Nothing goes right for Celtics in 103-83 loss


Nothing goes right for Celtics in 103-83 loss

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. Detroit's Jason Maxiell shot a jumper in the third quarter that barely grazed the rim. Boston's Brandon Bass seemingly had the rebound, but lost control.

It wound up in the hands of Rodney Stuckey who then got it to Tayshaun Prince for an easy jumper.

It was indeed that kind of game for the Celtics with seemingly nothing at either end of the floor going their way.

And that, even against the lowly Pistons, is a recipe for disappointment and more than anything else, a defeat.

That is indeed what the C's left with as Detroit (2-8) took advantage of Boston's miscues and missed shots en route to a 103-83 win.

Boston (6-5) has lost two of its last three games, and third straight to Detroit at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Even though the game was well out of reach of a C's comeback late in the fourth quarter, Boston elected to keep Rajon Rondo on the floor to seemingly keep his double digit assists streak intact.

A jumper by Jared Sullinger with less than a minute to play gave Rondo his 10th assist which runs his double-digit streak to 34 in a row.

Rondo's assists numbers were indicative of how the game went for Boston.

Shots that the C's normally knock down with consistently, were hitting the front of the rim. And when they drove into the lane, the elevation needed to finish simply wasn't there.

Meanwhile, the Pistons' confidence seemed to steadily grow as the game went on.

The Celtics led most of the first quarter, but their control disappeared early in the third as Detroit opened with a 6-0 spurt.

Throughout most of the second quarter, neither team seemed capable of gaining control of the action.

Boston, which had lost its previous two games in Detroit, once again found themselves in a game against the Pistons that was far too close for comfort.

As the quarter went on, the Celtics continued to clang one good look at the basket after another.

It was the kind of confidence boost that the 1-9 Pistons desperately needed.

The C's were also dealing with some mounting foul trouble.

In addition to Paul Pierce picking up his second personal foul in the first quarter which limited his play some, Celtics forward Brandon Bass was dealing with foul trouble as well.

Bass picked up his third personal foul with 3:45 to play in the second quarter on a drive to the basket by Brandon Knight.

On the ensuing Pistons possession, Tayshaun Prince nailed a jumper in the lane to give Detroit a four-point lead, their largest of the game.

Detroit would continue to increase its lead, taking a 48-40 lead into the half.

'I definitely wasn't mad at our team,' Rask says of Vegas postgame comments


'I definitely wasn't mad at our team,' Rask says of Vegas postgame comments

BRIGHTON, Mass – Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was acting a bit out of character after the Sunday night loss to the Vegas Golden Knights when he said he wouldn’t be commenting on team performance outside of his own goaltending. 

Clearly, it was a tense atmosphere in the Bruins dressing room following an extremely bad road performance and it would seem very likely there’s probably been some friction in the past between Rask and positional players over his postgame candor.


That was the backdrop for Rask keeping it laconic, and saying on Sunday night: “I just try to go out there and give us a chance to win every night. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m not going to comment anymore on team play that much. We can just talk about goaltending. That’s just the way it is. Sorry.”

It would seem that some fans and Bruins observers took that to mean Rask was pissed off at his Bruins teammates after a few breakdowns defensively, and a total non-performance at the offensive end of the ice.

Taking all that into account, Rask clarified his comments a bit after practice Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena and said it’s all about focusing on his own performance rather than taking issues with any of his teammates.

“You lose games and you’re not happy with your performance. Somebody just told me that I guess it got spun the wrong way that it was me mad at my teammates or something. That’s definitely not the case,” said Rask, whom at 1-3-0 with a 3.30 goals-against average and .880 save percentage this season, is clearly in need of some improvement as well.

“You lose games and you definitely hold yourself accountable and you want to talk about your performance and what you need to do to get better," Rask said. "So, that’s where I was coming from. I definitely wasn’t mad at our team. I was more mad at myself, so that’s that.

“You always try to give a fair assessment about the game, but I think the biggest thing that I need to worry about, and what everybody else needs to worry about, is how they get better themselves. You start from that, so that’s where I was coming from.”

The prospect of getting Patrice Bergeron and David Backes back healthy would go a long way toward improving the Bruins play on the ice and stabilizing things defensively for Rask and the rest of the Black and Gold. That’s really what’s needed at this point to improve a situation where the B’s are 23rd in the NHL, averaging 3.6 goals allowed per game, and real, rather than figurative, fingers might start getting pointed all around if it doesn’t start looking better in short order.  

Morning Skate: Shawn Thornton brightening hospitalized kids' days


Morning Skate: Shawn Thornton brightening hospitalized kids' days

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while back in the good, ol' Eastern Time Zone.
*Really nice piece from Shawn Thornton in the Players' Tribune about the inspiration provided by his “Nanny” and how he’s come to truly love the community service and hospital visits while involved with professional hockey. He’s always been one of those athletes that just stops by children’s hospitals for a visit without needing the attention for it, and that is a credit to his great generosity and empathy for those brave kids.

 *You want a Stanley Cup made out of bottle caps? Well, the world will certainly provide a Stanley Cup made out of bottle caps.

*Defenseman Connor Murphy hasn’t been the player that the Chicago Blackhawks expected him to be since arriving in the Windy City.
*The Colorado Avalanche are adding a fancy stats and video man to their management group as they seek to keep improving the NHL product.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Eddie Olczyk is returning to the NBC broadcast booth as his health will allow as he continues to battle cancer. Good to see you back, Edzo!

 *Erik Karlsson is finally set to debut for the Ottawa Senators after offseason foot surgery, and it will be a case of the strong getting stronger for a Sens team off to a pretty decent start.

 *For something completely different: Just in time for Halloween, Jennifer Tilly releases all of the behind-the-scenes secrets of working with Chucky.