Connelly’s Top Ten – Rex Burkhead is Back – Break Out the Bubble Wrap

Connelly’s Top Ten – Rex Burkhead is Back – Break Out the Bubble Wrap
1. Patriots – Vikings
* Is Bud Grant still coaching
* Still one of my favorite Patriot plays was tight end Bob Windsor dragging Vikings into the end zone with no time left for a game winner while suffering a career ending injury in 1974
* Fran Tarkenton threw for 33,098 yards in Minnesota even though he was drafted by the Boston Patriots in 1961
* Mary Tyler Moore show filmed in Minnesota earned 29 Emmy’s and 22 Golden Globes
* Kirk Cousins has played every snap completing 71.1% of passes – 22 TD to 7 INT (has been sacked 28 times)
* Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are on pace to catch an amazing 250 catches
* Get used to watching Patrick Chung chasing Kyle Rudolph
* Six Vikings have at least 3 sacks this year led by Danielle (parents wanted a girl) Hunter with 11.5
* Kick Don Bailey is kicking FG’s at 75% which is wretched in this day and age (4-8 from 40 yards out)
2. 50 Point Games in the NBA stuff:
* Top five in 50 point games: Wilt 118 times / Jordan 31 / Bryant 25 / Baylor 17 / Barry 14
* Surprising players with multiple 50 point games: Tiny Archibald 4 / Damian Lillard 4 / Jamal Crawford 3 / Jamal Mashburn 2
* Surprising players with one 50 point game – CJ McColum, Dana Barros, Tony Delk, John Williamson, Willie Burton, Rasheed Lewis, Corey Brewer, Freeman Williams, Mo Williams, Vernon Maxwell, Brandon Jennings
3. Player-Coaches
* Dave Cowens – Had the team rolling until John Y Brown traded three first round picks for Bob McAdoo
* Bill Russell – They said Coach Russell was only as good as his best player – himself
* Joe Cronin – Red Sox – Mrs. Yawkey had his shirt number on her bracelet
* Bob Cousy – Cincinnati – Cousy came back for a couple games and Red demanded compensation
* Lou Boudreau – Cleveland – came up with the Williams shift and traded Pesky and Dom DiMaggio
* Joe Torre – Mets
* Others – Tris Speaker, Rogers Hornsby, John McGraw, Frank Robinson, Curly Lambeau, George Halas (ESPN)
4. Patriots are on the way to winning the division again – don’t take it for granted – don’t forget these player combinations who used to dominate the Patriots every week (never mind we couldn’t watch home games because they were blacked out for lack of sell outs)
* Bert Jones to Raymond Chester and Roger Carr
* Joe Ferguson to Bob Chandler
* OJ Simpson and the Electric Company
* Dan Marino to Duper and Clayton
* Larry Czonka, Mercury Morris and Jim Kiick
* Bob Griese to Warfield and Nat Moore
* Uwe Von Schamann, Pete Stoyanovich and Garo Yepremian – never seemed to miss big kicks
* Lydell Mitchell and Roosevelt Leaks
* Jets always stunk – Richard Todd, Ken O’Brien, Wesley Walker, Freeman McNeil – no threat
5. LeGarrette Blount compared to Hall of Famer Floyd Little:
Blount – 6,159 rushing yards / 58 TD’s / 11 Playoff TD’s
Little……6,323 rushing yards / 52 TD’s / 0 Playoff TD’s
6. After age 35:
Joe Montana – 31 TD to 16 INT (1.93)
Tom Brady – 207 TD to 52 INT (3.98)
7. Amazing Stats – Archie, Eli and Peyton Manning have thrown for a combined 150,626 yards
8. Old School – When the Boston Celtics franchise moved to San Diego – the Clippers got to choose between the Celtic’s 8th pick Freeman Williams or Celtics 6th pick – Larry Bird – the Clippers chose Williams:
* Williams – 30.7 points per game in college / 4,738 points in NBA
* Bird – 30.3 points per game in college / 21,791 points in NBA
9. Just a Little Bit Outside – List of over-rated players
Football – Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Michael Vick, Jerome Bettie, Marcus Allen, Shannon Sharpe, Bob Greise,
Baseball – Roger Clemens, Pete Rose, Dave Winfield, Brooks Robinson, Tony Perez, Dave Parker, Luis Aparicio, Catfish Hunter
Basketball – Julius Erving, Robert Parish, Robert Parish, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Piercel, Jason Kidd
Hockey – Wayne Gretzky
Other – Phil Mickelson, Sugar Ray Leonard
10. Randomocity
* It rained in 16 of first 28 days of November
* Frank Gore is 4th all time in rushing with 14,261yards – really?
* Should we start a pool to guess the time and quarter that Rex Burkhead gets hurt?
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Bruins Got Kick Out Of Johnny Boychuk’s ‘Gross’ Gesture For David Krejci

