Julien likes what he sees out of P-Bruins


Julien likes what he sees out of P-Bruins

One byproduct of the NHL lockout has been the extended opportunity big club officials have enjoyed watching their AHL farm team. Bruins coach Claude Julien has watched plenty of Providence Bruins games over the last few months, and he really likes what hes seen of the team while theyve piled up a 5-0-1 record over their last six games.

The energy is rising, the offense is surging and the points are piling up for the P-Bruins as theyve climbed to second place in the Atlantic Division behind the Worcester Sharks.

Its obvious that theyre playing better as a team now. At the beginning of the year there wasnt that spunk or energy that theyre showing right now, said Julien. That happens. Sometimes it happens at the beginning of the year, sometimes in the middle of the year and sometimes it comes at the end. But you can tell theyre in synch right now and theyre excited to get out on the ice.

So what has specifically caught Juliens eye as the Bruins officials keep a list in mind of players that will be invited to a short NHL training camp should the lockout end in the next few weeks?

Its not just one player. Its the whole team, said Julien. That third or fourth is contributing a lot. If its not on the scoresheet then its on the ice creating momentum. The good players have been good players for us. Chris Bourque has really picked up his game and hes been really good. Ryan Spooner is coming along. Jordan has been doing a great job getting in front of the net more, being physical and staying on top of the puck. Some of the things weve asked him to do, hes doing very well.

I think the whole back end on defense has been really good as a whole. I cant talk about one guy because the whole defense has played well at their position. As far as goaltending, what more can you say about Niklas Svedberg? Hes been outstanding in my mind. I see a goaltender from training camp to now thats been a different player. Hes kept them in some games when theyve had slow starts.

The names like Bourque, Spooner and Caron are to be expected as theyve put up offensive statistics in an improved AHL. Svedberg is the surprise after signing as an undrafted European free agent: hes 10-4-1 with a 2.34 goals against average and a .921 save percentage in his first 16 AHL games while adjusting to the North American game.

It should be an interesting group of names indeed if a handful of P-Bruins are called to Boston for a quick audition in the coming weeks.

Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls


Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls

Tonight’s pregame number is 133. That’s the total number of made 3-point field goals made last season by the players starting for the Bulls tonight. Whatever the Bulls reasons for signing Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade were this offseason, floor spacing was not one of them.

Wade’s career mark of 28.4 percent from distance is the third-worst percentage among active players with 600+ career attempts, while Rondo’s 28.9 career 3-pt FG% is seventh worst. And, for what it’s worth, the new-look Bulls shot 31.8 percent from beyond the arc (21st in the NBA) this preseason, while hitting 7.7 3-pointers per game. 

Despite allowing 15 3’s last night vs the Nets, perimeter defense should once again be a strength for the Celtics. Last season, the Celtics were fourth in the NBA with an opponent 3-pt FG% of 33.6. They were 38-15 when holding opponents to eight or fewer 3’s. 

With the NBA continuing to trend towards more 3-point shooting, it will be interesting to see how Fred Hoiberg’s offense looks this season, and especially tonight vs the Celtics.

Thursday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/report: Edelman still limited


Thursday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/report: Edelman still limited

FOXBORO -- Even though Dion Lewis returned to practice on Thursday, there were no changes to the Patriots injury report.

Because Lewis remains on the physically unable to perform list, he does not count against the active roster, and the team is not required to list his participation level following practices. The Patriots have three weeks to activate Lewis, and whenever they do, he'll be eligible to show up on the participation report.

There were no changes to New England's injury report, meaning that tight end Martellus Bennett, receiver Julian Edelman and linebacker Jamie Collins all continue to be limited. Edelman has been limited with a foot injury since before his team's Week 6 matchup with the Browns. Despite just nine catches for 65 yards in Tom Brady's first two games back from suspension, Edelman bounced back against the Steelers and reeled in nine passes for 60 yards.

The Bills continue to be hampered by a variety of ailments. Linebacker Zach Brown, who almost single-handedly ruined Patriots plans back in Week 4, missed Thursday's workout with an illness, as did guard Richie Incognito. Running back LeSean McCoy missed practice for the second straight day with a hamstring injury, and receiver Marquis Goodwin was out with a concussion. 

Here's Thursday's full practice participation/injury report for the Patriots and Bills:


TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)


LB Zach Brown (illness)
TE Cordy Glenn (ankle)
WR Marquise Goodwin (concussion)
G Richie Incognito (illness)
RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring)
S Aaron Williams (neck)

DT Corbin Bryan (shoulder)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring)
RB Mike Gillislee (foot)
LB Jerry Hughes (hand)
LB Lerentee McCray (knee)
G John Miller (shoulder)
WR Robert Woods (foot)

T Seantreal Henderson (back)

LB Lorenzo Alexander (non-injury related)
DT Adolphus Washington (illness)