Let’s go around the horn cleaning out spring thoughts on the local teams:
Bruins: Lost in the feverish embrace of the Celtics, the Bruins have been on their own climb up the standings. After downing the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Garden ice Thursday and the Islanders on Saturday, they were winners of 14 of 17 and a gaudy 27-9-3 since New Year’s Day.
My lament is the Bruins should be the Los Angeles Rams of the NHL. They should be all in and go all out to win a championship at all costs. Forget protecting picks and prospects. Who cares? Do whatever it takes to let Patrice Bergeron, who turns 37 in July and has not committed to playing next season, and Brad Marchand lifts the Stanley Cup again while you have them.
This might seem like an odd stance when general manager Don Sweeney delivered the long-desired, top-pair, left-shot defenseman in Hampus Lindholm. But there were legitimate forward options such as Rickard Rakell and Andrew Copp who moved at the trade deadline. The Bruins needed to nab that type of player, too.
Erik Haula, who registered his first career three-assist game in the victory over the Lightning, has fit the bill as a second-line center. But we’ve seen this movie before. The Bruins think they have enough secondary scoring for a deep run and then are disabused of that notion in the playoffs. The Bruins have been bounced in the second round the last two seasons and three out of four. The outlier was 2019 when upset-minded Columbus and Carolina helped clear a vulcanized-rubber HOV lane to the Stanley Cup Final for them.
The Rams won the Super Bowl this past season with in-season additions such as Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr., enhancing areas that were already strengths. They haven’t had a first-round pick since 2016 and aren’t slated to have one until 2024. Unless Sweeney, whose drafting record is shakier than an MBTA escalator, is convinced Fabian Lysell and Mason Lohrei are the second comings of Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr, then mortgaging the future to put the Spoked-Bs over the top was the right call. He missed it.
Red Sox: Cue the “Hallelujah Chorus”: The Sox finally did a cash cannonball into the lucrative contract free agent pool under chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, signing shortstop-turned-second baseman Trevor Story to a six-year, $140 million deal. It’s about time. Bloom was looking more like a baseball version of legendary former Bruins GM Harry Sinden than the next Theo Epstein.
Concerns about how Story’s bat will translate from the altitude-enhanced offensive surroundings of Coors Field are understandable. He led the National League in extra-base hits from 2018-21 (254). But Story’s game is not predicated solely on his bat. He provides the Sox with speed and upgraded infield defense. Story has gone 20-20 in each of the last three seasons and is one of seven players all time with at least 150 home runs and 100 stolen bases in his first six seasons.
With shortstop Xander Bogaerts able to opt out following this season, Bloom has imitated what his former boss in Tampa Bay, Andrew Friedman, did last year with the Dodgers. Friedman obtained Trea Turner to protect against the free agent flight risk of shortstop Corey Seager.
However, at some point, the Sox need to show the money to one of their own and homegrown. What kind of message does it send to future Sox down on the farm and current ones if the Bloom Administration lets Mookie Betts, Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers, a free agent after next season, walk?
Patriots: All it took was one precious passer and one playoff performance for the Patriots to retreat to their philosophical bunker in Fort Foxborough. The effects of being humbled by a 7-9 season didn’t last very long for the team or coach Bill Belichick, who is taking on more tasks, consolidating more power, and employing more loyalists than ever as he approaches 70.
It’s not what other teams have done that concerns me about the Patriots, who are still in a good spot. It’s what they’re doing, which is resorting to old habits. With an offseason of few noteworthy additions, Belichick is back to the idea that his system didn’t work spectacularly because of a certain seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback. He’s back in “we can win with any of the top 15 quarterbacks” mode.
The cynic in me wonders if last offseason’s spending spree was more of a business move than a football one. The Patriots had to be able to sell something, post-Tom Brady. The $175 million outlay, which came prior to drafting Mac Jones, allowed them to sell hype and hope. Now that the Patriots have a good young QB and are back in the playoffs, that same organizational urgency isn’t there. It shows.
Celtics: There is not a hotter team in pro sports. The Celtics are dominating and dismantling opponents with astonishing ease. They finished with a season-high 37 assists and shot a season-best 59.5 percent in an impressive rout of the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. They enter Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves as winners of 21 of their last 24.
The question is whether this is just a juiced-up basketball version of “Morgan Magic” where everything clicks for a gilded stretch or whether it’s representative of a real basketball breakthrough for the core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and fan favorite Marcus Smart.
We’ll see in the playoffs.
Also, Sunday the Celtics are honoring their terrific game-night staff at halftime. It’s a deserved gesture for folks such as operations liaison Francis O’Bryant, who has 52 years with the team; media coordinator Miriam Yorks, who counts 39; stats maven Sherri Geller, who has 29; and public address announcer Eddie Palladino, who has 25.
Extra basics: You didn’t think I would leave the Revolution out, did you? No team in the region is in more of a championship-or-bust mode. The Revolution are off to a rough start at 1-2-1 in MLS play and were dispatched in the first round of the CONCACAF Champions League. They’ve conceded three goals in each of their last three games across all competitions.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Bruce Arena’s decision to bolster the team with some veteran players on the downside of their careers, such as Omar Gonzalez, ultimately pays off.
Christopher L. Gasper is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cgasper.