The Bruins made three transactions today, recalling center Paul Carey and defenseman Connor Clifton, while sending left winger Peter Cehlarik back down to AHL Providence.
Carey, 30, is in his second stint with the Bruins organization (he played 17 games for Providence in the 2014-15 season). Boston acquired him from the Ottawa Senators in January for Cody Goloubef. In 21 games for Providence this season, Carey has 14 goals and six assists in 21 games with a plus-5.
In six NHL seasons with four teams, Carey has played 97 games (60 coming in the 2017-18 season) with eight goals and eight assists.
For the 23-year-old Clifton, this will be his second stint of the season with the Bruins in his first NHL campaign. Clifton played nine games from November 16 to December 4, recording a plus-2 and racking up 11 penalty minutes (nine coming in his first game).
Clifton has 27 points (six goals, 21 assists), and a plus-13 in 53 games this season for Providence. He will replace Torey Krug in the lineup for tomorrow night's game against the Winnipeg Jets, who's currently dealing with an upper-body injury.
Cehlarik played in the last six games for the Bruins, recording no points and 10 shots. This is his sixth demotion to Providence this season, and fifth one since January 20.
The Bruins are banged up right now and it showed yet again last night, as defenseman Steven Kampfer returned to the lineup for the first time since December 23.
Kevan Miller missed his eighth straight game last night on the blue line (it's unclear when he'll return), and Matt Grzelcyk was unavailable after taking a nasty hit on his arm the previous game (he could return on the next road trip).
Kampfer logged 12:15 of ice-time over 20 shifts, recording one shot and taking one minor penalty (has 22 penalty minutes in 26 games).
In three games for the Providence Bruins (last one on February 16), Kampfer had one goal and one assist with a plus-3.
Last night's 7-4 loss against the Blue Jackets was the fourth straight game that Bruins left wingers Jake DeBrusk and Marcus Johansson have missed.
DeBrusk blocked a shot off his left foot in last Tuesday's win against the Carolina Hurricanes. The 22-year-old had a tough time during practice the next day, and was wearing a walking boot afterward; DeBrusk then didn't attend the optional morning skate the next morning.
“I don’t believe it’s anything major,” coach Bruce Cassidy said on Thursday about DeBrusk's injury. “It may be a couple days. He might be ready Saturday, it might be a week. I don’t think it’s anything noteworthy that’ll keep him out an extended period of time.”
Though DeBrusk wasn't able to play on the Saturday Cassidy was speaking of (3-2 win vs the Ottawa Senators), he has made solid progress since, as he skated in Boston today.
It's unclear whether or not DeBrusk will be ready to return tomorrow night against the Winnipeg Jets.
DeBrusk has 22 goals and 12 assists in his sophomore season so far, appearing in 57 games.
Johansson, on the other hand, has been sidelined since he left the game early against the Hurricanes after taking a big hit; tests later revealed he had suffered a lung contusion.
Here's the hit that knocked him out of the game:
In four games for the Bruins, Johansson has one assist with a plus-1.
Additional Injury Notes:
In addition to DeBrusk and Johansson, the Bruins have some other players nursing injuries. It all starts with David Pastrnak, who's missed the last 14 games with a thumb injury, although he's likely to return soon.
Kevan Miller has also missed eight straight games now with an upper-body injury, not playing since February 23; it's uncertain when he will be back.
Matt Grzelcyk did not play last night against Columbus after leaving the previous game against the Penguins following this play:
X-rays came back negative on Grzelcyk's arm, which is great news for the Bruins as they may have avoided a much more serious injury.
Grzelcyk could return to the lineup sometime on the Bruins' four-game road trip which begins on Tuesday.
Finally, as announced early this evening, Torey Krug has been listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
According to Cassidy, Krug was "not feeling great" after taking a hit last night against the Blue Jackets; Krug did not practice today and will not play tomorrow against the Jets.
So there you have it. DeBrusk, Grzelcyk, Johansson, Krug, Miller, Pastrnak. All out.
Celtics Can't Sweep Four-Game Road Trip And Lose To Clippers 140-115, Most Points Allowed By Boston Since 1994
A 4-0 road trip was not to be on Monday night, as the Los Angeles Clippers blew out the Celtics 140-115 at Staples Center to sweep the two-game season series for the first time since 2014-15.
Lou Williams scored a game-high 34 points (and 13 in the fourth including three lay-ups) on 14-for-20 shooting to become the NBA's all-time leading scorer off the bench.
