Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sox/Pats/B's/Celts - Who's Hot and Who's Not

Right now is a very exciting time for fans of Boston's pro teams. The Bruins and Celtics are in the playoffs, the Patriots just completed their draft, and the Red Sox season is underway. Here is a look at who's hot and who's not among the teams:

Bruins G Tuukka Rask - HOT - Rask was the dominant force for the Bruins in their defeat of the Buffalo Sabres 4 games to 2, in the first round of the playoffs. He outplayed U.S. Olympian goaltender, Ryan Miller, considered by many to be the best goaltender in the world. Rask has become a cult figure at the Garden with chants of "TUUUKKAAAA!" throughout the game.

Bruins D Dennis Wideman - NOT - Wideman made a very poor decision in his own end with an errant clear attempt that led to a Sabres goal. Despite the fact he redeemed himself later in the game with an assist on Miroslav Satan's goal, Wideman has been careless with the puck all season long.

Bruins C David Krejci - HOT - After a season where he fell well short of last season's achievements, Krejci has elevated his game in the playoffs with 3 goals and 2 assists in 6 games.

Bruins D Johnny Boychuck - HOT - Boychuck was considered a spare part at the start of the season, but consistent play and heavy hitting has made him the second best defenseman on the Bruins behind Zdeno Chara. Boychuck is a rock on the blue line.

Red Sox Bullpen - NOT - It is well known that the performance of relief pitchers is volatile year to year, but the Red Sox bullpen has looked dreadful so far this season. Ramon Ramirez and Hideki Okajima have been atrocious, as has Scott Atchision. Manny Decarmen, Daniel Bard, and Jonathan Papelbon are the only relievers manager Terry Francona has faith in right now.

Red Sox P Josh Beckett - NOT - In his five seasons in Boston, Josh Beckett has pitched up to his potential only once - 2007. It's not a coincidence the Red Sox won the World Series that year. Too often, Beckett has been inconsistent, unable to harness his world class "stuff". I was ambivalent about him getting a contract extension, and since he's received it, he's had one terrific outing, one good outing and two poor ones. It's time for him to stop pitching like a number 5 starter and more like the ace he's supposed to be.

Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia - HOT - What fan in Boston doesn't love Pedroia and his slashing, hard nosed style of play? He is a treat to watch play. Excellent with the glove and he's a doubles hitting machine. When will major league pitchers realize that you can't sneak a high inside fastball by him?

Red Sox C Jason Varitek - HOT - This is exclusively for his bat, which has been a nice surprise this season. No Sox fan bashes Varitek as much as me, but he's hitting well in his limited role.

Red Sox DH David Ortiz - NOT - It is getting to the point where I've started wondering how much longer does he keep a roster spot? Big Papi can no longer catch up to a fastball and has 19 strikeouts in 60 AB's.

Celtics G Rajon Rondo - HOT - Rondo still cannot shoot, but that's ok. He's a terror on the basketball court. No point guard rebounds better than him, he's tremendous on defense and his ability to push the ball wrecks havoc on defenses.

Celtics F Rasheed Wallace - NOT - Rasheed continues to be a disappointing signing. He doesn't rebound at all, leisurely coasts up and down the court, and his attitude towards defense is mostly one of indifference.

Celtics F Kevin Garnett - NOT - The Big Ticket can still shoot from outside, but is a shadow of himself on the defensive end. He's no longer an intimidator, due to his lack of explosiveness from his knee injury.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick - HOT - After the questionable first round pick of CB Devin McCourty, Belichick redeemed himself on day two with several players who could be impact players, specifically LB Brandon Spikes and and TE Aaron Gonzalez.