Celtics hope overseas trip repeats '08 success


Celtics hope overseas trip repeats '08 success

The Celtics are hoping for a little deja vu from their championship season of 2008. That began with an overseas trip, too.

The C's left Boston on Monday night for preseason games in Istanbul, Turkey on Friday and Milan, Italy, on Sunday.

Coach Doc Rivers recalled how the preseason trip to Rome just after the Big Three was brought together in 2007 ended up being a contributing factor to what wound up being a championship season.

Captain Paul Pierce is hoping for the same thing this time around.

"It's a better opportunity to get to know your teammates," Pierce said.

New Celtic Jason Terry agreed.

"It gets us out of our comfort zones," Terry said. "You're in a strange city and all you have are your teammates."

Comcast SportsNet will bring you both games, beginning with pregame coverage from Istanbul on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Backes and Bergeron return to Bruins practice, may be back in action soon


Backes and Bergeron return to Bruins practice, may be back in action soon

BRIGHTON -- It was good news when word first filtered out that David Backes had resumed skating last weekend while the Bruins were on the West Coast, and even better news Tuesday when he returned to practice. Backes skated without any restrictions in a spot on the third line with Riley Nash and Tim Schaller, and appeared to be recovering nicely from his bout of diverticulitis.

Backes was initially diagnosed with the inflammatory colon ailment in the first few days of October, with the team estimating a three- to four-week recovery period. If he'd needed surgery rather than the  prescribed rest and medication, he could have been facing a lot more missed games.

Patrice Bergeron was also back skating on Tuesday morning while centering Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork, still sporting a maroon no-contact jersey while taking some light contact during the practice session.

Backes and Bergeron look like they’ could be returning to the lineup soon.

But the injury news wasn't all good, as Ryan Spooner, Austin Czarnik, Danton Heinen and Adam McQuaid were all missing from practice.

Spooner (lower body) and McQuaid (lower body) were both injured in Sunday night’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, and Czarnik and/or Heinen might be ticketed back to Providence soon if the Bruins have to make roster space for Bergeron and/or Backes ahead of Thursday night’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena with a whole different look to things with some of the different bodies taking part in the skate: