Emotional night for KG, McHale

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Emotional night for KG, McHale

HOUSTON As the final seconds ticked away in Boston's 101-89 loss to Houston on Friday, Doc Rivers made his way towards Rockets head coach and former Celtic Kevin McHale.

The two embraced.

A similar scene played out moments later between McHale, whose 23-year-old daughter Sasha passed away last month, and Courtney Lee who played for McHale in Houston last season.

In between those two moments, there was McHale embracing Kevin Garnett who came into the league in Minnesota when McHale was part of the Minnesota Timberwolves' brain trust.

The embrace was long, the kind of hug you give an old friend who is hurting and there's nothing you can do to ease the pain other than to let him know you care.

McHale won the game, but he was fighting a losing battle with his emotions as the two old friends continued their embrace, each nodding to the other as words were spoken that only those two men can fully understand and appreciate.

Not surprisingly, McHale was asked about that moment during his post-game press conference.

"KG and I, we go way back," said McHale, who pulled the trigger on the multi-player deal that sent Garnett to Boston in 2007. "There will always be a special place in my heart for Kevin. We spent a ton of time together when he was a young guy. It was very nice."

Seeing McHale for the first time since the passing of McHale's daughter made the day that much rougher for Garnett emotionally.

Like most parents throughout this nation, Garnett was also deeply saddened by the deaths of nearly two dozen school-age children in Newtown, Conn. Friday morning when an armed man opened fire in the school and reportedly killed 27 people - most of them children.

"I'm all over the place. Today has been a crazy day," Garnett said. "I just want to say my condolences go out to the families in Connecticut. Anybody that has kids, niece, any kind of siblings, any kind of someone they love, it's just been a tough day. I just want to get it off my chest and say my condolences to all the parents out there. I seen Kevin (McHale) and had an emotional moment with him. So it's been an emotional roller coaster today."

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.