Regular Features

BSJ Daily Briefing 12.24.17: Christmas breaks, the Ravens, Tuukka and big stretch for C’s

Good morning!

Before we get started, just a note that sometimes the holiday season can be a tough time of year for some people for various reasons. Do me a favor and reach out to Miguel Benzan on Twitter and just say hi. He could probably use a pick-me-up right now.

A few business notes:

  • Thank you all for getting into the holiday spirit and giving the gift of BSJ. We've sold 215 gift subscriptions so far, and apparently, Christmas morning is big too (according to DK in Pittsburgh). That's so awesome and we're so very thankful.
  • Again, the BSJ Family is very, very thankful.
  • Even if you haven't bought anything for your dad, mom, uncle, aunt, brother, sister or buddy, don't sweat it. You can still come to us at any point, buy a gift subscription and be out the door in about 2 minutes. And, yes, we're open on Christmas Day (and every day) in case you have a late family supper and need to bring a gift to that special Boston sports fan in your life.
  • A COUPLE IMPORTANT POINTS ON THE GIFT SUBS. No. 1: DO NOT fill it out for the gift recipient. You purchase it yourself by filling in YOUR information. You will receive an email which you forward to the recipient. They put in their login information and they're all set.
  • CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDERS. We hear from people who say, 'I haven't received the email.' Chances are you have, it just went to spam. Search your emails for help@bostonsportsjournal.com. Also, if you sent us a help email and you're not hearing from us, CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER. Chances are high that we've replied (sometimes multiple times) but you didn't get it because of your spam settings.

And, finally, a few random thoughts while I ... yeah, I still haven't wrapped any presents:

  • Interesting that the NHL gives all teams a three-day break at Christmas. The NFL plays on every holiday. The NBA owns Christmas. College football owns New Year's Day. Hockey should really have a presence on Christmas with an outdoor game. I wonder how much this has to do with NBA already owning the 25th. If there was an opening, bet the NHL would try to get in on it. But it's way too late now and instead of competing, they just acquiesce. Probably best, but still...
  • The Packers lost 16-0 to the Vikings at Lambeau last night. I know Aaron Rodgers has been hurt, but this has been a brutal season in Green Bay. This will be the first time the Packers have missed the playoffs since 2008, when I was on the beat and Rodgers was in his first year as a starter. Heads rolled on defense after that season. That should happen again. If Mike McCarthy was smart, he'd hire Rex Ryan to run his defense.
  • I would be a little bit wary of facing the Ravens in the postseason if I were the Patriots. It's not all about the "they aren't afraid of the Patriots" blather you'll hear, although that's part of it. I just think they do enough different things on defense to give the Patriots some trouble. I still don't think the Ravens would have enough offense at the end of the day.
  • See what happens when you give somebody a kick in the rear? After being coddled under Claude Julien, Tuukka Rask was challenged by Bruce Cassidy with the whole Anton Khudobin situation and has responded with his best hockey in years. A coincidence? I think not.
  • Big stretch coming up for the Celtics: Wizards, Rockets, Cavs. All at home. Let's gooooo....

And away we go...

CATCHING UP

Patriots

NFL Notebook: Presence of Riddick a game-changer when it comes to wooing McDaniels
On The Beat: 5 questions with Buffalo writer Tim Graham
Podcast: Bedard on SiriusXM NFL Radio 12.23.17
Podcast: Bedard on The Big Lead with Jason McIntyre 12.23.17

Celtics

Kyrie Irving is having the best shooting month of his career
BSJ Game Report: Celtics 117, Bulls 92 — Second half domination
Live Coverage: Celtics 117, Bulls 92

Bruins

Ryan Spooner has finally arrived. How long will it last?
BSJ Game Report: Bruins 3, Red Wings 1 — Break arrives at the perfect time
Live Coverage: Bruins 3, Red Wings 1

Red Sox

MLB Notebook: Internal analytics have Sox expecting bounce back from their offense, bullpen a trade chip, and more

ON TAP

12:40 p.m.: Say hi to Bedard behind Sec. 123 (by the ATM) if you're at the game!
1 p.m.: 
Bills at Patriots, CBS (Bedard, Price, Richins)
4:25 p.m.: Seahawks at Cowboys (FOX)

PARTING THOUGHT

When I dream, I dream of being Jayson Tatum.

Tis the season: GIFT SUBSCRIPTIONS

Looking for a quick, easy and valuable gift for that huge Boston sports fan in your life? BSJ has easy gift options, and it’s the type of gift that gives every day.

We just added a printable gift card option on the gift page. You can print it, fill it out however you want, stuff the gift membership information in there, and you’re all set! Or you could just forward the gift email you receive. Either way, you’re going to be a hero to that special Boston sports fan in your life.

Live Q&As

Weekly schedule (subject to change, due to travel, of course):

Mondays: Sean McAdam – Red Sox/MLB.
Tuesdays: Christopher Price – Patriots/NFL.
Wednesdays: Brian Robb – Celtics/NBA.
Thursdays: Joe McDonald – Bruins/NHL.
Fridays: Greg Bedard, Noon – Patriots/NFL/BSJ.

A few reminders:

  • Every Friday, Dr. Jessica Flynn will answer your injury questions about all four teams, or any other injury questions you have. You can submit those questions at any time via email (docflynn@bostonsportsjournal.com), or you can Tweet them to her here.
  • Mr. PatsCap himself, Miguel Benzan, does a weekly mailbag with all your funky cap-related inquiries. Hit him up via email or Twitter.
  • We just added a ton of content to the Free Preview section, so if you have any friends that are holding out, send them here to take a look. Included are a couple of my Patriots’ breakdowns. Make sure you tell them we don’t talk about #BSJFightClub.
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