Most importantly, the Boston Bruins got the Game One victory in the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, 3-2 in overtime against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the TD Garden. The obvious star of the game was Weymouth’s (MA) pride and joy in Charlie Coyle who scored the game tying goal (with 4:35 left in the 3rd period) when down 2-1 and the eventual game winning goal in overtime. In 22 shifts and 16:37 of time on ice, Coyle (+1)* only took those two shots and they were the most important in the game.
27-year-old Coyle was acquired in February (2/20/19) from the Minnesota Wild for my boy Ryan Donato and a conditional pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. He stands 6’2 tall and is listed at 220 lbs. Former NHL players Tony Amonte and Bobby Sheehan are among his cousins. Obviously I remember Amonte, but I never saw Sheehan play. I’d be honored to be related to Tony Amonte.
Noel Acciari (+1) scored the first goal for the Bruins. That goal was the only one scored for both teams in the first two periods. Columbus finally answered back in the 3rd period with a goal from Brandon Dubinsky (0, 2 shots) which was shortly followed up by a goal from Pierre-Luc Dubois (-1, 5 shots) to give the Jackets the 2-1 lead. When the Garden got quiet, Coyle woke them up.
The Bruins peppered (6’2, 199 lbs.) Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and were credited with 37 shots against him. Tuukka Rask (6’2, 185 lbs.) only had to face 22 Blue Jacket shots. The Blue Jackets blocked more shots (19-7) and were credited for more hits (40-31) than the Bruins. In the portions of the game I was able to watch it did not seem like the Bruins lost the physical battle with that great of a disparity. It was a fantastic hockey game and obviously put a smile on faces with fist bumps and handshakes across the New England area.
Game Two is Saturday night at 8pm pm EST at TD Garden.
*The number after a players name in this Bruins paragraph is a player’s plus/minus during the game.
Red Sox News from the Day:
Well, the final score for the Sawx wasn’t as close as the Bruins outcome. Same result though. The Red Sox earned a 7-4 victory against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. This puts them on an extensive (heavy sarcasm) two game winning streak after their other win came the night prior in an 11-4 final. The Red Sox are now 11-15 (.423 winning %) while the Detroit Tigers are 12-12 (.500 winning %) which a lot of people may not know. Mookie’s team is 5.5 games back of the American League East leading Tampa Bay Rays. The Tigers are 2 games back of the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians whom are tied atop the AL Central.
The primary story of those two outings was the great starting pitching that came from Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello. In the 7-run victory on Wednesday, Rodriguez pitched a strong 6 inning game allowing 3 walks, 2 hits, and one earned run on the evening. E-Rod also struck out 7 batters and had a filthy changeup along with a fastball that hit 94 mph and possibly higher on the night. In the 5th inning he faced a jam with runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. He bared down and struck out both batters to end the inning and walked off the mound with a confidence. Rodriguez is now 2-2 on the season with a high 5.88 ERA in 5 games started.
Pretty Ricky (Rick) Porcello (not sure many people call him that) didn’t have as great as a night as Rodriguez did on paper at all. Porcello finished with 6 innings pitched allowing 3 earned runs, 6 hits, and 2 walks. Good for him I guess. He probably had some extra motivation going into the game given that he was once a member of the Tigers organization.
All that aside, the last recorded 2019 ERA for Porcello on a prominent baseball website had him at a dreadful 8.47 ERA. That’s not a pretty number and a lot of his performances have been a sight for sore eyes. I hope his next outing he pitches well and with control and poise.
If you are looking for a Red Sox version of Charlie Coyle for the evening of April 25th, 2019 it had to be Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis. Hitting his second home run in his 5th major league game, he has been a nice fit at 2nd base since no one else can hold down the position. A two run shot into the Green Monster in which Chavis crossed home plate pointing to the sky.
In spring training he posted a .273 batting average but I’m guessing it will be higher than that throughout the course of the season. Look for him to hit in the .280-.285 range. Chavis is a power bat but can also hit for contact and is not a strikeout waiting to happen (See JBJ.)
The Red Sox play Friday night at 7:10 pm EST against the Tampa Bay Rays (Weather permitting.)
Patriots First Round Draft Pick:
The Patriots filled a need by drafting wide receiver N’Keal Harry (6’2, 228 lbs.) who attended Arizona State. Harry has been compared to Keenan Allen which sounds damn good to me. He ran a 4.53 in the 40 yard dash and along with speed has great hands to catch the ball and gain yards after the catch. Tom Brady finally has another weapon for the upcoming season alongside Julian Edelman and I am excited to see what Harry can do in a Patriots uniform. Many other folks see this pick being a smash hit for the Pats as well.
The 2nd round of the NFL Draft begins Friday night at 7pm EST.