BOSTON -- Sure, it has been nearly four long and painful years since a Boston sports team has won a championship. But we are pretty lucky here in the Northeast. Despite the unpredictable weather, horrendous traffic, and the insane cost to simply live, our sports teams are pretty darn entertaining.
They're also pretty good. The Celtics look like a team determined to add a banner to the franchise's collection after last season's Finals loss. The Bruins cannot be beat at the moment and are the best team in hockey. The Patriots have won three straight and could maybe make some noise in the playoffs. And the Red Sox... well the Red Sox are still around too.
Success in these parts is measured by championships, but we have a lot to be thankful for in the world of Boston sports right now. A lot.
What are we thankful for with the Bruins?
We'd say that everything has gone Boston's way to start the season, but there was one hideous misstep by the front office that put the franchise in a pretty terrible light for a week or so. You know what we're talking about.
You know that uncle that says something he really shouldn't have at the dinner table? That was Don Sweeney and Co. signing Mitchell Miller. Thankfully, that fiasco is in the past (for now, until the outside investigation concludes) and has been the only blip on the radar for the Bruins at the moment. And that front-office blunder didn't affect the team on the ice, as the Bruins continue to be an absolute wagon.
Maybe a wagon isn't the right comp. The B's are more of a steamroller with a 17-2 record and NHL-best 34 points to start the year. When they're not blowing teams out, it feels like they're keeping things close just to test themselves.
The Bruins' offense leads the NHL at 4.16 goals per game. Their defense is allowing just 2.11 goals per game, which is also the best mark in the NHL. Everything is going great in the kitchen right now.
We're thankful that new head coach Jim Montgomery is letting the team play an exciting and fast brand of offense. We're thankful that Patrice Bergeron came back for another kick at the can, and for being the true leader he is and speaking out against the Miller signing. We're thankful for the B's training staff, which helped both Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy return early from their offseason surgeries. We're thankful that Brad Marchand has been on his best behavior thus far. We're thankful that Linus Ullmark has been lights out, and we're thankful that Jeremy Swayman is back to give him a bit of a rest here and there.
Most of all, we're thankful that Boston has the best team in the NHL. U.S. Thanksgiving is a big benchmark in the league, and the Bruins are at the head of the table. Now we just hope that this good eating goes all the way through the summer.
What are we thankful for with the Celtics?
As great as the Bruins have been, the Celtics have been pretty great too. Like their roommates at TD Garden, the Celtics currently own the best record in the NBA.
We're thankful that Jayson Tatum is going to the basket and playing like an MVP. We're thankful that Joe Mazzulla has seamlessly taken over as head coach and the team hasn't missed a beat. We're thankful that the offense is playing at an historic level, and the defense is starting to round into shape.
But what we are most thankful for is the depth that Brad Stevens built over the offseason. Without it, the Celtics probably aren't sitting above everyone else in the league right now. Malcolm Brogdon has been the perfect addition off the bench. Derrick White has been just as great. Grant Williams has been doing his usual thing, hitting corner threes and annoying the hell out of opponents, and the love for Sam Hauser grows with every long distance strike he sinks.
The Celtics shook off their Finals defeat and then shook off losing their head coach a week before training camp. It hasn't even been a quarter of the season, but the C's look like a team determined to not just get back to the Finals, but win the whole damn thing this year.
They've also done all of this without Robert Williams playing a game. Thanks for setting the table with all that depth, Brad.
What are we thankful for with the Patriots?
The New England offense stinks worse than a side dish that you accidently left out overnight. The defense, on the order hand, is as beautiful as a table full of pies. We are thankful that the defense has pretty much saved the season.
We're thankful for everything Matthew Judon does on the field. Not just his NFL-leading 13 sacks, but all of that energy that he brings and the attention that he commands whenever he's out there. Without those red sleeves running amok, there is no telling what the Patriots would be at the moment.
We're thankful for Jack Jones being a stud rookie at corner, and for the secondary overall. The Pats have the fourth-best defense in terms of passing yards allowed, and are second in points allowed per game at just 16.9. We're extremely thankful for that, considering the offense can't slice a pie, let alone a secondary.
On that note, we're thankful for Nick Folk, too. Sometimes, the veteran kicker is the only way the Patriots score any points.
What are we thankful for with the Red Sox?
If the Bruins weren't the best team in hockey and the Celtics weren't the best team in basketball and the Patriots weren't making a little surge, our focus would be on the Red Sox doing nothing in the offseason. Granted, no one in baseball has really done much this offseason, but the Red Sox really need to do some things this offseason.
Xander Bogaerts should have been locked into a long-term deal long ago, but here we are, with the face of the franchise a free agent. I guess we should be thankful that he'd still be willing to re-sign after Boston's offer last spring (adding one year to his contract at $30 million) was essentially an invite to the kid's table. The Red Sox say that Bogaerts is their priority, but we'll see.
We'd be really thankful if the team could sign Rafael Devers to a big fat contact before he hits free agency next year. But it doesn't seem like big fat contracts are being handed out on Jersey Street.
We'd be really thankful if the Red Sox would add some pitching this winter, too. Lots of pitching. Starting pitching. Bullpen help. A closer. Preferably, they'd sign someone whose arm works, too.
Maybe what they should be most thankful for is the San Francisco Giants, who could pry Aaron Judge away from the Yankees -- or at least drive the price tag up on the AL home run champ. That's what is has come to with the Red Sox.
But hey, at least they have everyone else in Boston to steal -- or rather, earn -- all of the attention. The Red Sox should be pretty thankful that they're just the green bean casserole that no one really wants to touch right now.
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