Patriots

Kelly to play in NHLPARBC Play Hockey charity game

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Kelly to play in NHLPARBC Play Hockey charity game

Aside from a quick stint in Switzerlands second division, Bruins center Chris Kelly has kept a fairly low profile during the NHL lockout. He never really reported to Boston to skate during informal practices, and hes largely kept to his home Ontario area where hes skated with other NHL exiles.

But Kelly will be front and center this week as hes one of more than 30 NHLPA members that will be taking part in the RBC Play Hockey Charity Challenge in Toronto on Wednesday night. The game will be played at the Mattamy Athletic Centre and will be led by RBC Play Hockey ambassadors Steven Stamkos and P.K. Subban. Stamkos will captain Team Blue -- Kelly's team -- and Subban will captain Team White.

Team Stamkos will include Chris Kelly, Michael Del Zotto, Mike Komisarek, Niklas Kronwall, Dion Phaneuf, Kyle Quincey, Dan Cleary, Tim Connolly, B.J. Crombeen, Steve Downie, Clarke MacArthur, Matt Martin, James Neal, Teddy Purcell, Stamkos, David Steckel, Kris Versteeg, Wojtek Wolski, Jonas Gustavsson and Mike Leighton.

Team Subban includes Chris Campoli, Carlo Colaiacovo, Tomas Kaberle, John-Michael Liles, Subban, Brad Boyes, David Clarkson, Logan Couture, Phil Kessel, Tom Kostopoulos, Matthew Lombardi, Joffrey Lupul, Jay McClement, John Mitchell, Steve Ott, Peter Regin, Chris Stewart, Dan Winnik and Martin Biron.

Kelly recently wrapped up his stint with HC Red Ice in Switzerland and had nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) before playing in his final game on Nov. 30. Kelly is entering the first year of a four-year, 12 million contract extension with the Bruins signed right after NHL free agency opened last summer.

All proceeds from the game will benefit grassroots hockey causes through the NHLPA Goals & Dreams Fund and the RBC Play Hockey program. The NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund is the largest grassroots hockey assistance program in the world. Founded in 1999, NHLPA Goals & Dreams has contributed over 21 million to grassroots hockey programs and related causes in more than 30 countries. Through the donation of equipment grants, the program has given more than 60,000 deserving children the opportunity to play hockey and benefit from the sports commitment to teamwork, discipline and physical fitness.

RBC Play hockey is one of the largest corporately funded hockey programs that supports grassroots hockey in communities across North America and has provided more than 1.5 million in grants to over 120 hockey programs.

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

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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

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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.