Barbosa to miss game vs. Warriors

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Barbosa to miss game vs. Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO The Leandro Barbosa reunion will have to wait at least one more game.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Barbosa was expected to arrive in town today, but it won't be in time for him to suit up for tonight's game against Golden State.

Barbosa has missed the last three games for the C's while attending to a personal matter.

The plan now is to have him available for the C's final West coast game at Sacramento on Sunday.

"We tried to get him for (tonight's game), but he won't make it," Rivers said.

His return can not come soon enough for a Celtics team that could use a spark right now. They come into tonight's game having lost five of their last seven which includes a 106-77 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

That setback has the C's (14-14) now on the verge of slipping below .500 for the first time since Nov. 9.

Making matters worst is that they're playing a Golden State team that has emerged as one of the unexpected powers out West this season.

They come in with a 20-10 record, have a pair of up-and-coming players delivering on an all-star level (David Lee and Stephon Curry) and have been extremely tough to beat in their building.

"They're really good," Rivers said. "They play big and small. They're extremely deep."

The C's will be a bit deeper on Sunday at Sacramento when, if as expected, Barbosa becomes available to play.

Boston certainly could have used him against Golden State, a team that Barbosa has averaged 14.2 points against throughout his NBA career.

"We'll go with what we have," said C's guard Jason Terry. "Of course you want all your guys to be able to play, but hey, we have to make due with what we have and just keep grinding, keep trying to find ways to win games because in the end, that's really what all this is about; figuring out how to win games."

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.