Celtics

Chara back in Boston after injuring Satan overseas

673228.jpg

Chara back in Boston after injuring Satan overseas

While it might have been disappointing when the NHL and NHLPA couldnt come to an agreement last week, it hasnt stopped the local NHL players from getting together to skate.

On Tuesday Shawn Thornton was a part of the local group of players skating together at an area rink, but the locals were joined for the first time in months by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. The KHL, Swiss League and Czech League are all on a current 10-day holiday break, so NHL players like Chara and Tyler Seguin have temporarily returned to Boston from their overseas adventures.

It was a perfect time for Chara to leave his HC Lev team in Prague as there are some hard feelings for the Bs defensemen from his former teammate, Miroslav Satan. Chara drilled Satan with a pair of hits in November one when he caught Satan with his head down carrying the puck in the neutral zone that caused a concussion and a neck injury that still have the former BsIslandersSabres forward out of his KHL teams lineup.

The hit was a clean one perhaps made worse by the size difference between the two players, but Satan still had some unkind things to say about his Slovakian countryman through the European media. The following Satan quote was tweeted out by Czech reporter Roman Jedlicka of TV NOVA:

The great friendship between Bruins Zdeno Chara and Miro Satan is over. Reason? Two huge hits from Chara in November, Satan is still (1)

Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) December 11, 2012

injured. Satan: "Zdeno risked the health and life of someone who calls a good friend. I'm not saying he wanted intentionally to hurt me (2)

Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) December 11, 2012

but he knew that was me and that i didnt see him. Plate between the sixth and seventh vertebrae in my neck is displaced by 4.5 mms(3)

Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) December 11, 2012

into the spinal canal. It took a bit and I may have been paralyzed. Source: goo.glV1wZB (end)

Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) December 11, 2012

Chara maintained after the game he didnt know at the time it was Satan until after each of the hits took place, and has always considered incidents like the hit in question as hockey plays.

Chara has nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 20 games with Lev Prague, and is a plus-3 while battling to keep up with the quick skill game favored in Europe over the gritty, physical North American version.

Thornton and Chara were joined on Tuesday afternoon by skate regulars like Jay Pandalfo, Ryan Whitney and Keith Yandle, who continue to skate locally rather than report to their NHL homes in Edmonton and Phoenix.

Brandon Yip, Tuukka Rask, Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic have also been regular skaters over the last few weeks, but werent among those skating on the frozen sheet Tuesday.

Moving to power forward 'presents a different challenge' for Horford

celtics_al_horford_101617.jpg

Moving to power forward 'presents a different challenge' for Horford

PHILADELPHIA – For the third time in as many games, the Boston Celtics will field a different lineup.

It will have a domino effect on Boston’s usual starters, but no one more than Al Horford who will slide over to power forward with Aron Baynes inserted into the starting lineup where he’ll be charged with trying to defend Sixers 7-footer Joel Embiid.

Meanwhile, Horford will be assigned to defend Robert Covington who is one of Philadelphia’s better perimeter scorers.

MORE:

“I feel like one of my strengths is being able to play multiple positions,” Horford told NBC Sports Boston. “It presents a different challenge for me, which is making sure I do a good job of covering him out on the perimeter, staying between him and the basket.”

In Philadelphia’s 120-115 season-opening loss to Washington, Covington led all Sixers with 29 points which included him going 7-for-11 from 3-point range in addition to grabbing seven rebounds.

While Covington will be Horford’s first defensive assignment, he knows he will also be called upon at times to defend Embiid who ranks among the best centers in the NBA despite having played just 32 games over the course of three NBA seasons.

In the loss to the Wizards, Embiid had a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Horford’s defense will be critical for Boston (0-2) to get its first win of the season, but the Celtics will also need him to take advantage of scoring opportunities as well.

“We have some guys down, but that creates opportunities for other guys to step up and contribute,” Horford said. “It’s going to all of us, the veterans, the young players, all of us to get that first win.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens agreed.

“I think that’s how we have to look at it,” Stevens said. “We’re going to have to make a few tweaks on how we do things, obviously. Hey, it’s gonna be something that we’re going to have to do really, really well on the fly.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE