Valentine: Sox showing 'fantastic' attitudes


Valentine: Sox showing 'fantastic' attitudes

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Bobby Valentine is starting his first spring with the Red Sox and wasn't at all responsible for the team's putrid September -- on and off the field.

But even Valentine recognizes that a team can't run from its past.

"Whether or not a team wins a championship or comes in last,'' he said, "there's always concern about how the attitude will develop in a new year, considering there were some major issues last year at the end and major changes this year at the beginning.

"I'm concerned about (how) the attitude (is going to be). But attitude filters down and when you see Josh Beckett and Jon Lester here, they're the top of the pyramid as far as the pitchers are concerned. And they came early and they've been showing fantastic attitudes. So far, the attitude with the pitching staff seems to be filtering down.''

Valentine will address the full squad of players later in the week and was asked whether he intends to broach the subject of the disappointing finish and the subsequent reports of clubhouse misbehavior.

"I definitely believe that actions speak louder than words,'' said Valentine. "The actions that I've watched the last five or six days are speaking volumes. I think that our fans will want to see more than they want to hear. But I think they need to hear something also.

"I don't know if I'm going to address it. I hear the first day, state-of-the-union is a multi-(person event), that there's a lot of talk going on that day (with the general managers and owners also speaking). I'm not sure, if I'm last up, that I'm going to have to say something. The last thing I want to do is be redundant. But I want to be emphatic
and I think everyone wants to be emphatic. And if it needs to be said again, I will.''

As Valentine pointed out, many of the 63 players in camp were unaffiliated with the mess last fall. Many were in the minor leagues while still others (Andrew Bailey, Nick Punto, Ryan Sweeney, Mark Melancon) were with other organizations.

"I'd hate to paint all of them with the same brush,'' Valentine said. "Many of them have no reason to feel that they need to erase anything of their past. As fas a fresh start is concerned, absolutely. This is 2012. This is the year that could be the most special year of
their life. That is definitely a message that I want them to understand, regardless of what happened last year -- whether they were in Korea, Boston or the National League West.''

Morning Skate: Robust trade market for D-men


Morning Skate: Robust trade market for D-men

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while prepping for Claude Bowl II.

*It’s going to be a robust trade market for defensemen with names such as Jack Johnson, Dion Phaneuf and Oliver Ekman-Larsson highlighting the group that’s available. Paul Martin will be in that select company if he clears through waivers and perhaps Niklas Hjalmarsson will as well with many teams holding D-men they’re willing to part with.

*The Buffalo Sabres apparently want four assets in any deal for rental Evander Kane that includes a draft pick, a prospect and an NHL roster player, and it’s hard to believe anybody is going to do that for a perennial underachiever who's never even scored 60 points in a season before.

*A tough end to the Andrew Cogliano iron-man streak as he’s been suspended for a couple of games after an incident last weekend.

*Brent Burns is the envy of many blueliners around the league because of his hard, accurate shot, which isn’t scoring him as many goals this season

*Year-round Las Vegas resident Deryk Engelland has been rewarded for being a member of the Golden Knights with a one-year contract extension.

*It sounds like the Philadelphia Flyers have got Shayne Gostisbehere thinking more about defense after some up-and-down moments last season in his sophomore effort.

*For something completely different: A profile on a UFC champion and a firefighter all at the same time. Sounds like an interesting dude.


Acciari misses Bruins practice with upper-body injury


Acciari misses Bruins practice with upper-body injury

BRIGHTON, Mass – Noel Acciari was in and out of the Bruins lineup in the Monday afternoon loss to the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury and the fourth-line grinder was missing from the practice ice on Tuesday as well. 

Acciari has been able to stay healthy the past few months while helping to establish Boston’s fourth line and has added to his hard-hitting style of play with six goals in 28 games this season.

But there's been a litany of injuries the past few seasons given the physical pounding the 5-foot-10, 208-pounder takes given his rugged style of play. This current injury limited him to just 6:05 of ice time in an overtime loss to the Stars. Still, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was optimistic that Acciari would be able to suit up against the Canadiens on Wednesday night in Claude Julien’s return to TD Garden.

“Jake DeBrusk was under the weather and so was Kevan Miller, so they stayed home,” said Cassidy of Acciari, who has missed 14 games this season mainly due to a broken finger suffered blocking a shot on opening night. “Noel Acciari has a bit of an upper-body injury and it affected his minutes [Monday vs. Dallas]. He’s kind of day-to-day. I suspect that he would play tomorrow, but we’ll have a better idea on [Wednesday] morning.”

Both DeBrusk and Miller are expected to be fine to play against the Habs in their rematch from last weekend this time on Boston's home ice. Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the players that were on the ice for Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena: