Bruins

Garnett proving age is just a number this season

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Garnett proving age is just a number this season

CLEVELAND Kevin Garnett had 18 points. He grabbed eight rebounds. He made all eight of his free throw attempts.

Even with the stats, they only provide a glimpse into how important Garnett was in Boston's 86-83 win.

"He was our anchor," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "He's just been so solid for us."

For the Celtics, a team that has been anything but solid this season, Garnett's steady play has been instrumental in this team's drop-off not being any steeper.

But Garnett's contributions go much deeper than what we saw on Tuesday, or what we've seen from him this season.

"You never seen somebody play the amount of minutes and the amount of years and still have the most energy on the court, either team," Celtics guard Keyon Dooling told CSNNE.com. "Everybody want to harp on the age and things like that, but look at him? The motor he brings everyday, you got guys 21 years old who can't bring that amount of energy every night."

But as Garnett gets older, Celtics coach Doc Rivers monitors his minutes even closer - even in practice.

Rivers went pretty hard on the guys in practice on Monday, and wasn't sure what he would get from Garnett.

"He came back and was absolutely wonderful," Rivers said.

Especially of late on offense.

And while some see Garnett as having opened the second half of the season up by stepping up his play, those who have played with him all season see him as doing nothing on Tuesday that he hasn't been doing most of this season.

"He's been the model of consistency for us throughout the whole year," said Paul Pierce.

However, Pierce said the C's are making a point of getting him the ball more on the post, which opens things up for not just him - but for the entire Celtics team.

"We're getting him the ball more, and that's the key," Pierce added. "When he's playing well, we're tough to beat."

Garnett was pleased that the Celtics got the win.

But he by no means was satisfied with the C's performance which all would agree, has to be better - much better - moving forward.

"This is going to be a grind right here, a true grind," Garnett said, referring to the second half of the season. "Physically, but mentally we have to be into it and prepare and just be ready to hoop."

Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks

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Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while enjoying the return of Adolfo to Toucher and Rich this morning.

*Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid have received plenty of acclaim over the past couple of years as talented, young stars in the league, but Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien details how things haven’t gone ideally for either of those youngsters, or their teams, this season. Clearly, it’s not at this level yet, but just think about the hype behind Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin when they were drafted 1-2 back in 2010, and what they have, and haven’t, been able to accomplish in the league since that time.

*Outstanding rookie Brock Boeser credits a conversation with Vancouver Canucks coach Travis Green for helping spark his game this season.

*Good video piece on the near miss of Wayne Gretzky almost playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs after dominating them in the playoffs.  

*Salivating for some hockey trades? The 10 potential NHL trade deadline targets around the league as we wait for players to become available for trade later in the season.  

*Hockeybuzz is asking what the NHL, and more specifically the Hockey Hall of Fame, has against goaltenders?

*For something completely different: A great piece from Drew Bledsoe on the tragic passing of former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn, and how his death came just as he seemed to be putting all the pieces of his life together.

 

Marchand, Krug and Backes all practice, won't play vs. Devils

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Marchand, Krug and Backes all practice, won't play vs. Devils

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins are getting closer to a healthier lineup, but it won’t be in time for the Thanksgiving Eve road tilt against the upstart New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.

Brad Marchand (upper body), Torey Krug (upper body) and David Backes (colon surgery) all skated in red no-contact jerseys at practice Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena, so none of those three banged-up B’s will be making the trip to Jersey. Anders Bjork (upper body) didn’t practice and is obviously out vs. the Devils as well, but Ryan Spooner might be a possibility after making it through his first full practice since tearing his groin almost six weeks ago.

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If he can make it through Wednesday's morning skate without any problems, Spooner will likely be a game-time decision against the Devils after missing the past 14 games.  

The Bruins have continued to indicate that Marchand is in the concussion protocol, though it appears the Bruins agitator is dealing with both upper body and lower body issues. Marchand was encouraged by the progress he’s making while returning to practice, so perhaps the B’s could get back one of their leading scorers sooner rather than later.

“I feel pretty good. It’s good to be back with the guys and feel like you’re a part of the team,” said Marchand, who has missed five of the past seven games after returning for the home-and-home against the Maple Leafs. “It’s frustrating whenever you miss games and you miss time away from the team, but they had a great road trip and they’re playing well. It would be nice to be back in the lineup consistently and be back with the team...it’ll come.”

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Devils based on practice Tuesday:

Heinen-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Cehlarik

Vatrano-Spooner-Nash/Szwarz

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

Beleskey-Marchand-Backes

 
Chara-McAvoy

O’Gara/Postma-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

 
Rask

Khudobin