Yesterday was a great day for Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. First, he signed a one-year, team-friendly contract extension. Then, in Boston's 7-3 win against the Florida Panthers—he made history.
Chara scored his fifth goal of the season 5:05 into the second period to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead. It wasn't just any goal, though—it was the 200th of Chara's career, as he became just the 22nd defenseman in NHL history to accomplish the feat.
Here's the Captain's milestone goal:
A simple, passionate, effective celly from the 42-year-old:
After the game, the future Hall of Famer dedicated number 200 to his father:
And it just so happened to occur in the game that the Bruins clinched a playoff spot.
What a day for Big Z and the Bruins!
It's the end of an era.
Rob Gronkowski has officially retired from the NFL after nine seasons as a New England Patriot, making the announcement on his Instagram account:
The greatest tight end of all-time is going out on top.
Thanks for everything, Gronk!
Following the Bruins' 19-game point streak, the team fell into a brief skid, going 0-3 on a three-game road trip against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Winnipeg Jets.
Thankfully, that was just a minor bump in the road, as the Bruins have since won four straight games.
3/16 vs Blue Jackets: 2-1 overtime win
3/19 at New York Islanders: 5-0 win
3/21 at New Jersey Devils: 5-1 win
And last night, 3/23, a 7-3 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center, falling one goal short of their season-high.
Boston's seven goals came from seven players. In order: Noel Acciari (5th), Brad Marchand (32nd), Zdeno Chara (5th, 200th career), Karson Kuhlman (2nd), Steven Kampfer (PPG, 3rd), David Pastrnak (33rd, second in three games since returning from injury), and Patrice Bergeron (EN, 31st).
With their fourth straight win, the Bruins improved to 46-20-9, putting them seven points ahead of the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference (both teams have seven games remaining).
Bruins left winger Sean Kuraly will miss the remainder of the regular season after suffering a right hand fracture on Thursday against the New Jersey Devils.
Kuraly blocked a shot right which led straight to a goal from Danton Heinen, making for one very painful assist. Watch:
Dr, Matt Leibman performed successful surgery on Kuraly's hand, who's expected to miss approximately four weeks.
Karson Kuhlman was recalled by the Bruins prior to their game last night against the Florida Panthers to replace Kuraly's spot on the roster.
In 71 games this season, Kuraly has set career-highs in goals (eight), assists (13), points (21), and a plus-6 rating; his 134 shots also tied his career-high from last season.
In addition to their five horses, the Red Sox now know which eight relievers will be on their Opening Day roster:
Per The Boston Globe's Pete Abraham, Red Sox manager Alex Cora did indeed confirm the news earlier this afternoon.
The Red Sox made some related moves as well today, optioning three pitchers to the minors. Left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez was sent to Double-A Portland, while relievers Marcus Walden (RHP) and Bobby Poyner (LHP) were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Through 27 Grapefruit League games, Boston's eight Opening Day relievers have combined to post a 6.79 ERA (42 ER, 55.2 IP), with Colten Brewer (4 ER, 10 IP, 3.60 ERA) having been the most impressive thus far.
Cora still has not announced who his closer will be, so stay tuned for that.
This morning, the Bruins and defenseman Zdeno Chara agreed on a one-year, $2 million deal which also includes $1.75 million in performance bonuses.
The 2019-20 season will mark Chara's 22nd in the NHL and 14th with the Bruins, all as team Captain—the longest-tenured one in all of hockey.
Just less than one year ago, Chara agreed on a one-year extension worth $5 million with Boston. At the time, Chara had 23 points in 68 games. This season, Chara has just 11 points in 55 games, but continues to play strong defense with a plus-16.
Chara, who turned 42 five days ago, effectively takes a $3 million paycut with his new extension.
Just about five weeks ago, Chris Sale said he'd love to play for the Red Sox beyond 2019 once he was due to hit free agency.
As it turns out, Sale no longer needs to worry about his long-term future.
Sale, who turns 30 one week from today, passed a physical this morning to finalize a five-year contract extension with Boston worth $145 million which will begin after this season.
With this important signing, the Red Sox's rotation is set for the next few years. David Price and Nathan Eovaldi will be free agents after the 2022 season, while Eduardo Rodriguez remains arbitration eligible until 2021. Rick Porcello's contract is due to expire after this season, and you've got to think Ricky Raindrops will be interested in staying put with these guys.
What a day for the Red Sox. Their rotation, which I believe to be the best in baseball, all starts with Sale. He's the ace, he's the Opening Day starter, and he's here for six more years.
Following the Celtics' 120-107 win against the LA Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday night, Kyrie Irving spoke to Yahoo Sports and opened up about the way he's conducted himself this season.
"The way I’ve handled things, it hasn’t been perfect,” Irving said. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes that I take full responsibility for. I apologize. I haven’t done it perfectly. I haven’t said the right things all the time. I don’t want to sit on a place like I’m on a pedestal from anybody. I’m a normal human being that makes mistakes. For me, I think because of how fixated I was on trying to prove other people wrong, I got into a lot of habits that were bad, like reading stuff and reacting emotionally. That’s just not who I am.”
Irving certainly has been no stranger to drama this season. In my opinion, he's just misunderstood sometimes. He says things people may take the wrong way, things that I think he regrets; but at the end of the day, he's just a passionate, outspoken player and he wants to succeed with this team.
“I just want to make sure this locker room understands who I am and what I represent,” Irving said. “I’m trying to make sure that they set a great example for young players that are coming after them as well. Like I said, I haven’t said the right things and done all the right things, and I don’t ever want to compare myself to perfection."
This season, Irving is leading the Celtics with 23.4 PPG and 7.0 APG.
The Celtics are back in action tonight against the Sacramento Kings at 7:30 pm ET. Boston enters with a 41-27 record, Sacramento is 33-33.
The Red Sox's five-man rotation for 2019 looks to be one of the best in baseball, and the aces are finally starting to get their in-game work in.
Prior to March 10 (Sunday), Eduardo Rodriguez was the only projected starter of the five to pitch in any Grapefruit League games this spring, having started three of them.
Since then, Rick Porcello, David Price, and Nathan Eovaldi have finally appeared, starting the last three games on the 10th, 12th, and 13th, respectively.
Porcello allowed two earned runs (both solo homers) in three innings in an 8-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays without walking a batter.
Price allowed two earned runs (on a two-run homer) on four hits in three innings in a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers; Price walked two and struck out four.
Eovaldi pitched three innings in a 9-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins, allowing a solo home run for the only hit and earned run he allowed, with a walk and strikeout apiece.
Pretty solid spring debuts, now we're just waiting on Chris Sale.
Just two more weeks until Opening Day!
Although it's only Spring Training, the Red Sox have lost seven straight games entering action today.
Here are the matchups and scores from their current skid:
3/6: 6-1 vs Pirates
3/7: 12-1 vs Twins
3/8: 4-2 @ Orioles
3/9: 10-2 vs Mets
3/10: 8-1 @ Rays
3/12: 4-3 vs Tigers
3/13: 9-5 vs Twins
If you did the math, they're getting outscored 53-15 in those games.
But at least it's only spring!
Currently, the visiting Red Sox are leading the Tigers 4-3 in the seventh inning, looking to put an end to that losing streak.