Strong Play In Front Of Net By Anders Lee Results In Islanders’ First Goal

Anders Lee is known for wreaking havoc on the offensive end, and the Boston Bruins learned that the hard way Thursday night.
During the first period at TD Garden, the New York Islanders forward created some traffic in front of the net. A puck thrown into Boston goalie Tuukka Rask from the wing resulted in a rebound, and Lee slipped it in to put the visitors ahead 1-0.

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To hear Andy Brickley’s breakdown of the goal, check out the “Berkshire Bank Exciting Rewind” video above, presented by Berkshire Bank.

Torey Krug, Bruins Do Fine Job Turning Defense Into Offense Vs. Islanders

The Boston Bruins did a fine job getting out of their defensive zone in the first period against the New York Islanders on Thursday.
After the B’s gathered the puck in their own zone, Torey Krug led the charge in getting a breakout so that Boston could pass through the neutral zone with speed. After some swift passing, Krug nearly buried a redirect right in front of Isles goalie Robin Lehner, but it went wide.

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To see the sequence, check out the “Amica Coverage Cam” video above, presented by Amica Insurance.

Josh Gordon Ready To Play ‘Patriots Football’ Finally In Playoff Run

In six years with the Cleveland Browns, wide receiver Josh Gordon unsurprisingly never sniffed the postseason.
The closest he came was in 2014 when the Browns were 7-4 after 12 weeks with Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback. The Browns lost five straight to finish the season with Hoyer, Johnny Manziel and Connor Shaw all starting games behind center.
Gordon is ready as his 8-3 New England Patriots get prepared for another playoff run.
“This part of the season is Patriots football,” Gordon said Thursday. “It’s what they’re known for. We’ve got to our foot to the gas and get it goin’.”
The Patriots like to say real football starts after Thanksgiving. And the Patriots should be playing their best football right now. Tight end Rob Gronkowski and right guard Shaq Mason returned to the offense in Week 12, and running back Rex Burkhead is coming back off injured reserve this week against the Minnesota Vikings.

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“I think being in rhythm, being in sync, everybody going as fast as they can and just reacting allows you to play a lot more free,” Gordon said. And we’re in good rhythm together.”
Gordon also believes the Patriots can continue to build on what they showed in their 27-13 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
“We build on plays made, plays missed and things that we think we need to perfect or just get better on,” Gordon said. “We always feel motivated, but it is some momentum I think coming off of last week’s road win. This game, we’re back at home in front of our fans and it’s a big game. And I think we’re going to step up to the plate and attack it.”
The Patriots finish the season at home against the Vikings, on the road against the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers then back at home against the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. They can clinch the AFC East in Week 14 against the Dolphins.

Rebuilding Islanders Beginning To Move In Right Direction

The New York Islanders are in the midst of a rebuild, but they finally may be turning the corner.
Complete with some young talent like Mathew Barzal, the Islanders are beginning to look like they’re figuring things out under new head coach Barry Trotz. They’re still a couple pieces away from being a legitimate postseason contender, sure, but after missing the playoffs by 17 points last campaign and losing John Tavares to free agency, they’re starting to show signs of improvement.

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To see more about the Islanders, check out the “Bruins Face-Off Live” video above, presented by EchoStor Technologies.

Best Sights, Sounds From Rick Middleton’s Number Retirement Ceremony

BOSTON — The action Thursday night at TD Garden started well before the Boston Bruins-New York Islanders tilt got underway.
Prior to puck drop, Bruins legend Rick Middleton saw his No. 16 raised to the TD Garden rafters. Middleton, who spent 12 seasons in Boston, marked the 11th number retired by the franchise and the first since 2004.
There were a number of familiar faces in attendance for the ceremony, including fellow number retirees Terry O’Reilly, Johnny Bucyk, Cam Neely and Ray Bourque.
Here are the best sights and sounds from the ceremony:

The man of the hour has arrived.#Nifty16 | #NHLBruins

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— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 29, 2018

Taking its place in history. #Nifty16 | #NHLBruins
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 30, 2018

#Nifty16 | #NHLBruins
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 30, 2018

Congrats, Nifty!

NBA Rumors: This Team Has Expressed Interest In 76ers’ Markelle Fultz

The Philadelphia 76ers appear to be giving up on Markelle Fultz, and at least one team is interested.
After missing nearly his entire rookie campaign due to injury, the 2017 No. 1 overall pick hasn’t gotten back on track this season, as his shooting is an absolute disaster due to shoulder issues. That’s reportedly led the Sixers to consider trading him, although they hope he can return and embrace his backup role.

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And while Fultz isn’t expected to have many suitors because of reasonable skepticism about what he’d able to provide, the Phoenix Suns reportedly are among the teams with “some level of interest” in the guard, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey.
There’s no denying the talent Fultz has, but whether he’ll ever be able to overcome the physical and mental roadblocks in order to succeed in the NBA remains to be seen. However, the Suns are in a position where they can take some risks and lean on young talent, so if Fultz were to be moved, Phoenix certainly would make sense.

