* The most important ability for any athlete is the ability to stay healthy. Everything else is moot without it. It's also the most overlooked ability for athlete's. People will say, "He was one of the best athletes but he just couldn't stay healthy." Then, no, he wasn't.
* More Mike Bossy material. Bossy fell in the draft. Upon being selected by the Islanders, he told GM Bill Torrey--this was before Bossy even skated with the Islanders--that he'd score 50 goals in his first season, which no rookie ever had. Bossy then did this.
* Wayne Gretzky didn't like Bossy. Gretzky likes everyone. He praises everyone. Overpraises everyone. He didn't stint in his praise of Bossy, but Bossy was the one guy I think that Gretzky said he didn't like. He thought he was arrogant. I don't think Bossy was arrogant. I think the Oilers and Islanders guys had a hard time getting along, because of the rivalry. I think Bossy was confident. As he should have been.
* Bossy is often described as a pure scorer and the best pure scorer in hockey history, though this term is never defined. I'll attempt to do so. A pure scorer is a hands and arms scorer. A shooter-scorer. Gretzky, for instance, was not a shooter-scorer. He'd score all kinds of ways. A pure scorer has a place on the ice. He has a routine. For Bossy, that was the slot, mostly. His scoring actions are repeatable and are repeated. When Bossy scored, you tended to know how he'd score. He was precision. The puck was off the stick quickly. The net was rarely missed. A pure scorer is like a repeatable science experiment.
* Couple Red Sox thoughts: Verdugo is an absolute butcher of an outfielder. Dalbec is getting better at first base.
* I hope the Celtics don't do their buddy-buddy thing with Kyrie Irving tomorrow. Why they look up to this guy like they do is beyond me. Get angry, have some hate, kick some ass.
* Massarotti was in the Red Sox booth yesterday. He changed his act completely. Like a keyboard tough guy on the radio, then a lamb in the booth doing the fake laughter and everything. I thought O'Brien--whom I am no fan of--was a real professional.
* Whitlock is a potential stud.
* Walking on Boylston yesterday and seeing all of the Marathon hullabaloo I thought about the 2013 Red Sox. An awful time in my life--which is even worse now because it gets worse every year--so I didn't enjoy them as much as I would have otherwise, but my favorite Red Sox team. They were awesome, yes--never lost more than three in a row--but you look back and wonder how they were so awesome, then you find answers. Some guys had the years of their lives, and then you had the bedrock players like Ortiz and Pedroia. The spirit, attitude, and resolve had a lot to do with their success, though, and that is why I liked them so much. And they never quit, no matter the score, and kept coming at you with a ferocity I've not seen in any other baseball team.
*Bruins cliched a playoff spot today. I expect them to win a round and then lose in the next in six or seven. Not sure if they have a number one goalie. Defense is soft. This year is the first time I've seen a dip in Marchand's game since he emerged as an elite player.
* I wish I could have watched my favorite players growing up like you can just watch anyone whenever you want now, if you want to. To see those Oilers every night or each of Carlton Fisk's games--I would have enjoyed that.
* I have embraced my love of Dave Kingman. I think he was so cool as a player.
* He won't get it, but Johnny Gaudreau should be the NHL's MVP.
* This is a photo of Carl Yastrzemski about to take a home run away from Johnny Bench at the 1969 All-Star Game, with the fence being an actual fence. Hard to believe an MLB ballpark could be this way, and it wasn't that long ago. People who went to that game could be going to games today. Some of them must be.