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Mitch's Sports Report 2/10/16 Well, That Turned Bad In A Hurry

It all started out so well for the Boston Bruins last night.

There was a feel good vibe at TD Garden welcoming old friend Milan Lucic back to the building, and for most of the first period the hometown crowd rained down calls of "Looch" every time the former Bruin, now with the L.A. Kings and back at the bear cave for the first time since his trade, touched the puck. The Kings themselves were wearing their old school 1970's-style bright yellow uniforms with the crown emblem in the middle that reminds people of a certain age of the one worn by the guy who used to smile from King Vitamin cereal boxes, and the Bruins scored the first goal of the game when Brad Marchand banged home a rebound on the power play, making it five goals over his last four games and twenty five for the year. But it all pretty much fell apart after that.

If you've been watching hockey long enough you know that when teams starting hitting posts and not scoring on those oh-so-close shots, bad things are about to happen. The Bruins rang iron three times in the first period and then an unlucky bounce gave L.A. its first goal when a puck went in off the skate of Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller, and shortly after that the Kings took the lead for good with just 16 seconds left in the period off a mad scramble in front. In the second period, the wheels just came off.

The rough night for Miller, the former UVM standout, continued in the second period when he coughed up a puck behind his own net, inadvertently sending a perfect pass out to Andy Andreoff, who made it 3-1, and the Kings would add three more in the period before starter Tuukka Rask was mercifully pulled for back up Jonas Gustaffson. He didn't fare much better, as the Kings went on to embarrass the Bruins 9-2. Lucic did score a goal way after the outcome was decided, and he went for a post-game skate to thank the fans who stuck around for the debacle, and the best part of their night was applauding the former Bruin for the eight seasons he spent in Boston, which included a Stanley Cup championship.

The Montreal Canadiens were trying to extend their winning streak to three games, taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre, and they got it done, beating Tampa Bay 4-2, led by a two-goal night from Tomas Plekanec, who also added an assist. Ben Scrivens made thirty-seven saves in goal and Habs fans who have suffered through a miserable two-month stretch that saw their team fall out of the playoff picture can now take heart not only with the winning streak, but with a look at the standings, where Montreal now sits just three points behind Pittsburgh and four behind Boston for one of two wild card playoff spots as the logjam that is the eastern conference keeps shifting at the middle. The Canadiens also know that at some point they'll see the return of the best goalie on the planet, Carey Price, and when that happens, the hard times for Habs fans may well be in the rear view mirror.

There was a big trade in hockey yesterday as the Toronto Maple Leafs traded their captain, defenseman Dion Phaneuf , to the Ottawa Senators in a 9-player deal. The Leafs are looking to the future and shedding salary. Phaneuf had five years left on his Toronto contract with a seven-million dollar cap hit. The Senators also get forwards Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, and Ryan Rupert and defense prospect Cody Donaghey in exchange for defenseman Jared Cowen, forwards Colin Greening, Milan Michalek and Tobias Lindberg, and Ottawa's second-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft.

To the NBA, and the Boston Celtics have been one of the league's hottest teams of late, but they got cooled off by the Milwaukee Bucks last night. Greg Monroe scored twenty-nine points and added twelve rebounds to end the Bucks' five-game losing skid. And as good as the Celtics have been they're sure to get a tongue lashing from coach Brad Stevens for blowing a nineteen point fourth quarter lead. The game wasn't sealed for good until Khris Middleton hit a free throw with less than a second left in regulation to help Milwaukee squeak by with a 112-111 win.

Elsewhere the New York Knicks debuted their new coach Kurt Rambis but it didn't result in a win as they were beaten by the Washington Wizards 111-108.

In college basketball the St. Michael's Purple Knights had both their mens' and womens' teams taking on their Franklin Pierce counterparts last night, and both fell to their neighbors from New Hampshire. The mens' team hung around, trailing by just two points with six minutes to go before Pierce pulled away for a 90-74 win at the Ross Center. The womens' team lost 69-61 despite a career-high eighteen points from senior Megan Gaudreau.
Elsewhere in the mens' game the Norwich Cadets trailed Emmanuel by sixteen points at the half but rallied to make it close in the 2nd, ultimately losing 73-70 when Ryan Booth of the Cadets launched a desperation three that just clanged off the front rim.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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