Patriots

Rolston, Mottau glad to get first game out of way

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Rolston, Mottau glad to get first game out of way

BOSTON -- Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau are happy that this one's over with.

Two of the three newest Bruins played on Tuesday night at the TD Garden against the Ottawa Senators, after arriving Tuesday morning.

Rolston played 8:21 while centering a line with Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Caron, while Mottau played 10:49 on a defensive unit with Adam McQuaid.

The Bruins lost 1-0. Neither were on the ice for the lone goal of the game. So they got that going for them.

But even if they were, Tuesday night was nothing more than a feeling out process for two players trying to adjust to a new system with new teammates.

"It's good to get that one behind me, for sure," said Rolston after the loss. "You have a little nerves, especially coming in. But I think Mottau and I both got that one behind us and we'll move on and be better next game."

"It was a great feeling pulling the jersey on, going out there for warm-ups," said Mottau. "Playing in the first one, it's good to get the first one out of the way."

Bruins coach Claude Julien is more anxious to work with the two players at practice on Wednesday, while acknowledging that it's awfully tough to judge their game in this type of situation, after being traded at the deadline on Monday afternoon.

"They showed up this morning, and I certainly didn't expect miracles out of those guys," said Julien after the loss. "Again, it's always hard to judge those guys, because the guys around them didn't do very well. Rolston and Mottau didn't look bad, but they probably looked even better if we would have been better around them."

Both Rolston and Mottau said they feel good, physically. Now, it's just trying to get the system down, which Rolston admitted, shouldn't be a problem, especially if he stays at center.

"I played center tonight, which I haven't played in a while, so that's another little bit of an adjustment that I have to make," said Rolston. "But I've played long enough where I've played center a lot of years. And it will just take me a game or two to feel a little more sharp there."

Tuesday marked Mottau's first game as a Bruin. Rolston can't say the same. And his return to Boston brought out plenty of emotions as he received an ovation from the crowd at the TD Garden.

"It was great. I'm very happy to be here," said Rolston after the game. "Obviously I got a warm reception from the crowd, which means a lot to me. It was a lot of fun. And like I said, I had my legs under me a little bit. I hadn't skated in a couple days. So it will be good to get another practice in, and start feeling a little more comfortable.

"Your emotions, you're thinking about all those things all day, pretty much. And it almost kind of exhausts you at times. But like I said, this day, I'm glad it's behind us. Now we can move on and be a little bit more comfortable on the ice."

BEST OF BST PODCAST: Patriots advance to AFC title game vs. Jaguars

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BEST OF BST PODCAST: Patriots advance to AFC title game vs. Jaguars

0:41 - Tom Curran and Albert Breer discuss some of the big takeaways from the Patriots win over the Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

4:49 - Jalen Ramsey told the fans in Jacksonville that the Jaguars would be going to the Super Bowl. Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith talk about if they have a problem with what Ramsey said and if the Patriots would be using his quote as bulletin board material.

9:25 - Curran, Breer, and Giles discuss Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels likely not returning with the Patriots as Patricia seems to be headed towards the Lions while McDaniels goes to the Colts.

14:06 - Michael Hurley joins BST to preview the Jaguars/Patriots matchup and discuss the Patriots schedule and road to the Super Bowl. 

No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

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No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

BOSTON – Less than 48 hours after one of his legendarily hard slap shots put a Montreal Canadiens forward in the hospital after striking him in the head, Zdeno Chara didn’t hesitate when given the chance to wind up and blast away on Monday afternoon.

It was the 40-year-old Chara that rocketed a slapper past Kari Lehtonen at the end of the second period, and in doing so energized the Bruins while getting them on the scoreboard. The Chara goal helped earn the Black and Gold a point in overtime before eventually falling to the Dallas Stars by a 3-2 score at TD Garden on Monday afternoon.

The Bruins captain had been texting with the felled Montreal winger on Monday, and was fully aware that Phillip Danault was out of the hospital and doing well aside from understandable concussion symptoms after a puck to the head. Perhaps that eased Chara’s mind just a little when it came time to lean into another wind-up slapper on Monday, but it was also certainly aided by the lack of brave bodies willing to front one of his heavy, hard point blasts.

“I obviously spoke to Phillip a number of times. I talked to him right after the game and wanted to make sure he was okay, and he texted me back that he’s doing fine. He’s been released [from the hospital] and that’s very positive, good news,” said Chara. “It’s obviously very unfortunate that it’s something that happens quite often, but it’s something you never want to see with somebody getting hit and hurt. I’m very happy he’s going to recover fully and hopefully he’s back on the ice and playing hockey [soon] like we all do.”

Was there any hesitation to Chara winding up and stepping into a 100-mph slap shot so quickly after the ugly incident in Montreal?

“It’s something that doesn’t happen very often where you have that clean [shooting] path to the net where you can settle the puck, take a look and take a full slapper,” said Chara. “Usually teams play so well structurally that there’s already somebody fronting it, and you’ve got to get it through him with bodies in front. It does happen, but it’s nice that you have that time to put everything on it.”

That’s exactly what the 6-foot-9 defenseman did in sparking the Bruins to come back from a 2-0 deficit and push for the overtime point while extending their point streak to a season-best 13 games and counting.

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