Rick Middleton Had Priceless Reaction To News Of His Number Retirement

BOSTON — Bruins fans likely weren’t surprised when it was revealed that the franchise would be retiring Rick Middleton’s number, but the same can’t be said for the man receiving the honor Thursday night.
Middleton, who played 12 terrific seasons in Boston, will see his No. 16 raised to the TD Garden rafters prior to the Bruins’ matchup with the New York Islanders.
Speaking with the media prior to the ceremony, Middleton recalled his phone conversation over the summer with B’s president Cam Neely, who apparently dropped the news on the legendary forward in a rather nonchalant fashion.
“Oh, geez,” Middleton said. “He missed me, I was on a conference call. So I call him back, I miss him. He calls me back and then it was just small talk. ‘How’s your summer going? How’s the family?’ Honestly. No warning. Usually you hear scuttlebutt or something — nothing. And all of a sudden he just blurted it out. He said, ‘Well, we decided we’re gonna retire your No. 16. I was like, ‘What?!’ Honestly I didn’t think I had heard him. He had to repeat it, cause it was right out left field.”

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Middleton understandably was overcome with emotion upon hearing the news, so much so that he scared his wife, Liz, for a brief moment
“She came home about five minutes later and thought somebody died, the look on my face,” Middleton said. “Tears in my eyes, you know. She couldn’t believe it either. She was so happy for me. I’ll never forget that day, that’s for sure.”
Middleton’s No. 16 will be the 11th number retired by the Bruins and the first since Neely himself in 2004.

Ultimate Question Of The Week: Who Is Your Favorite Actor?

Boston is known for its acting talent, so suffice to say the area has its share of movie buffs — but who is the best of them all?
NESN’s Kacie McDonnell recently caught up with Boston Bruins fans at Main Street Bar & Grill in Plymouth, Mass. to ask the latest Ultimate Question of the Week: Who is your favorite actor?

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To hear their answers, check out the video above from “Ultimate Bruins Show,” presented by Bud Light.

Devin McCourty Impressed With Obi Melifonwu, Patriots’ ‘Freaking Huge’ Safety

FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots safety Obi Melifonwu has made a strong impression on one of his team’s elder statesmen.
At 6-foot-4, 224 pounds, Melifonwu, who signed with the Patriots earlier this month, is taller and heavier than every other New England defensive back. Or, as veteran safety Devin McCourty put it Thursday, “he’s freaking huge.”
McCourty had high praise for the UConn product, who made his Patriots debut in Sunday’s 27-13 win over the New York Jets.
“He’s a bigger, physical guy,” McCourty said, “and I thought he’s done a great job, whether it’s staying after with (safeties coach Steve Belichick), talking to myself, (Patrick) Chung or (Duron Harmon) (about) when he’s out there, what we expect of him and what we need him to do and then what he expects of us and what we need to do to help him.”
Melifonwu, whom the Oakland Raiders drafted in the second round in 2017 before cutting him loose midway through his sophomore season, played eight defensive snaps against the Jets, plus another 17 on special teams. McCourty suggested the big-bodied 24-year-old could be a useful weapon in covering tight ends, which he did on a few plays Sunday against New York’s Chris Herndon.

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“I thought it was great him being out there last week in different packages and being able to help us,” said McCourty, who is listed at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds. “(He’s a) very athletic guy. He’s able to go up there and match up on some tight ends, and where we’re talking about being undersized against them, he lines up and is mano-a-mano, same size.
“You see him standing next to (6-foot-6 Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski), and you’re like, ‘Dang, Gronk doesn’t make this guy look little.’ I thought he’s brought a really good edge to our group.”
New England’s safety group features four seasoned vets in McCourty, Chung, Harmon and special teamer Nate Ebner, all of whom have played together since 2013.
“I think sometimes we’ve got to do a good job of fully explaining some of the things we do,” McCourty said. “… We’ve just got to make sure Obi knows what we’re kind of thinking and not think it’s just understood. I think we’ve done a good job of that the last couple of weeks of just trying to catch him up and get him up to speed of doing everything how we do it.”

Did LeBron James Just Reveal Where His Son Will Play College Basketball?

LeBron James might have just hinted at where his oldest son will play college basketball.
ESPN posted a video to Instagram on Wednesday of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski attempting to calm the hype surrounding his team while defending his freshmen players. James was among those to respond in the comments section, perhaps tipping his hand that 14-year-old LeBron James Jr. will suit up for the Blue Devils after graduating from high school in 2023.
James wrote: “Love Coach K! The absolute BEST! Hope he’s still at the helm when my boy comes up.”

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James never played college basketball. He went straight from high school to the pros as the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. But the NBA now requires players to be at least 19 years old before entering the draft, resulting in many teenagers playing one season of college basketball before jumping to the NBA.
Of course, it’s entirely possible the NBA will change its rules before James’ son is ready to take the next step in his hoops career. Bronny ultimately could follow in his father’s footsteps and go directly from high school to the NBA. Krzyzewski, 71, might even retire before then.
If you’re looking for more evidence that James’ son is eyeing Duke, however, look no further than the up-and-comer’s Twitter account. Bronny posted a photo back on Nov. 14 of himself rocking a Duke sweatshirt, along with the caption “DUKE!”
It’s also worth noting that LeBron James has a history with Krzyzewski, having played for him with Team USA in the past.