Haggerty's Bruins-Penguins preview


Haggerty's Bruins-Penguins preview

The Bruins are going to have a bit of a different look on Tuesday night, but they're still the Boston Bruins. They still want to win. Marty Turco will make his fourth start for the Bruins against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and it could very well be his final appearancewith the B's and with the NHL.

Fresh-faced collegiate rookie Torey Krug will also be playing in his first NHL game after signing an entry-level deal with the Bruins last week, and the B's are expected to hold some key players back from the road game in Ottawa on Thursday night as well.

"The one thing is we want to keep our intensity and we want to keep our game going in the right direction. There's no such thing as letting your guard down. I think right now, you don't want to get into bad habits. You have the opportunity to mix your lineup a little bit guys in and out and giving certain guys rest. But at the same time, whoever's playing you need them to be at their best. That's what we talked about", said Claude Julien. "The intensity's got to be there,the desire to win, the will to do what you have to do has to be thereand that can't take a break. We have the opportunity here to givecertain players as we move forward here well-deserved rest for a lotof those guys. We've had to overtax maybe certain players at some point because of injuries and certain situations. Right now we can hopefully give them a bit of a break."

The resting begins on Tuesday night against the Penguins, and will continue until the playoffs are expected to start April 12 at TD Garden against an opponent to be determined.

PLAYER MOST IN NEED OF A TIRE PUMP: Rich Peverley has no points, two shots on net and a plus-1 in his last three games after returning from injury, and looks like he's continuing to get his wind and legs back. Peverley had a long break when he sat out with a sprained right knee, so the shifty winger is one B's player that won't be getting much time off over the final three games. But it appears he could use it tostill get in touch with his game over the season's final nine days before the playoffs.

DRESSING ROOM MANTRA HEADED INTO THE GAME: "The last thing you want to do is coast through these last few games and think that all of a sudden playoffs are going to start -- and everything is going well. You can't just turn the switch on. You certainly don't plan on putting the switch off here and then turning it on the first game of the playoffs. We're a team, that for two months, struggled to get consistency and now we're starting to get it. We certainly don't want to let it go." Claude Julien on the fine line the Bruins must toe over the final three games.

KEY MATCH-UP: It's always about Zdeno Chara neutralizing Evgeni Malkin when the Bruins play the Penguins, but now he's got plenty of other weapons to worry about. James Neal bowled over the entire Bruins defense during the first period of Boston's loss in Pittsburgh at the beginning of the month and Sidney Crosby is back stirring the drink for the Penguins. This should be one final challenge for Chara before he gets a little deserved rest time for the rest of the regular season.

STAT TO WATCH: 7-1-1 the B's record in their last nine games, which they clearly hope to improve upon even if some of the substitutes are getting the starter's reps against the Penguins.

INJURIES: Nathan Horton (concussion) is out and doesn't appear close to returning at any point this season. Tuukka Rask (groinabdomen strain) is planning to take the ice at some point this week, and is hopeful he'll be ready by the playoffs. Adam McQuaid (left eye contusion) has healed nicely, but the Bruins are keeping him as a precaution. Jordan Caron has the flu. For the Penguins, defenseman Ben Lovejoy is out 3-4 weeks.

GOALTENDING MATCHUP: Marty Turco is getting his fourth start for theBruins and is riding a two-game winning streak after victories overthe Islanders and Ducks. Turco was also very effective in relief of Tim Thomas against the Penguins in his first appearance with the Bruins, and may be playing in the last game of his NHL career. Brent Johnson gets the start in place of Marc-Andre Fleury and has been solid against the Bruins throughout his career.

Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study


Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study

If your team makes a goal-line stop in the fourth quarter, but you can't see it on the All-22 tape, did it even happen? 

Bill Belichick said the fog that hovered above the Gillette Stadium turf on Sunday night didn't impact the play on the field, but it did make its imprint on the game in other ways. First of all, spotters and coaches up at the press level had some difficulty relaying information to coaches on the sidelines. Video on the hand-held tablets for sideline use -- as well as the old-school still-frame pictures Belichick prefers -- was also obstructed. 

Then on Monday, as coaches tried to digest the film, the fog butted in on the process again. 

"It affected us a lot this morning because it’s hard to see the game," Belichick said during a conference call. "The fourth quarter is – I don’t know – pretty close to a white-out on the sideline film. The sideline cameras are at the top of the stadium, so that’s a tough shot.

"The end zone cameras are a little bit lower and they get a little tighter shot, so the picture is a little bit clearer. But, on that shot, a lot of times you’re not able to see all the guys on the perimeter. It’s kind of an in-line shot.

"Yeah, the first half, start of the third quarter, it’s all right. As they get into the middle of the third quarter and on, for those of us with aging eyes, it’s a little strained to see it, and then there’s a point where you can’t really see it at all, especially from the sideline. So, yeah, it affected us."

Belichick re-iterated that the fog didn't do much to the product on the field (other than maybe making life difficult for kick and punt-returners), refuting Julio Jones' claim from late Sunday night. When it came to digesting the film, though, that was another story.

"It was more, I’d say, just tougher for, whether it be our video camera or the fans that were sitting in the upper deck. It’s just there was too much interference there," Belichick said. "It was probably hard to see the game. I know when we tried to look at the pictures in between series – you know, I don’t look at the tablets, so I won’t get into that – but the pictures, it was kind of the same thing. It was hard to really be able to make out exactly what you were seeing."

Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut


Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

WALTHAM -- It appears Marcus Morris’ debut for the Celtics will be when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 30.
The 6-foot-9 forward confirmed to reporters on Monday that, for now, that’s the target date.
Morris spent time after practice playing some one-one-one against rookie Jayson Tatum.
“I’m trying to push on it a little more,” he said. “Felt pretty good beating the rook’s ass one-on-one.”
The addition of Morris to the lineup can’t come soon enough for the Celtics (1-2).  They have already lost Gordon Hayward (ankle) for the season, and Marcus Smart (ankle) missed Friday’s win over Philadelphia. Smart said he would probably be in uniform for Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks. 
Those injuries have forced the Celtics to dig deeper into their roster, resulting in several first-year players seeing action. 
Having a veteran like Morris on the floor would bode well for the Celts in their quest to remain among the better teams in the East this season. 
Morris, who went through the non-contact portion of practice on Monday, joined the Celtics on Oct. 5, shortly after he and his brother Markieff (who plays for Washington) were acquitted of assault charges involving an incident in Phoenix in January of 2015. He appeared in one preseason game, scoring seven points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field.

Coach Brad Stevens said Morris was having some knee discomfort when he showed up for training camp. That, combined with showing up late to training camp because of his court case in Phoenix, resulted in him not having the level of conditioning he’s used to at the start of training camp. 
“It’s not that I’m in bad shape,” he told NBC Sports Boston earlier. “It’s just that I’m not where I expect myself to be conditioning-wise, right now.”
Morris echoed similar sentiments on Monday. 
“I’m in great condition,” he said. “I just want to be a little better. My conditioning has never been the problem. It’s the soreness in my [left] knee. It’s gotten a lot better over the past 10 days, so I feel I can play now. But be cautious because it’s a long season.”
Morris was acquired in the summer by Boston from Detroit, in exchange for Avery Bradley. The move was done to not only ensure there was enough salary cap space to sign then-free agent Gordon Hayward, but also for the Celtics to add a versatile player who can play both forward positions.