Bergeron, Seguin win gold in Spengler Cup

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Bergeron, Seguin win gold in Spengler Cup

Both Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron ended their European experience with a bang.

The two Bruins forwards were part of a talented Team Canada bunch that donned Maple Leaf jerseys and took down HC Davos by a 7-2 score to capture the Spengler Cup on Sunday night. It was the first Spengler Cup title for Canada since 2007 but its 12th since they started playing in the tournament in 1984, and is arguably the most talented team thats ever represented them in the storied European tournament.

Team Canada was led by a pair of goals from Ryan Smyth and John Tavares, but the leading scorers name from the title game had a familiar ring to it.

Bergeron finished with a goal and three assists in the overwhelming victory for Team Canada. The Bruins center has now won a Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold, World Championship Gold, a World Junior championship and a Spengler Cup on his hockey resume. Bergerons rebound goal just 46 seconds into the proceedings set the tone for the rest of his squad, and helped pace Canada to the big victory.

Given his never-ending work ethic and team-oriented persona, its no wonder why overwhelming team success has followed Bergeron everywhere hes gone.

"You never win with one or two guys," said Bergeron to reporters following the victory. "Everyone chipped in and played a part."

Its even impressing his own teammates as Milan Lucic tweeted this on Monday morning:

I'm sure Bergeron is only player with spengler cup world jr gold Olympic gold and a Stanley cup. impressive champion

Milan Lucic (@MilanLucic4) December 31, 2012

Once again the Bs center shared it with his Boston linemate as Seguin tweeted out a picture of the Black and Gold duo celebrating following their victory in Switzerland. Theyre also now both preparing for the long journey back to Boston after spending New Years Eve in Europe, and will both prepare for some kind of resolution to the NHL lockout thats pushed on for four months.

Both Bergeron (29 points in 21 games) and Seguin (40 points in 29 games) experienced great success in the Swiss A League and should be in midseason form if the NHL season begins in the next 2-3 weeks.

Brown taking opportunities with Celtics as they come

Brown taking opportunities with Celtics as they come

BOSTON -- Compared to most high draft picks, Jaylen Brown doesn’t log a ton of minutes for the Boston Celtics.
 
Playing on an experienced team with legit hopes of making a deep playoff run, rookies seeing limited minutes is a given.
 
Knowing playing time will come in a limited supply, Brown understands all too well the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity he gets on the floor.
 
He did just that on Saturday in Boston’s 107-106 win over Philadelphia, and he hopes to do more of the same on Monday when the Celtics take on the Houston Rockets.
 
When you look at Brown’s stat line, nothing about it looks impressive. He played 15 minutes, scored two points with one rebound and one blocked shot.
 
But beyond the stats was the fact that he was on the floor for seven minutes in the fourth quarter in a close back-and-forth game on the road. Rookies on the floor in crunch time is not the norm in the NBA.
 
“It means a lot,” Brown told reporters after Saturday’s win. “I try to be as best I can be for my team; try to put my best foot forward every night out.”
 
And he did just that on Saturday.
 
In the fourth quarter with the Celtics leading 87-83, Brown blocked a Gerald Henderson shot that wound up in the hands of Jae Crowder. Moments later, Jonas Jerebko hit a 3-pointer that gave the Celtics their largest lead of the game, 90-83.
 
And just two minutes prior to the blocked shot, he was out in transition following an Isaiah Thomas steal and threw down a dunk that pushed Boston’s lead to 86-83 with 7:11 to play.
 
Brown acknowledged making the most of those opportunities bodes well for him and the franchise.
 
“It’s great for our team in general; not just for me,” Brown said. “Those plays helped us to pull the game out in the end. So I’m glad we got the win. I think we should have played a little better than we did.”
 
The continued pursuit of self-improvement is a hallmark of what Brown’s focus and desire are at this stage of his pro career. He has talked often about not wanting to be just one of the best in this draft class but also one of the best in the NBA overall.
 
But he’s also learned that to get there takes time and experience developing both physically and mentally. Part of that mental growth entails having the right approach to games.
 
“Usually you try to tell yourself not to mess up,” Brown said. “Now that I’m getting more comfortable, it’s just play basketball, bring energy, things like that; come out and do what you’re supposed to do. A lot of times you try to tell yourself to not mess up and it’s counteractive; just come out and play basketball and have fun.”
 
And by doing so the minutes will come.
 
“You can’t control that. I just have to control what I can control,” Brown said. “I trust coach (Brad Stevens); I trust my coaching staff. I have to come out and in the minutes I get, play my hand as best I can and take advantage of what I do get and impact this team as much as possible.”
 
This season, Brown is averaging 4.8 points, 2.0 rebounds while shooting 41.9 percent from the field.

Zolak: Bennett helps with Gronk loss, but Pats need to manage him

Zolak: Bennett helps with Gronk loss, but Pats need to manage him

Scott Zolak said on Pregame Live Sunday that the Patriots are better-suited to survive a season-ending injury to Rob Gronkowski than they were a season ago. 

Zolak said that given the health of Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and the signing of Chris Hogan, the offense has more stability at other positions to make up for the loss of Gronkowski, whose season is over due to back surgery. As for the tight end position, Zolak said he feels the Patriots traded for Martellus Bennett to protect themselves against scenarios like the one they currently face. 

“This offseason they [acquired] Martellus Bennett, I think for this very reason: to prepare for what really happens year after year, is some sort of issue comes up with Rob Gronkowski and you have to play without him,” Zolak said.

Bennett was questionable with an ankle injury for this week’s game, but is expected to play. Asked about the health of Bennett, Zolak said that he believes the tight end is good to play, but that his importance to the team with Gronkowski out means the Pats will need to be careful. 

“I think he’s healthy enough to get through about 30-35 snaps,” Zolak said. “They’ve got to balance him now moving forward.”