BOSTON — Johnny Boychuk no longer plays for the Boston Bruins, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped looking out for his former teammates.
Boychuk, who played six seasons with the Bruins, returned to Boston on Thursday night as a visitor with the New York Islanders. While the veteran blueliner didn’t really have a noteworthy performance in the Bruins’ 2-1 shootout win, he still managed to make the highlight reels.
With the score deadlocked at 1-1 early in the third period, David Krejci received a crushing open-ice hit courtesy of Thomas Hickey, causing the Bruins center to part ways with a few teeth. But just in case Krejci wanted to be reunited with the dislodged teeth, Boychuck picked them up off the ice and hand delivered them to Boston’s bench.
Several members of the Bruins weren’t sure in the moment what Boychuck was doing, but upon learning of the nature of his gesture, they were a bit grossed out.

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“I love Johnny,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He’s a good guy … but that’s weird.”
Torey Krug added: “Yeah, I didn’t even know what he was picking up to be honest. I thought he was being a clown like he typically is. After I found out it was his teeth it was pretty gross.”
Never change, Johnny.

Bruins Notes: Tuukka Rask Starting To Find Rhythm After Slow Start

BOSTON — October often isn’t kind to Tuukka Rask, but the same can’t be said for the winter months.
The Boston Bruins goaltender has built a habit of starting seasons off slow before finding his groove once November rolls around.
It’s been no different in the 2018-19 campaign, which saw Rask struggle through the first couple weeks of the season, prompting an increased role for Jaroslav Halak. But like clockwork, Rask is starting to put his early-season woes behind him and string together strong performances.
Rask’s latest gem came in Thursday night’s 2-1 win shootout win over the New York Islanders at TD Garden. The veteran netminder turned away 28 of 29 shots while also denying all four of New York’s shots in the shootout. Head coach Bruce Cassidy isn’t able to pinpoint what’s changed for Rask of late, but he believes it just could be a part of his goalie’s process.
“I think it’s just a case where he’s fresh and physically feels good and ready to go in there,” Cassidy said. “I think mentally he knows that this time of year he tends to play good hockey. When you’ve had a career as long as his, you know this is a good time of year where you find your game. Maybe that’s part of it as well. He’s confident in his game this time of year.”
Rask, much like Cassidy, can’t come up with a reason for the shift in his game, but he couldn’t help but joke about his struggles in the first month of the season.
“I don’t know. Maybe I just don’t want to play in October, I don’t know,” Rask said. “Just go out there, you work hard in practice, try to get some shots and work with the goalie coach and when the game time comes try to be there. Some days you are, some days you aren’t. The past few games I have. It’s a mystery, I don’t know. I wanna do it every night, but, you know.”

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With the Bruins currently depleted with injuries, they’ll need Rask to continue to play at a high level in order to stay afloat for the time being. And given his recent stretch, there’s reason to be confident in Rask between the pipes moving forward.
Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Islanders game:
— Ryan Donato made an immediate impact in his return to the Bruins. After spending the bulk of the month with Providence, Donato was recalled Wednesday and scored the game-winner in the fourth round of the shootout.
— The Bruins cashed in on their lone power play of the contest, which saw David Pastrnak find Brad Marchand in the second period to knot the score at 1-1.
— Rick Middleton had his No. 16 retired to the TD Garden rafters prior to puck drop. After playing 12 terrific seasons with the B’s, Middleton became the 11th player in franchise history to have his number retired.
— Boston is 9-2 at home this season.

Bruins Continue To Find Different Ways To Win Without Full Roster

Given the way the Bruins’ roster has been impacted by injuries, any win for Boston nowadays is one they had to grind out.
That again was the case Thursday night, when they beat the visiting New York Islanders 2-1 in a shootout at TD Garden.

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Trailing 1-0 in the second, Brad Marchand came through with a power play goal, which ultimately forced overtime. Tuukka Rask made big saves all game, but especially in overtime and the shootout, the latter of which he made four straight stops. And then it was Ryan Donato, fresh off his call-up from Providence, scoring the winner in the shootout.
For NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley’s analysis of the game, check out the “NESN Sports Today” video above, presented by People’s United Bank.

Bruce Cassidy Pleased With Bruins’ Gritty Shootout Win Over Islanders

On the night of the Rick Middleton’s number retirement ceremony, the Boston Bruins sure came through with a “nifty” finish.
The B’s earned a 2-1 shootout victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night at TD Garden. Neither side could score through three-and-a-half rounds of the shootout, but Ryan Donato — playing in his first game since getting called up from Providence on Wednesday —  buried the winner in the fourth round.

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After the game, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy lauded the Bruins’ ability to grind in the win. To hear what he said to NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley, check out the “Bruins Overtime Live” video above, presented by Ace Ticket.

Bruins Wrap: Ryan Donato Pots Winner In 2-1 Shootout Victory Over Islanders

BOSTON — Welcome back, Ryan Donato.
Donato, who spent the bulk of November in Providence, was recalled to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday and quickly made his presence felt in his first game back with the big club. After a back-and-forth tilt with the New York Islanders, Donato notched the game-winner in the fourth round of the shootout, earning the B’s a hard-fought 2-1 victory at TD Garden.
Tuukka Rask was sensational in net, turning away 28 of 29 shots, as well as another three in the shootout.
With the win, the Bruins climb to 14-7-4, while the Islanders drop to 12-9-3.
Here’s how it all went down:
It wasn’t pretty, but the Islanders managed to draw first blood.
After some slick maneuvering from Mathew Barzal, the young forward dished the puck to Scott Mayfield, who rifled a shot on net. With a loose puck in the Bruins’ goalmouth, Anders Lee seized the opportunity, backhanding the puck past Rask to give the visitors an early 1-0 lead.

The @NYIslanders captain delivers!#Isles lead 1-0 after the first period. Watch the action now on MSG+ &!
— MSG Networks (@MSGNetworks) November 30, 2018

Despite what the score indicated, Boston largely was the aggressor in the first period, outshooting New York by a 13-7 margin. It was a fairly heavy opening frame as well, as the two teams combined for 28 hits.

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The Bruins made sure their first power play opportunity of the game didn’t go to waste.
Boston got on the man advantage following a Nick Leddy high-sticking penalty on David Backes with just over nine minutes remaining the second period. It didn’t take very long for the B’s to cash in, as David Pastrnak weaved up ice before dishing a tape-to-tape backhanded pass to Brad Marchand, who potted his seventh goal of the season.

From @pastrnak96 @Bmarch63 to the back of the net.
— NHL (@NHL) November 30, 2018

The Bruins by and large controlled the second frame, outshooting the Islanders 12-9 while killing off a New York power play as well.
The game was up for the taking in the third period, but neither side could find the back of the net. The Bruins came mighty close on a handful of occasions, but a few sprawling saves by Islanders netminder Robin Lehner kept the game deadlocked at 1-1. Boston also outshot New York for a third straight period, this time by a 9-7 margin.
The Islanders appeared to put an end to things early in overtime when they jammed the puck past Rask, but the officials quickly nullified the goal following a mess in the crease. The call was then confirmed via official review.
The two teams went up and down the ice for the remainder of the sudden death period, but neither could bury the game-winner.
It took four rounds to complete, but Donato ultimately sent the Bruins home winners with a silky shootout goal.
This Bruins Wrap is presented by Plainridge Park Casino.

Bruins’ Tuukka Rask Makes Impressive Save In Third Period Vs. Islanders

It was a battle of netminders Thursday night at TD Garden.
Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and New York Islanders backstop Robin Lehner kept the scoring to one goal apiece during regulation in the B’s 2-1 shootout victory .

