4. Likes and dislikes of the 2012 NFL schedule -- What any Patriots fan has to like about the schedule is the paucity of high-end quarterbacks on the team's slate. Three of the Patriots' four losses last season came at the hands of Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. Their porous pass defense struggled against elite QBs. The two best quarterbacks on the schedule this year are Peyton Manning (Denver) and Joe Flacco (Baltimore). Houston's Matt Schaub would also be on the list, but he's recovering from a Lisfranc fracture in his right foot, an injury that can have long-term effects.
Perhaps, pairing up the Bruins two most individually skilled offensive players could crack the Capitals' defensive shell and jump-start two players the Bruins are going to need to lift Lord Stanley's chalice once again.
That's how good Seguin can be, so good that a time when he couldn't crack the lineup will seem impossible. It will be as difficult to fathom now as the idea that Tom Brady was an unknown, string-bean, third-string quarterback in 2000.
Say what you will about their regular season decorum, but the Celtics know when it's time to elevate their game. The Bruins are the inverse. They're a regular-season outfit that can't find a clear path past the second-round and could exit the playoffs before that if they don't display some esprit de corps this evening in Montreal.
This sort of thing has happened before. You may recall that during the 2007-08 season, the Bruins had a promising young rookie center named David Krejci. The slick Czech, who had been demoted to Providence during the season, blossomed after Savard suffered a cracked bone in his back when he was checked by Steve Begin, then of the Canadiens.
That was not good for the Bruins, since the Flyers were able to crack their vaunted penalty kill with a pair of power-play goals, although the first one was a bit of a softie off the stick of Pronger in the second period.
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