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BOSTON (CBS) – Is there a better time to be a Boston sports fan? I don’t think so.
For the first time in a long time there isn’t much to complain about in these parts thanks to our sports teams.
How About Them Celtics?
The Celtics are putting up a pretty good fight against the Knicks in round 1 of the NBA Playoffs. Let’s be honest, who thought they’d make it to a Game 6 after the first three games? I sure didn’t.
After watching them play Wednesday night, they could actually be the first team in NBA history to comeback from a 3-0 deficit. Their season has been fraught with injuries and obstacles, yet here they are. So anything is possible, right? A few weeks ago KG said “I know who’s willing to fight, who’s not going to lay down. I’d take a bunch of fighters over some skill people any day.”
That fight continues tonight at the Garden, and I have a good feeling about this game.
Bruins Start Playoffs Strong
The Bruins have finally emerged from their funk. Even though they wrapped up the regular season losing seven of their last nine games and never scoring more than three goals in any of them, things changed on Wednesday night. They scored four unanswered goals in Game 1 against Toronto en route to a 4-1 victory.
It was as though they remembered how to play like the team we’ve all been waiting to see. What took so long guys? On Wednesday I saw a glimpse of the team we saw two years ago when they won it all. Let’s hope this momentum carries them through the first round and that they’ve abandoned the blown third period leads we were accustomed to seeing back in the regular season.
Listen: Johnny Boychuk On Toucher & Rich
After last year’s first round exit, I’m expecting better results this year in the form of a deep playoff run–especially since a majority of the guys who brought the Cup to Boston are still here. The Stanley Cup hangover is no longer an excuse. Claude has been experimenting with his lines recently, but Wednesday night it looked like the chemistry was there. Sure, there are still tweaks that need to be made, but the power play saw improvement and the Lucic-Krejci-Horton band seemed to be back together.
The only sour note is Andrew Ference’s one game suspension which he’ll serve Saturday. Ference made contact with Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski’s head as the two battled for a loose puck Wednesday night. No penalty was called at the time and Grabovski remained in the game, but according to the league’s ruling, Ference made the decision to check Grabovski after playing the puck so now he’ll a get some forced rest on Saturday.
Best Team In Baseball
And then there are the Red Sox, who currently own the best record in baseball (20-8). They’ve gone from worst to first in six months.
Like I said, anything is possible. They’ve won four of six games against the Blue Jays this season—a team whose high profile acquisitions this winter made them the talk of baseball. Heck, many had them favored to win the American League East, and maybe even the World Series. Currently Toronto is 10.5 games behind the Red Sox in the division.
Unlike last year, there’s not a lot to complain about. The managerial situation has done a 180. John Farrell is saying and doing all the right things, and for the most part, ownership has remained relatively quiet. The starting pitching and bullpen have each been strong, not to mention the monster half-April for David Ortiz. So far, his comeback from his Achilles injury has been impressive. (Jackie Bradley Jr. who?)
There’s a lot of baseball left to play, but so far so good. This team is slowly winning back its fans, thanks to the return of the team’s likability.
On Wednesday night, all of our teams chalked up a win. It was a great feeling, and I only wish I had a trio of televisions in my living room so I could have watched the Sox, Celtics, and Bruins at the same time. Instead, I was an incessant channel changer annoying everyone in the room.
But I didn’t care. I wasn’t about to miss the possibility of never seeing Pierce and KG playing together again, the excitement of the Bruins first playoff game, and now that the Sox are no longer a train wreck, I find myself wanting to watch them, too.
The weekend kicks off with the Celtics-Knicks Game 6 and the Red Sox opening a big series in Texas. That’s followed up with Bruins-Lefas Game 2 on Saturday night at the Garden.
For the first time in a long time, all three teams are trying to reinvent themselves in their own way. So far, so good.