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During the third period, Rask — who made 28 saves over 65 minutes as he stretched his streak without a regulation loss to four — made an impressive stop, following it up by swatting the knuckling puck in the air out of the way.
To see the save, check out the “TD Bank Save of the Game” video above, presented by TD Bank.

Major League Lacrosse Announces Boston Cannons 2019 Schedule

Major League Lacrosse Announces Boston Cannons 2019 Schedule With A Big Shift For The Better Included
On Thursday Major League Lacrosse announced the 2019 MLL Schedule for the Boston Cannons. The Boston based pro lacrosse league partnered with GotPro to set up their schedule for 2019, a partnership that will run for the next three seasons.
“GotPro is pleased to have helped MLL on the 2019 season schedule,” said GotPro founder and president
Gavin Owen-Thomas. “While we work with professional sports leagues from all around the globe, we
were excited to enter into a partnership with MLL for the next three years. Our best-in-class software is
now pairing with the best lacrosse has to offer. As lacrosse continues to grow, GotPro looks forward to
bringing our tailor-made software products to lacrosse leagues and teams across the country.”
MLL’s opening night is slated for Friday, May 31st, 2019 with a five game opening weekend slate highlighted by the leagues defending champions, the Denver Outlaws taking on the New York Lizards. This upcoming season is a tad different for MLL who shifted their season to benefit their players with a season start date after Memorial Day and a larger emphasis on weekend tilts. In addition each team will play each other twice for the first time since 2015 when the expansion franchise in Atlanta was introduced.
“This schedule is the result of input from our players, coaches, GMs and team presidents,” said Alexander
Brown, MLL Commissioner. “It reflects our commitment to consistently improve the experience for our
fans, our players, and our teams. The schedule highlights the best rivalries in the game and features a
great lineup for our broadcast partners.”
As for the local franchise, the Cannons, the team will play eight home games in 2019 and eight road games for a grand total of 16 games in 2019. Boston’s season kicks off on June 1st at home to take on the Ohio Machine. For Boston’s full schedule see the full slate below.

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MLB Rumors: Yankees, Marlins Have Discussed J.T. Realmuto, Gary Sanchez Swap

Could the New York Yankees and Miami Marlins be sporting new backstops next season?
Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto is regarded as the top catcher available for trade or in free agency this offseason as Miami continues its full-fledged rebuild. He’s under contract for two more seasons, is strong defensively and has a capable at-bat as well.
The Yankees reportedly have expressed some interest, according to FanCred Sports’ John Heyman, and in making the deal happen they would part ways with Gary Sanchez. However, that’s where the trouble in negotiations start.

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“The issue with the Yankees’ talks,” Heyman wrote, “apparently is that they still hold Gary Sanchez in high enough regard that they have resisted offering other top pieces in a package with Sanchez. The Marlins, who are run by ex-Yankee types (Derek Jeter, Gary Denbo) seem to like Sanchez as well but are hoping for a major package for Realmuto.”
The Marlins looking for more than just one big league-ready player obviously means Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would need to dig a little deeper to get a deal done. You can’t necessarily blame Miami for wanting more either, as Sanchez is coming off an underwhelming season at the plate that also was marred by subpar defense and issues with hustling.
While Realmuto to the Yankees sure sounds like a possibility, it appears the Marlins are looking for more — although, lest we forget the fleecing New York pulled on the Marlins in getting Giancarlo Stanton this time last year.

Watch David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand Team Up For Sweet Power-Play Goal

BOSTON — The Boston Bruins currently are decimated by injuries, but luckily for the Black and Gold, they still have two of their premier playmakers in the mix.
Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak will be heavily relied on as Boston works through its various ailments. And after the B’s fell to an early 1-0 deficit at the hands of the New York Islanders on Thursday, the two star forwards teamed up to knot the score at 1-1.
With the Bruins on the power play in the second period at TD Garden, Pastrnak worked his way up the lane before dishing a picture-perfect backhanded pass to Marchand, who finished off the pretty sequence by lighting the lamp.

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[email protected] one-times the @pastrnak96 pass to tie the game.
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) November 30, 2018

The tally marked Marchand’s seventh of the season, while Pastrnak logged his 10th assist on the campaign.