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Christopher L. Gasper

Pondering Mitchell Miller and the Bruins amid other streaming of the sports consciousness

On ice, the Bruins have been above reproach this season.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Streaming is second nature now, the delivery method du jour for music, movies, and television. Even the almighty NFL is in on the act with “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime. Here’s my streaming service, a streaming of the sports consciousness.

These are a few topics occupying bandwidth in my brain, starting with Boston being a winter sports wonderland with the dreamy starts of the Bruins and Celtics:

1. When they awoke Saturday both inhabitants of TD Garden owned the best records in their respective leagues. This was expected of the Celtics, the Bruins, not so much. That’s why it’s a shame the stellar start of the Spoked B’s, a franchise record 11-0-0 on home ice after Saturday’s 6-1 rout of the Chicago Blackhawks, has been marred and overshadowed by the Mitchell Miller imbroglio.


Other than the shameful fiasco of signing the bully boy prospect who used the N-word while preying on a developmentally-challenged Black classmate and being forced to rescind the decision two days later, everything has gone right for the Black and Gold. Everything.

The returns of centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, who took a sabbatical last season in his native Czechia, were Cup-chasing coups. New coach Jim Montgomery looks ticketed for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s best bench boss. Injured stars Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy returned ahead of schedule, scoring in their debuts. Goalie Linus Ullmark has morphed into fellow Swede Henrik Lundqvist.

The botched Miller move was needless, and we await the conclusion from the independent investigation commissioned by the team, conducted by former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Instead of focusing solely on the unbeatable Bruins being on a roll, we’re wondering if heads are going to roll over the Miller move.

2. It’s not just Mac Jones, scoring is down in the NFL this season. I’m here for it. The average NFL game featured 46 points last season, the sixth highest in league history. This year it’s 43.9. In 2020, it was nearly 50 points per game (49.6), the highest ever. You have to go back to 2017 to find the last time scoring was this low (43.4).


The percentage of three-and-out drives is 20.8 this season, up from 19.6. Red-zone touchdown percentage is down from 58.5 percent to 57.3. It’s good for the game to feature more balance between offense and defense, especially with the rules so slanted toward offense and actual tackling of quarterbacks all but outlawed.

3. Has there ever been a more overwrought debate than the one we endured in baseball over the designated hitter? I hardly heard a peep this year about pitchers not batting in the National League as the DH rightfully became universal. We watched bifurcated baseball for nearly 50 years for no real reason. Only baseball could pass off dysfunction as quirky “charm” for so long.

4. Congrats to the 106-win Houston Astros for defending the honor of baseball’s most sacred product — the regular season — by defeating Dave Dombrowski’s third NL wild card Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. You can’t keep selling the sanctity of your regular season as the centerpiece of your brand and then crown as champion an 87-win team that lost eight of its final 12 while moonwalking into the playoffs. A third wild card with 19 fewer wins than its Fall Classic opponent winning the World Series in the berth’s inaugural season would’ve been anathema.


5. Speaking of MLB’s playoff format, baseball should look into giving the division winners who earn byes into the Division Series a greater advantage in those breezy best-of-five affairs. The bye teams should host four games in a 2-1-2 format. Otherwise, just wake me up when September ends.

6. Why does the NBA feed into the incessant and insipid narrative that tanking is much more prevalent in its league? The issue is in the spotlight again with the emergence of generational French talent Victor Wembanyama, whom LeBron James called “an alien,” and comments from NBA commissioner Adam Silver referencing the possibility of European soccer-style relegation as a Draconian solution.

For teams in certain markets that aren’t desirable to free agents or stars seeking trades, the draft is their only avenue of acquiring transformational talent. The hand-wringing and pearl-clutching over tanking is hyperbolized. Going back to MLB’s Astros, do you think any Houston fans regret the three 100-plus-loss seasons they strung together from 2011-2013 to build their team? Teams massage their competitiveness when necessary because it works.

The NBA needs to stop feeding into the racially-undertoned narrative that win-adjusting in basketball is much worse. It’s not. Maybe, the NBA should just have Ivy League execs euphemistically call tanking “analytics.” MLB moved to a draft lottery to try to discourage tear-downs. The inaugural will be held next month at the Winter Meetings, determining the top six picks.


7. It did not go unnoticed in these parts that a long-running Major League Soccer stadium saga came to an end, while the Revolution continue their quixotic quest for a privately financed soccer stadium with little help from pols.

New York City FC struck a deal for a 25,000-seat stadium in Queens. New York Mayor Eric Adams was instrumental in getting the project, set to open in 2027, past the finish line. NYCFC, which has been trying to get a soccer-specific stadium since 2012, has been squatting at Yankee Stadium.

The Revolution’s stadium pursuit has been going on even longer with no concrete ending in sight. Speculation has the Kraft family, owners of the Revolution, eyeing a site straddling the Everett/Boston border near the casino. Prior plans for the city-owned Frontage Road site, land near the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, and the former site of the Bayside Exhibition Center in Dorchester all died on the vine in recent years.

Greater Boston is long past due for a soccer-specific stadium that transports the Revolution out of Foxborough and makes the team more accessible. But it’s one Revolution goal that requires a major assist. So far, service has been lacking.

Christopher L. Gasper is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at christopher.gasper@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @cgasper.