By Talia Goodman
It’s playoff hockey time! The Bruins have secured the third spot in the East division, which means they will be facing off against their biggest rival of the season (and everyone else’s) — the Washington Capitals.
The series will begin on Saturday, May 15th and it’s sure to be physical, action-packed and chock-full of surprises.
With the offseason set to launch, I’d like to take a moment to flash back on the season and hand out my own personal Bruins superlatives.
First up: Patrice Bergeron. For me, he receives the “Quietly Holding the Team Together” award. He doesn’t score the most goals or make the flashiest plays, but he captains this team to victories and helped blaze the path to the playoffs.
Next we have David Pastrnak. This one’s easy. He gets the “Impossible to Hate” award. He’s constantly smiling and throwing pucks to little kids, and you can’t tell me you don’t absolutely adore those Dunkin’ commercials.
While we’re here, let’s just finish up this first line. Brad Marchand. He is currently third (!!!) in points league-wide. Read that again. It surprised me too, don’t worry. He gets the “McDavid of the Bruins” award, because while absolutely no current player lives up to Connor McDavid, I feel like Marchy is involved in just about every single Bruins goal.
I’m going to have to give out the “Bravest Player” award to Trent Frederic. He’s young, scrappy and not afraid to drop the gloves with anyone… even one of the league’s most controversial players, Tom Wilson. Frederic has been one of the most entertaining players to watch, and I’m excited to see what else he can do for this team.
Next, we have the “Hero of the Season” award. Can you guess who it’s going to? That’s right– Taylor Hall. The headline of the trade deadline lived up to his expectations and possibly even exceeded them. He gave this Boston team the depth they needed and the offensive spark to be a real contender. In just 16 games with the team, he has eight goals and six assists.
With that being said, there are very few weak links on the Bruins and that’s rare to say. Every man plays their role and (for the most part) does it well.
If you’re a Bruins fan, you better be watching this Saturday’s game. It’s bound to stir things up, as every Caps-Bruins matchup thus far has done.
By Carter Segal
The Celtics opened off this past week with a matchup against the Orlando Magic.
The Magic, a rebuilding team, had a roster that featured at most one starting-caliber player in Gary Harris. As a team trying to land the best lottery odds for this offseason’s draft, Orlando did not need a win. Boston, on the other hand, entered the game with everything to lose. Going into this week, the Celtics and Miami Heat had identical records — only one of them can land in the top six seeds and clinch a playoff berth.
From the opening tip, the Celtics asserted their dominance. On offense, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum were scoring on any Magic defender in single-coverage, notching 32 and 27 points, respectively. Additionally, Evan Fournier played terrific against his former team, scoring 18 points, dishing out four assists, and grabbing five rebounds. On defense, the Celtics forced Orlando into taking tough jumpshots, resulting in them scoring only 96 points, the lowest total Boston has allowed in nearly three weeks.
While Boston has struggled against less-talented teams, this 132-96 win gives hope that they can flip the switch when needed to.
That hope has become dimmer over the past two games, however. On Friday, the 28-39 Bulls cruised past Boston.
Tatum, who shot 3-15, had one of his worst games of the season. While Walker and Fournier had solid performances, there was not enough scoring help throughout the roster to adequately pick up Tatum’s slack. On the other end of the court, Boston’s apathetic defense resulted in a field day for the Bulls. Zach Lavine and Coby White went for 25 points, each, while all-star center, Nikola Vucevic, had a triple double. It was an ugly 99-121 loss, and should serve as cause for concern with the playoffs so close.
On Sunday, the Celtics squared off against the Heat in one of the most important games of the season. With five games left, the Celtics stood one game behind Miami in the standings. If the Celtics won, they would be tied up in the race for the six seed. If they lost, having to participate in the play-in tournament was almost a guarantee.
Despite losing by only six, this was one of the worst losses of the year. With so much riding on the outcome, Boston opened the game with not a single ounce of effort or intensity. At halftime, they were down 26. The Heat were relentlessly and successfully targeting Kemba Walker on defense, generating easy buckets every possession down the floor. While the Celtics did not have a bad offensive showing, it is difficult to really compete when you allow the opposing team to shoot 57% from the field and 46% from three.
At this point, there is no real prediction to make about the Celtics. On paper, they have a roster that can compete with anyone in the league. But this complete lack of energy has resulted in an inconsistency that makes them impossible to read. Boston could realistically upset the top-seeded Bucks and Sixers in the playoffs and make a finals run.
But they could also lose both of their play-in games to the mediocre Hornets and Pacers, and I would not be surprised.
There is no tactical decision or x-factor player who will determine how this team holds up. They will either play like they want it, or they won’t.
After watching these past two games, I am inclined to believe in the latter.
By Matt Fonzi
The Red Sox headed into the second week of May with a tough schedule, facing off against the Detroit Tigers and the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles swept the Red Sox in their first series of the season, proving to be an interesting matchup.
Boston began the week travelling to Michigan for a three game series against the Detroit Tigers.
The Sox started off strong, amassing more runs in the first inning than the Tigers would score all day. Xander Bogarts hit a two run bomb, as well as Hunter Renfroe who hit his 100th career home run. Nick Pivetta landed the win for the Red Sox, adding to his 4-0 record on the year.
The next day, game two of the series went down to the wire. After being tied up through nine innings, the Sox and the Tigers took a little extra time to determine a winner. In the top of the tenth inning, the Tigers raked in three runs. This put the pressure on Boston, who just couldn’t finish the extra inning comeback. Boston lost to Detroit 6-5.
To end the series on a high note, the Red Sox came back after the tough loss to defeat the Tigers 12-9, and win the series 3-2.
After their mini-series in Detroit, Boston came back home to play a four game series against the Baltimore Orioles. In the first game, the Sox were out hit 11-7, but were still able to score enough runs to put away the Orioles. More good news for Boston comes in the promising start to the season from pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. E-Rod currently has a record of 5-0, and is tied for the league lead in that category.
Boston followed up their first win with yet another one the next day. Boston seems to take advantage of the early innings in the game, once again scoring a majority of their runs before the third inning. A familiar face of years past finally made an appearance, and that was Michael Chavis. He hit a home run in the second inning, and will most likely be up in Boston once again.
In the last two games of the series, the Red Sox would take one and lose the other. This brought the Red Sox’ record to a stunning 22-14.
They currently sit as the best team in baseball.
In other news this week, the Boston Red Sox have signed former CP Brandon Workman and have assigned him to the Worcester Woo Sox Triple-A club to get started. This brings a lot of potential to the Sox’ bullpen, which still needs lots of work.
Overall in Boston, things are great. Just win baby.