Bruins staying healthy, productive in European stints


Bruins staying healthy, productive in European stints

Since its nothing but silence until the NHL and NHLPA resume negotiations on Wednesday morning at the NHL offices in New York City, it seems like a good time for an update on the Bruins players in Europe.

Tyler Seguin continues to light things up for HC Biel, and has 16 goals and 28 points in 17 games played for the Swiss-A League, and has mashed nicely with the high speed, minimal contact European game. Hes also managed to work his way back to an even plusminus rating after a rough start in Switzerland. Patrice Bergeron has nine goals and 17 points in 10 games for HC Lugano, and gives the Bruins a pair of centers keeping their games sharp for a quick start to the NHL regular season. Chris Kelly has also signed with HC Red Ice in Switzerland, but Kelly doesnt look like hes appeared in a game for the Swiss team after a quick browse of their website.

Zdeno Chara has three goals and eight points along with a minus-1 rating in 13 games HC Lev Prague in the KHL, and has enjoyed plenty of practice chasing around speedy, undersized forwards in the skill league. Goaltender Anton Khudobin is 3-9-2 with a 3.08 goals against average and a .908 save percentage for Moscow Oblast Atlant while staying warm for his run as the Bruins backup goaltender.

Dennis Seidenberg has five assists and is sitting at a plus-8 in 12 games for the Mannheim Eagles in the German Elite League. Rich Peverley has three goals and 12 points in 15 games for JyP HT Jyvaskyla in the Finnish Elite League, and the sometimes feisty forward has also racked up 16 penalty minutes during his European adventure.

Tuukka Rask is 6-2 with a 1.58 goals against average and a .936 save percentage for Plzen HC in the Czech Extra League, and that has to be encouraging for a Bruins front office ready to hand him the goaltending duties.

Andrew Ference has a goal and four points along with a plus-2 in 10 games for Ceske Budejovice HC while playing with Vinny Prospal and Ales Kotalik. Bruins center Gregory Campbell could be joining Budejovice shortly as well as the two sides are reportedly working out the details of a contract for the fourth line mainstay. David Krejci is off to a great start with Pardubice HC and has nine goals and 16 points along with a plus-1 in 15 games during his first prolonged time skating in his home country since he was a teen-ager.

Johnny Boychuk was the 11th Bs skater to sign a European contract and left for Austria at the end of last week, but hasnt yet appeared in a game for Red Bull Salzburg while becoming Bostons first player to skate in the Austrian First Division. The most important piece of information concerning all of these players: other than a tweaked groin during one of Rasks first games and some minor bumps and bruises for Bergeron and Ference, the Black and Gold have remained remarkably healthy while playing games a long, long way from home.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat


WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch the Celtics play the Heat in Miami. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

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Celtics-Heat preview: Will Celts be drained by emotional win in Dallas?


Celtics-Heat preview: Will Celts be drained by emotional win in Dallas?

The Boston Celtics remain a team whose collective talents are far more valuable than their individual abilities.

But there are going to be nights when someone has to shoulder a larger burden of the team in order to win. More often than not, that “one” will likely be No. 11, Kyrie Irving. 

We saw in Dallas what can happen when Irving feels he has little choice but to put the team on his back and carry them to victory. 

The Celtics were desperate for a spark against the Mavericks and found it in Irving, who scored 47 points in leading the Celtics to a come-from-behind 110-102 overtime win. 

It remains to be seen if the Celtics will require a similar Herculean effort tonight when they take the Miami Heat with a chance to extend their winning streak to 17 straight. 

This team isn’t one to dwell on success in the past, even if the past was just 24 hours ago. But there’s no getting around how what happened on Monday night might impact what we see against the Heat. 

Boston expended a tremendous amount of energy in rallying from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter at Dallas, the kind of effort that may be difficult to replicate against a Miami team that you can count on to play hard from the opening tip to the final horn. 

Irving’s performance was one of the rare instances this season when Boston clearly could not have won without their top scorer having a big game. 

“When we needed it most, he made big shot after big shot,” said Al Horford. “He had such good rhythm, I was thinking, ‘just let him keep it going.’ He just kept being aggressive, taking really good shots. He recognized he needed to be extra aggressive, especially at the end and score the ball for us.”

Scoring could potentially be at a premium against Miami which allows 102.5 points per game which ranks ninth in the league in fewest points allowed. Also, the Heat will test Boston’s perimeter defenders. Miami comes into tonight’s game averaging 11.1 made 3-pointers per game which ranks ninth in the NBA. 

The Heat are led by Goran Dragic who is averaging team highs in scoring (18.3 points) and assists (4.7) this season. 

These two squared off earlier this season in Miami with the Celtics coming away with a 96-90 win as Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum led the way with 24 and 20 points, respectively. In that game, the Heat were without starting center Hassan Whiteside, who will be in the lineup tonight as the Heat try to bounce back after losing three of its last four games.