Celtics

Seguin thriving, leading Swiss league in goals scored

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Seguin thriving, leading Swiss league in goals scored

Its only natural for Bruins fans to look at Tyler Seguin absolutely lighting it up in Switzerland, and wonder if theyd be watching him blossom into an NHL superstar this year if there hadnt been a lockout.

The 20-year-old Seguin potted a jaw-dropping 20 goals in his first 20 games skating for EHC Biel in the Swiss-A League, and overall has 32 points and 20 penalty minutes in 21 games for Biel. Hes adapted nicely to the speedy European League, and leads all NHL players in the Swiss League with his 20 goals. Thats more goals than an impressive list of Rick Nash, Joe Thornton, John Tavares, Logan Couture, Jason Spezza or Patrice Bergeron, who are all skating in the top Swiss League right along with Seguin.

In fact one could make the argument that Seguin has been the best, most valuable NHL player while in Europe over the last few months during the lockout. Seguin struggled slightly coming out of the gate when he first arrived in October, but he steadily improved before Blackhawks refugee Patrick Kane arrived to form a dynamic scoring duo with the Bruins prodigy. With nothing but European food that's a little different and bad "Dear John" episodes playing on the only English channel on his television, it appears Seguin is fully focused on hockey.

"I had no idea what to expect when I came to Switzerland," he told the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper recently. "The league is very competitive -- the speed and the talent level of the players has surprised me. It took me some time and effort to get used to it.

"Scoring goals is never easy; I didn't do very well at the beginning. Now I just hope to continue playing well like I have been lately.

Amazingly Seguin has also been a part of Biels penalty kill special teams unit something that never happened in his first two years skating under head coach Claude Julien and is killing penalties for the first time in his pro career. Seguin even tweeted about it after scoring on a short-handed goal following a shot that he blocked to start the scoring opportunity: something that never happened in Boston.

"Got a shorthanded goal the other night. Wonder if @NHLBruins will see it. blockshots" tweeted Seguin.

Clearly Seguin wouldnt be a goal-per-game player in the NHL this season, but many talented youngsters really make that ascension to something special during their third year in the league. In terms of recent Bruins players Phil Kessel exploded for 36 goals and 60 points in his third and final season in Boston before forcing his way to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and seemed to finally come into his full scoring powers as he turned 21 years old.

So its natural to wonder how much better Seguin would be than the All-Star forward that finished with 29 goals and 67 points last season, and project how good hell be if the NHL lockout lifts in December or January. Dont be surprised to see Seguin around Boston in the next few weeks as Biel goes on another lengthy break from games between Dec. 9-17.

But hell go back to piling up hat tricks in Switzerland if nothing is accomplished with the CBA by then, and Seguin simply just wanting to play hockey.

Now, it gets real for revamped Celtics

Now, it gets real for revamped Celtics

CLEVELAND – For the Celtics, the preseason went about as well as expected.
 
No serious, long-term injuries.

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They won every preseason game, even one in which the team’s second unit played the role of starters.
 
And the chemistry concerns with so many new players, while very real, didn’t seem to be that big an issue.
 
Still, as good as the Celtics may feel about where they stand, they know it means absolutely nothing unless they get it done against elite, NBA-caliber competition.
 
The Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
Opening night.
 
It doesn’t get much more challenging than that.
 
And for the Celtics, win or lose, this is going to be a game for them to build upon going forward this season.
 
“I’m just ready to get going,” said Gordon Hayward. “A lot of things have happened this summer, a lot of buildup. I’m ready to get to the game. It’s going to be a fun matchup, for sure.”
 
Among the summer happenings was Boston and Cleveland pulling off one of the biggest blockbuster deals of the offseason with the Cavs trading Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic while also conveying Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick and Miami’s 2020 second-round pick to complete the deal.
 
Having spent his first six seasons with the Cavaliers, there’s a certain amount of corporate knowledge that the 25-year-old Irving brings to tonight’s matchup.
 
“I know a lot about them, they know a lot about me,” Irving said. “There’s plenty of film on all of us, but specifically going back and understanding the way we played last year when I played with them and now how they’re playing with the new guys, understanding how to implement themselves into their new system plus me implementing myself into this system...There’s definitely some benefits on our end, there are some benefits on their end. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
 
Part of the challenge for the Celtics will be developing the kind of on-court cohesion to be successful, which is easier said than done when you’re talking about getting nearly a dozen players on the same page in just a few weeks.
 
“We have good chemistry as a group,” said Al Horford. “We still have a ways to go as far as keep getting comfortable with each other and keep figuring out our spots. But we feel good with what we have. Our young guys, it’s been remarkable how quickly they’ve been able to come along and be up to date with everything. And our new guys as well. They’re up to date, they know what we need to do. They understand the game plan. It’s been good.”
 
Players aren’t the only ones eager to get to tonight’s game.
 
“To have to go into Cleveland with that level of intensity, with that level of attention, distraction, etc. is great,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “It’s great to experience that in game one, a tremendous learning experience for our group, so we’re preparing to play as well as we can. And we know that they’re really, really good. But this is..I’m looking forward to it because I want to find out where we are.”
 

'People took it the wrong way,' Isaiah says of his Ainge comments

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'People took it the wrong way,' Isaiah says of his Ainge comments

Isaiah Thomas told Sports Illustrated last week that he "might never talk to Danny [Ainge] again." And he sounded pretty bitter about his trade from the Celtics to the Cavs.

Now, on the "Road Trippin" podcast with new teammate Channing Frye and ex-Cav Richard Jefferson, Thomas, who is out until at least January with a hip injury, said those comments were misunderstood.

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“People took it the wrong way,” Thomas said. “I understand the business, I understand that we’re in position to get traded and sent to other teams and things like that. It’s just how it went down that I didn’t respect. As a man, I feel like if you respected me as much as you say you did, you would have at least informed me about what was going on before it happened. And that’s all I was talking about.

“I’m not tripping off the trade like I got traded to the Cavs and we’re going to win a championship. And at the end of the day, I’m going to be fine with that,” Thomas said. “[Ainge] sent me to an even better situation with a bigger platform. I’m blessed to be in the position, I’m grateful and I’m excited.”

The Cavs host the Celtics tonight in the season opener. 

Jae Crowder, who came to Cleveland from Boston, was also on the podcast and when Frye talked with him about players deserving communication from the front office, Thomas could be heard in the background, saying, “That’s what I’m talking about.”

“I already said what I’m doing," Thomas told Crowder about what he'll do should he run into Ainge. "I’m going to keep it pushing like he kept pushing when he traded me, I’m not going to disrespect him. He’s a man and I’m a man, too. Like, I’m going to go my way. I play for the Cavaliers and that’s what it is.”