CV STYLE!!!!

23.Philadelphia (10-6) – Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado  Danny Watkins, OG Baylor

24. New Orleans (11-5) – Mark Ingram, RB Alabama  Cameron Jordan, DE California

25. Seattle (7-9) – Cameron Jordan, DE California  James Carpenter, OT Alabama

—————————-REMAINING PICKS——————–

26.Baltimore (12-4) – Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado

27.Kansas City (10-6)Brooks Reed, DE/OLB Arizona Jonathan Baldwin, WR Pittsburgh

28.New England (14-2) – Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA  New Orleans Saints Mark Ingram, RB Alabama

29.Chicago (11-5) – Gabe Carimi, OT Wisconsin

30. Jets (11-5) – Da’Quan Bowers, DE/OLB Clemson  Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT Temple

31. Pittsburgh (12-4) – Aaron Williams, CB Texas  Cameron Heyward, DE Ohio State

32. Green Bay (10-6) – Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT Temple  Derek Sherrod, OT Mississippi St.

Five by Five Mock by: “The Better Looking Mel Kiper” Picks # 26-32

Nate Solder?…

1. Carolina (2-14) – Cam Newton, QB Auburn

2. Denver (4-12) – Marcel Dareus, DE/DT Alabama  Von Miller, DE/OLB Texas A&M

3. Buffalo (4-12) – Von Miller, DE/OLB Texas A&M  Marcel Dareus, DE/DT Alabama

4. Cincinnati (4-12) – A.J. Green, WR Georgia

5. Arizona (5-11) – Patrick Peterson, CB LSU

——————NEXT FIVE—————————

6. Atlanta from Cleveland (5-11) – Julio Jones, WR Alabama

7. San Francisco (6-10) – Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska  Aldon Smith, DE Missouri

8. Tennessee (6-10) – Nick Fairley, DT Auburn  Jake Locker, QB Washington

9. Dallas (6-10) – Tyron Smith, OT USC

10. Washington (6-10) – Jacksonville (8-8)Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri

————————-NEXT FIVE————————————

11. Houston (6-10) – Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska J.J. Watt, DE Wisconsin

12. Minnesota (6-10) – Robert Quinn, DE UNC  Christian Ponder, QB Florida State

13. Detroit (6-10) – Anthony Costanzo, OT Boston College  Nick Fairley, DT Auburn

14. St. Louis (7-9) – Nick Fairley, DT Auburn  Robert Quinn, DE UNC

15. Miami (7-9) – Mike Pouncey, OG/C Florida

——————-NEXT FIVE————————–

16. Washington from Jacksonville (8-8) – Ryan Kerrigan, DE Purdue

17. New England from Oakland (8-8) – Prince Amakumara, CB Nebraska  Nate Solder, OT Colorado

18. San Diego (9-7) – Cameron Jordan, DE California  Corey Liuget, DT Illinois

19. New York Giants (10-6) – Mark Ingram, RB Alabama  Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6)Da’Quan Bowers, DE Clemson  Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa

———————NEXT FIVE————————————

21.Kansas City (10-6) – Brooks Reed, DE/OLB Arizona  Cleveland (5-11) – Phil Taylor, NT Baylor

22.Indianapolis (10-6) – Anthony Costanzo, OT Boston College…CV STYLE!!!!

23.Philadelphia (10-6) – Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado  Danny Watkins, OG Baylor

24. New Orleans (11-5) – Mark Ingram, RB Alabama  Cameron Jordan, DE California

25. Seattle (7-9) – Cameron Jordan, DE California  James Carpenter, OT Alabama

—————————-REMAINING PICKS——————–

26.Baltimore (12-4) – Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado

27.Kansas City (10-6) – Brooks Reed, DE/OLB Arizona

28.New England (14-2) – Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA

29.Chicago (11-5) – Gabe Carimi, OT Wisconsin

30. Jets (11-5) – Da’Quan Bowers, DE/OLB Clemson

31. Pittsburgh (12-4) – Aaron Williams, CB Texas

32. Green Bay (10-6) – Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT Temple

Five by Five Mock by: “The Better Looking Mel Kiper” Picks # 21-25

Pats are coming up…I’m thinking Prince to the Pats?

