Thursday, August 08, 2013

JUNE 25, 2013
Tip your hats to the Chicago Blackhawks, they deserve it Bruins’ fans. And they deserve the Stanley Cup they won with speed, crisp passing, a tough, shot-blocking defense and a goalie, Corey Crawford, who outplayed Tuukka Rask.

There the Bruins were, still smiling about Lucic’s go ahead goal and it was under 2 minutes in the game. They could look forward to a 7th game. Boston had done a good job of penalty killing, down a man. The Blackhawks pulled their goalie and with the man advantage quickly tied the game. Stunned the Bruins were still shaking off that goal when the Blackhawks pressed and got the game winner full strength.

If you like hockey, you had to love this Stanley Cup series. Of the six games, three were overtime, including Game #1 going 3 OTs. Up and down, back and forth. Unbelievable saves by Rask and Crawford. Two goals separated these two teams in their 6 games. Chicago had 17 and Boston 15 for the series.   

Chicago’s speed forced the Bruins into errors (think Chara along the boards not holding the puck in leading to the tying goal by Toews). That speed wore down the gutsy and game Bruins D. And conversely the Blackhawks D shut down Krejci, Horton, Marchand, and Seguin, none of whom scored a goal in the series. Tip your hats to the better team.

Patrice Bergeron reportedly played Game #6 with a broken rib, torn cartilage and a dislocated shoulder. I had told the Hugh-Man that the Bruins had no chance of winning without him. The Bruins were 1:16 away from a Game #7 with a beat up Bergeron, who played 17 minutes. Their leader in faceoff wins, he was 5 of 11. Yet, the Bruins won 36 faceoffs to Chicago’s 28. It wasn’t enough.

Aaron Hernandez has played his last game for the NE Patriots. He faces serious legal repercussions. Because of the death of ‘friend’ Odin Lloyd (who was dating Hernandez’s fiancée’s sister), and because a man who was in a group with Hernandez in Florida says Hernandez shot him in the face in February. Not sure why it took this long to come out. 

Expect Peter Goodell to suspend Hernandez for the season. The Patriots will try to get back some of the guaranteed money owed, but Hernandez has already received $9.25 Mill, and per Ian Rapoport ( – 6/21), his contract does not include ‘failure to perform’ or ‘failure to practice’ clauses. So he might get to keep the money owed.

The death of a ‘friend’? How does this happen? You read Hernandez’s words after the birth of his daughter: “I can’t just be young and reckless Aaron no more.” (NESN/Luke Hughes -11/8/12) As a Patriots’ fan, you have no idea what that ‘reckless’ means.

Shooting people with a gun, well that’s reckless, and killing someone is insane. There have been some strange episodes in the history of the Patriots. Nothing like this though. A sad time in the storied annals of a proud football group who chose team over self. It appears that Aaron Hernandez chose himself over everything in this world. Let’s hope that the truth will out about Odin Lloyd’s death, and who was responsible.

As a Patriots’ fan, you now realize that the team will be without Gronk until Game #2, if they are lucky. Probably PUP list and back after Game #6. No Hernandez. Your tight end offense just disappeared. Tom Brady was already faced with learning new connections among a passel of receivers he’s never seen. No safety blanket Wes Welker. Can you say Offensive woes?

Good thing they stole TE Jake Ballard from the NY Giants. They still have Fells and Hoomy who are more blockers. As a result, a free agent rookie TE like Zach Sudfeld might make the team. How about Tim Tebow as a TE?

The Pats will have to rely on passes to backs like Vereen and the running game to offset this huge loss of firepower. This may be the year that the Defense will step up and win some games in which the Pats don’t score a lot of points. If Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels find a way to produce scores from this group, they deserve the Hall.

On last week’s quiz: I'm thinking it's got to be Carole King.  She wrote so many great songs that were covered by others. Go Bruins!
Glenn Dewell
Glenn, good guess but not the right one. This person may surprise you. See last page -  Z 

● Congrats to the Miami Heat for their NBA championship. Ray Allen got another ring. He hit the big 3 to tie Game #6 and send it into OT where the Heat won. In Game #7 Allen did not score. Neither did Chris Bosh and Mike Miller. LeBron had 37, Wade 23 and Shane Battier hit 6 of 8 three’s. I wish the Spurs had won.
● The Red Sox have no closer. Uehara would be OK, but at his age it’s unrealistic to trot him out two nights in a row. A trade? Costly. Use Brandon Workman or Rubby DeLa Rosa in that role? Anthony Ranaudo? No closer help in Pawtucket. No closer no playoffs.
● RIP Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland (born Robert Brooks) who died at age 83. My AF buddy Mike Curtis could tell you a lot about his music. ‘Blue’ Bland had crossover hits with Turn On Your Love Light, Call on Me, That’s the Way Love Is and Ain’t Nothing You Can Do. The NY Times/Bill Friskics-Warren – 6/25 was used as a resource.
● Celtics draft Thursday. Doc is in LA. Pierce and KG are probably gone. Bridge years.
● Who has the best ERA in the AL East? NY (3.78). The worst? Balt. (4.43). Sox (3.91).
● The NY Times Ken Belson (6/22) had this: the commissioner of the Japanese baseball league Ryozo Kato may get fired because the league has secretly allowed a juiced up ball.   
● I’ll miss the Stanley Cup Finals. Would have loved a Game #7. Your team doesn’t always win.

It was the Wizard holding his smart phone who informed us that James Gandolfini had just died of a heart attack in Italy. 51. Too young to die. Everyone knew Gandolfini from The Sopranos, but the Wizard liked him in True Romance and I mentioned 8 MM.
R.I.P. James Gandolfini. Tony Soprano has left the house.

Last Tuesday night the Hot Club TVs were showing the Red Sox game and the NBA Finals. A patron wanted David to change the channel so he could watch the soccer qualifying match (US – Honduras). Dave tried to explain that he couldn’t because of the way the sets are connected. As Dave was relating this story to me, a patron said, “Should have just said ‘No’.” I added, “But he wanted an explanation as well.”

Neal, a friend of Joe Murphy’s, said to check out website Hadn’t seen Mr. Murphy in some time, so it was good to share a Friday on the deck. Joe plays out with a band called ‘Stumbling Murphy’. Catch them if you can.

Peter asked us who was the guy from Fall River who wrote Jet Airliner for Steve Miller. I didn’t know so I looked it up on my android phone and found it to be Paul Peña. Peter was amazed that I knew it until I told him that I used my phone to google it.

In the quiz of last issue, I asked you to name the female rocker who had more charted songs than any other woman in the 1960’s. In fact, only the Beatles, Elvis and Ray Charles had more during the ’60’s. Answer – ‘Little Miss Dynamite’, Brenda Lee. Later Brenda Lee became a country star (she had a ‘country’ hit in 1957 and then not another until 1969 because her management/label didn’t release her rockabilly/pop songs to country radio).

The 4’9” ‘Little Miss Razz Matazz’ did a UK tour in the early ’60’s in which the Beatles opened for her. She did a duet with Willy DeVille on ’92’s Loup Garou and is mentioned on Radar Love by Golden Earring. All this is from (Wikipedia states that Connie Francis had more charted hits in the ‘60’s). Her first album Brenda Lee was the first album that I owned. Sweet Nothin’s, I’m Sorry, and, of course, her version of Jambalaya. Her biggest selling song? Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.

According to my source, this tune was the shortest rock song to ever reach #1 on Billboard Hot 100. Name the song and who sang it.


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