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Stevan Ridley was lost for the season on Sunday due to a torn ACL and MCL that he suffered against Buffalo. Ridley was on pace to have one of his best seasons as a pro, recording 340 yards, two touchdowns, and zero fumbles up until his injury. The Patriots have a tendency to change up which running back is the focus week to week, but in the two games he was the focus this season, against the Vikings in week two and Bengals in week five, he rushed for 101 and 113 yards respectively.

Ridley is a powerful, violent runner whose mix of strength, size, speed and ability to get downhill are found nowhere else on the Patriots’ depth chart. Currently at the position the Patriots have Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, James White, rookie James White and Jonas Gray, who until this point has been a practice squad only player. None of these players can bring everything to the table that Ridley can, but they can combine to help fill the void. Continue reading Filling the Stevan Ridley Void »

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What to Make of the Post-Derek Jeter Yankees

October 15, 2014 at 8:53pm in MLB
Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter’s last game with the Yankees was the stuff of Hollywood legend. He chopped an RBI single toward third, his 3,465th career hit, and then removed himself from the game. He went out at Fenway, which seems like anathema to a Yankee, but Red Sox fans cheered Jeter for over two minutes. Before the game, Boston arranged a pre-game ceremony where sports greats including longtime Red Sox outfielder Carl Yastrzemski, legendary Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr and New England Patriots Hall-of-Famer Troy Brown honored Jeter before the entire Red Sox team came out to acknowledge the Yankees captain. As a team, the Red Sox donated $22,222.22 to Jeter’s charitable organization, the Turn 2 Foundation.

The Captain went out at just the right time and in just the right way. However, his absence leaves a big hole not only in fans’ hearts but also in the Yankees infield. Anyone who likes to bet on baseball should start anticipating how Jeter’s departure could affect the Yanks. Let’s take a look ahead to next year. Continue reading What to Make of the Post-Derek Jeter Yankees »

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Bruins sign Gagne and Additional Notes

October 15, 2014 at 2:00pm in Bruins, NHL
Simon Gagne (Bruins.NHL.com)

The Bruins officially announced Tuesday morning that they signed forward Simon Gagne to a one year, $600,000 contract. Gagne, who was invited to camp on a tryout basis, impressed Coach Claude Julien and GM Peter Chiarelli enough to warrant a roster spot.

As a player, Gagne has been a talented goal scorer who can put the puck in the net and make smart passes. However, he has been a bit fragile as he has consistently missed time due to injury over the years. He hasn’t played more than 63 games in a season since ’08-’09, when he put up 74 points  for the Flyers.

It will be interesting to see where he fits in with this Bruins line-up. I think he would be a good fit with Patrice Bergeron (who wouldn’t), but you don’t want to break up the 63-37-18 line. Will he slide in with Milan Lucic and David Krejci on the first line? That’s a tall task for someone who has exactly 12 goals over the past three seasons.

Continue reading Bruins sign Gagne and Additional Notes »

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For Sunday's preseason game between the Celtics and Nets, the game clock will read 11:00 at the start of each quarter for an experimental 44 minute game. (Queen City Hoops)

There’s a Neil Young song called “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)” and another titled “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black).”

This is what this experimental 44 minute preseason game between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets feels like: an NBA decree completely out of the blue as the Celtics venture into both the Jay-Z inspired black of the Barclays Center and the complete unknown that is the 11 minute quarter.

Continue reading Celtics, Nets to Play Experimental 44 Minute Game in NBA Preseason »

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fraser

When the Bruins traded young offensive star Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars in July 2013 they received an impressive haul in return. The two headliners of the deal were Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith, both of whom played extensively last year save for the time Eriksson missed due to injury. The Bruins also got a little known right wing named Matt Fraser. Fraser played sparingly last season, 18 games including playoffs, but performed in big moments including scoring an overtime winner in game four of the second round against the Canadiens in Montreal. This season the 24 year old winger could not only end up playing on the Bruins’ top line, but he could be a real difference maker for a team with Stanley Cup aspirations.

Fraser will begin 2014 skating with Milan Lucic and David Krecji, once Krecji returns from injury. Originally it was thought that Eriksson would occupy the right wing spot vacated by Jarome Iginla, but Fraser outplayed Erikson during training camp and will get an opportunity to play with Boston’s top line. If Eriksson ends up playing on the top line, Fraser would play on the third line with Swedish assist master Carl Soderberg and defensive stopper Chris Kelly. Either way, Fraser is poised to score often.

Continue reading Why Matt Fraser Could be the Piece that Puts the Bruins Over the Top »

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Eagles vs Chargers: Week 6's prediction for the Super Bowl

Six weeks into the season, there are still many teams that could be considered champion material. And thanks to injuries and underperforming, many are also fighting for draft positioning. Five teams have a single loss on their record, and Cincinnati has a loss and tie. Oakland and Jacksonville continue to be dream opponents for teams that could use a win. Seeding continues to be volatile, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, October 14. Continue reading If the Playoffs Started Today – NFL Week 6 »

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Brian Tyms in his first game of the season makes a Randy Moss-esque touchdown grab in triple coverage. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

Every year the “experts” talk about how the Bills are right putting it together and are going to challenge the Patriots for the division. They create a little buzz with a few early wins and Chris Berman constantly reminds us that “nobody circles the wagon like the Buffalo Bills. No matter all the hype they’re still the Buffalo Bills, and Kyle Orton is their starting quarterback.

- I have a feeling there won’t be many people calling for a trade of Tom Brady this week. Two consecutive weeks, Brady has looked like himself and strong offensive line play is the reason. Last week more so than this week, but due to injuries to Bryan Stork and Dan Connolly they had to make some moves on the line. It was not a bad showing at all as Brady was sacked only twice. He’s had more time to  stay in the pocket and it has led to his two best games of the season, Sunday being his best. He finished going 27-37 for 361 yards and four touchdowns. The most impressive stat of the game was that he completed a pass to 10 different receivers.  Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 6: Patriots Claim First Place, Beat Bills 37-22 »

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