1. Carolina (2-14) – Cam Newton, QB Auburn

2. Denver (4-12) – Marcel Dareus, DE/DT Alabama  Von Miller, DE/OLB Texas A&M

3. Buffalo (4-12) – Von Miller, DE/OLB Texas A&M  Marcel Dareus, DE/DT Alabama

4. Cincinnati (4-12) – A.J. Green, WR Georgia

5. Arizona (5-11) – Patrick Peterson, CB LSU

——————NEXT FIVE—————————

6. Atlanta (5-11) – Julio Jones, WR Alabama

7. San Francisco (6-10) – Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska  Aldon Smith, DE Missouri

8. Tennessee (6-10) – Nick Fairley, DT Auburn  Jake Locker, QB Washington

9. Dallas (6-10) – Tyron Smith, OT USC

10. Washington (6-10) – Jacksonville (8-8)Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri

————————-NEXT FIVE————————————

11. Houston (6-10) – Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska J.J. Watt, DE Wisconsin

12. Minnesota (6-10) – Robert Quinn, DE UNC  Christian Ponder, QB Florida State

13. Detroit (6-10) – Anthony Costanzo, OT Boston College  Nick Fairley, DT Auburn

14. St. Louis (7-9) – Nick Fairley, DT Auburn  Robert Quinn, DE UNC

15. Miami (7-9) – Mike Pouncey, OG/C Florida

——————-NEXT FIVE————————–

16. Washington from Jacksonville (8-8) – Ryan Kerrigan, DE Purdue

17. New England from Oakland (8-8) – Prince Amakumara, CB Nebraska  Nate Solder, OT Colorado

18. San Diego (9-7) – Cameron Jordan, DE California  Corey Liuget, DT Illinois

19. New York Giants (10-6) – Mark Ingram, RB Alabama  Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6)Da’Quan Bowers, DE Clemson  Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa

———————NEXT FIVE————————————

21.Kansas City (10-6) – Brooks Reed, DE/OLB Arizona

22.Indianapolis (10-6) – Anthony Costanzo, OT Boston College

23.Philadelphia (10-6) – Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado

24. New Orleans (11-5) – Mark Ingram, RB Alabama

25. Seattle (7-9) – Cameron Jordan, DE California

Five by Five Mock by: “The Better Looking Mel Kiper” Picks # 16-20

Five picks at a time.  Here’s the fourth five.  Looking to see when the run on DE’s begins.

1. Carolina (2-14) – Cam Newton, QB Auburn

2. Denver (4-12) – Marcel Dareus, DE/DT Alabama  Von Miller, DE/OLB Texas A&M

3. Buffalo (4-12) – Von Miller, DE/OLB Texas A&M  Marcel Dareus, DE/DT Alabama

4. Cincinnati (4-12) – A.J. Green, WR Georgia

5. Arizona (5-11) – Patrick Peterson, CB LSU

——————NEXT FIVE—————————

6. Atlanta (5-11) – Julio Jones, WR Alabama

7. San Francisco (6-10) – Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska  Aldon Smith, DE Missouri

8. Tennessee (6-10) – Nick Fairley, DT Auburn  Jake Locker, QB Washington

9. Dallas (6-10) – Tyron Smith, OT USC

10. Washington (6-10) – Jacksonville (8-8)Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri

————————-NEXT FIVE————————————

11. Houston (6-10) – Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska J.J. Watt, DE Wisconsin

12. Minnesota (6-10) – Robert Quinn, DE UNC  Christian Ponder, QB Florida State

13. Detroit (6-10) – Anthony Costanzo, OT Boston College  Nick Fairley, DT Auburn

14. St. Louis (7-9) – Nick Fairley, DT Auburn  Robert Quinn, DE UNC

15. Miami (7-9) – Mike Pouncey, OG/C Florida

——————-NEXT FIVE————————–

16. Washington from Jacksonville (8-8) – Ryan Kerrigan, DE Purdue

17. New England from Oakland (8-8) – Prince Amakumara, CB Nebraska

18. San Diego (9-7) – Cameron Jordan, DE California

19. New York Giants (10-6) – Mark Ingram, RB Alabama

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6) – Da’Quan Bowers, DE Clemson