Boston’s Rafael Devers celebrates after hitting one of his two home runs in a July 23 victory over the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Meet the new year, same as the old year. The sports world embarks on 2022 dealing with many of the same COVID-related issues that plagued us a year ago.

The good news is teams and leagues have learned more and adapted protocols. Sports have adapted and remain a great distraction from the latest variant.

With that in mind, here are 22 sports wishes for 2022:

Another Patriots-Bills matchup. New England won in the Buffalo wind, and then lost when they couldn’t contain the Bills in Foxborough. We need a third meeting — in the playoffs — to stoke this rivalry even more.

More secondary scoring from the Bruins. Boston came out of its COVID-19 shutdown scoring nine total goals in wins over Buffalo and Detroit. More importantly, nine different Bruins scored. That’s the scoring depth they’ve been missing all season. More of it could make this a fun winter.

Patience for Ime Udoka. The Boston Celtics‘ coach has a ton of talent on his roster. He also has too many players who want to be The Man. Udoka needs to coax the best out of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and the rest of Boston’s cast of characters. All he needs to do is walk down the hall and ask his boss how tough that can be. No one knows the frustrations of this young Celtics team better than Brad Stevens.

Major League Baseball games. This one’s easy. Get a deal done and get back to work. Things are tough enough on baseball fans, who will have no patience for a work stoppage that interferes with the season.

More “Citius, Altius, Fortius” and less omicron. The motto for the Olympics means “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” Let’s hope they’re the Greek words we’re talking about next month.

 A return for Tuukka Rask. He’s one of the greatest goaltenders in the long history of the Boston Bruins. He’s also one of the city’s most polarizing athletes. Let’s hope he gets a chance to return and write a fitting final chapter to his legacy.

Boston’s Jeremy Swayman blocks a shot during a Bruins game against Dallas on Oct. 16 at TD Garden. Associated Press/Michael Dwyer

 Patience for Jeremy Swayman. The former UMaine Black Bear is the future of the Bruins’ goaltending plans. He’s also 23. Rask’s return might mean Swayman is bumped out of the picture for now, but it will not alter what he means for this team’s long-term plans.

More 2-pointers from the Celtics. Last week Boston lost a game in which it pulled down 21 offensive rebounds. Twenty-one! That’s because they went a shocking 4 for 42 from the 3-point arc. Please feel free to pass inside once in a while. Dunking is still allowed in the NBA.

 A Rafael Devers contract extension. Mookie Betts is long gone. Xander Bogaerts is entering an opt-out year. The Red Sox need to lock up their 25-year old All-Star and keep him here for years to come.

Support for the New England Revolution. Bruce Arena’s team had the best regular season in Major League Soccer history, then got knocked out in the first round. It was a shocking end to the season, but that shouldn’t interfere with the building excitement around this franchise.

A World Cup bid for Foxborough. It’s a great soccer community. Gillette Stadium should be announced as one of the host sites for the World Cup’s return to North America in 2026.

Quarterback Mac Jones has directed the Patriots to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth in his rookie season.  AP Photo/Danny Karnik

Appreciation for Mac Jones. After watching Trevor Lawrence on Sunday, let’s stop the debate over “Is Mac Jones the future?” He is, and he’s only going to get better. He’s the perfect young quarterback for the Patriots and Bill Belichick.

Peace for Antonio Brown. His latest meltdown saw him strip off his uniform and walk away in the middle of the Buccaneers’ game on Sunday. Let’s hope he gets whatever help and counseling he needs. And that he gets it out of the public eye.

Expansion for the College Football Playoff. Even though Friday’s semifinals were one-sided SEC wins, it’s an exciting product. Double the field, go to eight teams and give us three weeks of playoff talk.

 A better product on the diamond. Baseball has been talking about tweaks to the product for years. Now, with a labor agreement being discussed, they could do something about it. The worry is they’ll spend all their time talking about the economics of baseball and never get around to what matters most to fans: the game itself.

A trade from Chaim Bloom. He has succeeded in revamping the Red Sox farm system in short order. There’s enough depth to make a trade without emptying the pipeline. After coming within two wins of a World Series appearance last year it’s time to use some of that depth to become a stronger contender this year.

 NHL games in February. Lots of them. The league pulled players from the Olympics. Now it needs to fill up that three-week void with games to make up all the COVID postponements.

 No NHL games in July. Using February wisely will keep the Stanley Cup from stretching into the summer. It’s a winter game. Keep it that way.

Celtics guard Dennis Schröder heads to the rim in a Nov. 10 game against the Toronto Raptors in Boston. Associated Press/Michael Dwyer

A true point guard for the Boston Celtics. Dennis Schröder has done an admiral job when playing the role, but Tatum and Brown need someone at their level to distribute the ball.

Appreciation for Carles Gil. The sublime Revs playmaker was the MLS MVP in 2021. You don’t have to be a soccer fan to appreciate greatness. We are watching a superstar in his prime.

A Patriots Day start for Rich Hill. He’s from Canton, Massachusetts. He’s one of us. Let’s get him on the mound for the most Boston baseball day of them all.

 Less COVID talk. Let’s cross our fingers that we can give the Greek alphabet a rest and forget about variants this year. And that scheduled games can be played with full, healthy rosters.

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


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