Williams, 32, entered the game needing 28 points to break Dell Curry's record of 11,147 points off the bench.
The Clippers' 140 points were the second-most they've scored in a game since 2000. For the Celtics, it's the first time since April 1994 (142 against the Washington Bullets) they've allowed at least 140 points.
Kyrie Irving recorded the game's only double-double (his 18th of the season), playing a game-high 34 minutes with 18 points and 11 assists.
Following the game, Irving told reporters how excited he was to be getting out of LA:
Jayson Tatum did not play in the game due to shoulder soreness. It's just the third time in his two-year career he's missed a game and the first time because of an injury.
The Celtics (41-27) return to TD Garden for a three-game homestand which begins tomorrow night against the Sacramento Kings. After that, they'll take on the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday and the Denver Nuggets (in Isaiah Thomas' return to Boston) on Monday.
The Bruins' 19-game point streak (second longest in franchise history) came to an end on Sunday, as they lost 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.
It was the Bruins' first regulation loss since January 19, putting an end to their 15-0-4 run.
David Krejci (19th) and John Moore (4th) scored for the Bruins. For Krejci, he made a bit of personal history:
Boston was unable to start a new point streak last night (Tuesday), as the Columbus Blue Jackets came up with a 7-4 win at Nationwide Arena.
After trailing 5-1 not even halfway into the second period, the Bruins scored three goals prior to the end of the period to pull within a goal. Boston was unable to complete the comeback though, as the Jackets scored on the power-play with 7:39 to go before an empty-netter in the final minute to seal the win.
Boone Jenner recorded his first career hat trick for Columbus, notching the Jackets' third, fifth, and seventh goals on the night; Jenner now has 15 goals this season.
Patrice Bergeron (26th), Brad Marchand (29th, 30th), and Chris Wagner (12th) accounted for Boston's goals.
With 6:39 remaining in the second period, Charlie McAvoy and Artemi Panarin got into a pretty solid tilt:
Advantage: McAvoy. For both contestants, this was their second career NHL fight and first for Panarin since November 2016; McAvoy last fought in December 2017.
The Bruins (42-19-9) travel to Winnipeg to play the Jets (40-25-4) tomorrow before returning home on Saturday night for another match against Columbus.
Michael Bennett Informs Pats That He'll Remain In Locker Room During The National Anthem This Season
Newly-acquired Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett has been one of the NFL's most outspoken players in recent memory, and he intends to keep it that way in New England.
Bennett, who spoke at Princeton University on Monday, informed fans he plans on staying in the locker room during the National Anthem for the upcoming season—a conversation which he said he has had already with Patriots executives.
"I explained to them that my integrity means everything," Bennett said. "I think they respect that about me, they respect who I am as an individual."
I am very much for standing for the flag, but I understand why some players still elect to kneel. While I don't agree with that approach for the overall cause, it's fully within their first amendment rights to do so, and I respect Bennett more for choosing to leave his politics in the locker room rather than on the field for the upcoming season.
The Patriots have had a busy start to the offseason, as they've lost two of their top free agents to free agency in the past few days—defensive end Trey Flowers and offensive tackle Trent Brown.
Flowers, 25, has agreed to a five-year, $90 million ($56M guaranteed) deal with the Detroit Lions, reuniting with former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.
Brown, also 25, is headed to the Oakland Raiders after agreeing to a four-year, $66 million ($36.75M guaranteed) deal with the team on Monday, becoming the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.
Prior to word of Flowers and Brown agreeing to their new deals, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted out the Patriots' intent on acquiring Michael Bennett from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for swapped draft picks in the 2020 draft.
The deal has since been completed.
Bennett, 33 and a 10-year NFL veteran, will replace Flowers as one of the Patriots' defensive ends—and at a much cheaper cost. Arriving with two years left on his current deal, Bennett is owed $6.2 million this season and $7 million in 2020.
Much like the Celtics, I neglected to write about the Bruins for an entire week. But here I am now, making up for it.
Last Saturday's 1-0 win against the New Jersey Devils on Brad Marchand's early goal in his 666th game was the last recap I wrote. That win pushed the Bruins' point streak to 16 games.
Now, the streak's at 19 games, following three more wins to wrap up a perfect 6-0 homestand.
Here were the match-ups and scores of Boston's last three games:
Tuesday, 3/5: 4-3 overtime win vs Carolina Hurricanes
Thursday, 3/7: 4-3 win vs Florida Panthers
Saturday, 3/9: 3-2 win vs Ottawa Senators
Boston is now four games shy of tying their longest point streak in franchise history at 23 games, set during the 1940-41 season. Additionally, their perfect homestand marked just the second time they've swept one of at least six games in franchise history (last season).
On Tuesday, David Krejci netted the overtime winner against the Hurricanes, who were playing in vintage Hartford Whaler throwback jerseys:
Brandon Carlo had a very notable game, recording a career-high nine shots on goal, breaking his previous high of five (had done twice). Carlo didn't have more than four shots in any game this season, which he'd done four times.
Thursday may have been the win of the season so far. Trailing in the final minute with 37 seconds to go, Matt Grzelcyk tied it up on the power-play with second goal of the season. 30 seconds later, Patrice Bergeron sealed it, scoring for the second time on the night and 25th time on the season:
The win was a historic one:
Yesterday, the Senators were in town; and for the third straight game, the Bruins had to come from behind to win. Ottawa scored the first goal of the third period to take a 2-1 lead, before Chris Wagner (11th) and David Krejci (18th) ended any Senator hopes at a win. Wagner's goal came 11:23 to go, and Krejci's came with 45 seconds left:
The Bruins are now 42-17-9, 15 points behind the Lightning for first place, and four points ahead of the Maple Leafs for third place in the East.
Boston looks to extend their streak to 20 tonight in Pittsburgh as they take on the Penguins (36-23-9) at 7:30 pm ET.
NOTABLE BRUINS ON RECENT HOMESTAND:
Patrice Bergeron: 4 goals, 3 assists, plus-4
Brandon Carlo: 0 goals, 2 assists, plus-7, 21 shots
David Krejci: 4 goals, 2 assists, plus-4
Brad Marchand: 4 goals, 6 assists, plus-4
Chris Wagner: 2 goals, 1 assist, plus-2
It's been a while since I've written about the Celtics (and Bruins, that article's coming next), so sorry about that. I took a few days off from writing altogether, really just a mental break to relax. Back at it though. Let's dig in.
My last Celtics game recap came one week ago today, from their March 1 win against the Wizards. Since then, Boston has gone 3-1, including winning the last three games.
It began with a 115-104 home loss last Sunday against the Houston Rockets, as James Harden torched the Celtics for a game-high 42 points. Coming off a win to snap their four-game losing streak, fans were discouraged as the team was unable to show much fight against the Rockets and make it two straight wins.
But then something changed over the next three games in California.
On Tuesday, the team was in Oakland to face the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Of course, the Warriors were the clear favorites to win in their own building. But the Celtics came in and made an absolute statement, never trailing for the entire game and winning 128-95 to give Golden State their worst home loss in the Steve Kerr era.
The Celtics were back in action again the very next night in Sacramento, playing the Kings. Could it be two wins in two nights? The game was close for the whole 48 minutes, tied in the final seconds until Gordon Hayward played the role of hero:
Hayward did indeed redeem himself, as just prior to the shot, he fouled Buddy Hield in the act of shooting a three. Hield knocked down all three shots, setting the stage for Hayward's heroics in Boston's 111-109 win.
Next, it was on to Staples Center yesterday to face the lowly Lakers, and the Celtics made easy work of them, winning 120-107, only getting outscored in the fourth quarter.
So here we are, the Celtics (41-26) have won three straight games in California, and currently trail the Pacers by a-game-and-a-half for third place in the Eastern Conference.
All year, the Celtics have been wildly inconsistent. It's been a frustrating year for the players, and fans; but thankfully, it seems like the team has FINALLY found their rhythm.
Blowing out the defending champions was a turning point for the Celtics. They showed what they're capable of when they're playing together, playing the right way, playing Celtic basketball. That win definitely must have re-energized the team and given them confidence that will hopefully translate for a couple more months, at least.
All year, the Celtics have had the talent on paper. It hasn't translated into the results everyone was hoping for, but they're getting hot at the right time.
One more game at the Staples Center tomorrow to play the Clippers, then the Celtics return back to TD Garden for three games.
Time to get this W against the Clippers and make it a perfect Cali road trip. Here we fuckin' go!
Former Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is returning to the American League East as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays after finalizing a one-year deal with the team yesterday.
The deal is worth $3 million, according to MLB.com's Zak Kerr.
"He's here to start," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said about Buchholz.
Buchholz, 34, went 81-61 with a 3.96 ERA in 206 games (188 starts) for the Red Sox over ten seasons (2007-16).