For the next few months the biggest sport in New England is going to be conjecture. There will be thousands of hours on the airwaves – and thousands more hours of hot air – spent talking about whether or not Tom Brady will be a Patriot next fall.

In the meantime, other teams continue to play and prepare for seasons in Boston. Here’s a couple of storylines to keep an eye on in those few minutes you’re not thinking about Life Without Tom.

The Bruins are sitting in first place, but they’re not sitting pretty. They have won just four of their last 15 games and have seen their lead shrink to just six points in the Atlantic Division.

The size of the lead isn’t the biggest worry. It’s who is sitting behind them. Entering Monday’s action, Toronto and Tampa Bay had gone a combined 23-7-2 since the beginning of November and were sitting second and third in the division. These were the two teams to worry about coming into the season, and after sputtering through October they are worthy of our concern now.

Meantime, the biggest worry surrounding the Bruins has come to fruition. The Black and Gold once again can’t score. Bruce Cassidy has juggled lines, benched players, and tried in vain to jump start his team through its current 4-5-6 run.  Most frustratingly the team has lost 11 of 13 games that go beyond regulation. This team came into the season expecting to contend for a second consecutive Eastern Conference title. Teams that can’t score and can’t win tight games can’t go very deep into the playoffs.

The Celtics took a 25-8 record into Monday night’s game in Washington. More importantly, the Celtics were finally approaching full health. Gordon Hayward is back and finally looking like himself (that is, the Gordon Hayward we expected before injuries took over the narrative). Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are maturing before our eyes. They’re fun to watch and are being given bigger roles by Brad Stevens.

Kemba Walker missed this third straight game Monday, but it’s illness-related and not any sort of long-term injury. The Celtics won eight out of nine going into the Washington game and only Milwaukee had a better record in the East. With the Kyrie Irving Era (Error?) fading from our memories it’s finally safe to think about a good, long playoff run for the Celtics.

While the Garden promises to be hopping this spring, we have no idea what the atmosphere will be like at Fenway Park. Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom has been buried in his bunker trying to shape a team that can represent itself in 2020. That said, we’ve heard more about financial stats than we have heard anything about ERA or OPS. It’s hard for a fan base to get excited when those fans aren’t sure if the team’s best players will be around this season.

There have been rumors of a blockbuster deal with the Dodgers floating around for weeks. Mookie Betts is thought to be the centerpiece of such a deal, and Red Sox Nation has not responded well to the rumors. Red Sox Winter Weekend at the MGM Casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, is just over a week away. It’ll be very interesting to hear the reaction this team gets from fans if it is still in this current state of uncertainty.

Meantime, let the rumors of Brady’s future fly. His season is over. His Patriots career could be as well. As Jimmy Garrapolo gets ready to lead the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers into the playoffs, it’s hard not to wonder about the future of the Patriots dynasty. Even if the other teams in town have their own compelling stories to follow.

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcast on NESN.


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