Kaufman: Bruins Playoffs, Celtics Rolling, Red Sox… Stink
BOSTON (CBS) – There’s so much going on in Boston — and national — sports right now the idea of zeroing in on one subject is like standing at the dessert table on the ninth floor of the Garden and grabbing just one cookie.
Sorry, it just can’t be done.
So without further adieu, the debut of Daily Thoughts. What are the odds they’re actually daily? I’ll say slim…
1) In less than shocking news, the Boston Bruins announced that Nathan Horton’s out for the playoffs because of the concussion he suffered in late-January against Philadelphia. This isn’t the end of the world. Is he good? Of course (17 goals and 32 points in 46 games are very respectable numbers). Was he God-like in the postseason last year before sustaining a concussion in the finals? With three game-winners and 17 points in 21 games, you could make the case.
But, the B’s still beat Vancouver without the forward last year and they’ve played a healthy chunk of the 2011-12 campaign sans Horton. He missed the last 36 games and, yup, Boston’s still finished over the .500 threshold during that time at 18-16-2. Don’t panic. If the Bruins lose to the Capitals in the opening round, Horton’s absence isn’t going to be high on the list of the reasons why. Had they lost at some point last season, where was Marc Savard in your memory bank? Depends how often you think about Ottawa.
2) As for something to keep an eye on in the playoff opener, no Adam McQuaid (upper body injury) means hello Joe Corvo. Mike Mottau could also replace Johnny Boychuk if his knee remains a problem. Washington’s offensive attack is average and its defense is really nothing special either, so my prediction is Boston in five games. That said, I do think Ottawa was a more favorable match-up.
3) Is there any better postseason than in the NHL? The intensity and drama is unmatched in any other professional sport. Pittsburgh choked away a three-goal lead to Philadelphia on Wednesday night to lose in overtime. I still like the Penguins in the series, in seven. Also, I was surprised to see Detroit lose to Nashville. Maybe it’s just the experience, but I’ll always take the Wings to make noise early. They’ll win in six. Then there’s LA’s win over top-seed Vancouver. Someone make a Sedin Sisters joke. Please?
Special: NHL Playoff Section
4) The Celtics are going to the conference finals. Let’s all bow down to Danny Ainge. The C’s roster mastermind isn’t lucky; he was right. This team, seemingly all but dead before the All-Star Break, is making believers out of more and more people by the day, despite more injuries than I have excuses for not making my high school JV team.
Ten games over .500 with eight games to go. A record of 19-7 since the break, including a pair against the other ‘Big 3’ in Miami. Rajon Rondo (19 straight games with double-digit assists) is playing like every game is on national TV, Kevin Garnett – with 17.7 points-per-game his last 33 outings – looks 30 again, Avery Bradley is for real as he has taken Ray’s role at shooting guard and Brandon Bass makes me think the only thing I liked about Glen Davis was that we called him “Shrek.”
5) The Red Sox share the worst record in the majors at 1-5 under new manager Bobby Valentine (and that’s after going 0-6 out of the gate in 2011). We all know well by now that the guy’s polarizing. Some people love him, others hate him. What I want to know is this – would Red Sox fans take a down-year if it meant some more house-cleaning and the end of the Bobby V era? I think I actually would. What does that make me? I’m going to go curl up in a corner somewhere.
Odd footnote? Theo’s Cubs are that other 1-5 team. Guess he doesn’t walk on water, after all?
6) So, ex-Sox manager Terry Francona won’t be attending Fenway’s 100th birthday celebration? Can you blame him? I bet it’s a lot of fun going out to a movie with the ex-girlfriend who dumped you in front of the whole school.
Adam Kaufman, a native of Massachusetts, joined the Sports Hub as an on-air personality in June 2011. He has worked as a television and radio anchor and broadcaster for various outlets since 2004, and his written views on sports and entertainment have appeared on NESN.com and in the New England Hockey Journal. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamMKaufman.