The 21st century has been pretty generous to Beantown sports. Pick any year in the last two decades, and there is more than a 50-50 chance the city of Boston has held an open-top bus parade for its NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL champions.
Still, while some Boston teams are firmly in the championship hunt, and it will perhaps help with the city’s push to catch New York as America’s winningest city (39 vs 56 Big 4 sports titles), others are in a period of transition. The new season, or a season restart, will undoubtedly throw up some questions for Boston sports. We look at four of the most pressing below:
Can the Bruins restart hot?
Dan Rosen, NHL.com’s chief writer, recently mused upon the subject when asked who the favourites would be should the hockey season restart today. On the one hand, he cited the fact that the Bruins were the best team in the league (they remain firm betting favourites for the Stanley Cup at 6/1) before it shut down. On the other hand, this is an older team, and, as Rosen points out, it might be difficult to hit the ground running should the restart get the green light.
Will the Patriots regret Brady departure?
It’s perhaps the most pertinent question in sports. Was it a mistake to send Tom Brady down to Tampa, or was the Patriots’ management right to focus on starting a new era. The question is a difficult one, and the answer will hinge upon multiple factors. Obviously, Brady’s performances for the Buccaneers will be scrutinised with a keen eye by Patriots fans. He is rated at 25/1 with MansionBet UK to be the season’s MVP, suggesting sportsbooks see life in the old dog yet, but Bill Belichick might be happy with his shiny new wide receivers, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans.
Will the Red Sox surprise?
If you have followed the Sox over through the eras of Francona, Farrel and Cora, there was always a sense that the ingredients were there to make an impression in the postseason even if that did not translate to results on the field. It was just a matter of getting the recipe right. That’s the reason we witnessed those yo-yo like worst-to-first seasons across the 2010s. But things feel a lot different this time around, and the Red Sox look to be neither a team capable of landing a postseason berth nor a team that is building for a bright future. Perhaps interim manager Ron Roenicke can surprise us?
Can the Celtics join the party?
There is almost unanimous consensus that the NBA Championship (if it’s concluded) will be headed to LA (the Clippers or Lakers) or Milwaukee (the Bucks), but the Celtics’ fans will still believe that their team has an outside chance of causing an upset. As with the Bruins mentioned above, the answer lies in quickly finding some momentum. Their place in the playoffs is already secured, and one would hope that the likes of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum can pick up from where they left off in February – in excellent form.