At last, a win C's feel good about

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At last, a win C's feel good about

MILWAUKEE There was no way to ignore the jubilation surrounding the Celtics' locker room following their 96-92 win over the Bucks.

For a team that tries to treat each win as just another successful night, Saturday's victory over Milwaukee was more than that.

It was the first game this season that the Celtics walked off the floor and actually felt good about how they played.

Sure, there were some rough patches along the way and yes, the lulls when Kevin Garnett takes a break were still apparent.

But the positives gained from Saturday far outweigh any of the setbacks experienced as the C's (3-3) are back to .500.

"This is more than a 'W' here," said Boston's Jason Terry who got his first start of the season and responded with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting. "This is one that can propel you to good things."

Terry added, "this is Celtics basketball."

Even Coach Doc Rivers had to acknowledge that Saturday's win, while still counting as just one of what Boston hopes will be many, was indeed a special one.

"It was a good win because it was a hard win," Rivers said. "I told them, 'it's one win.' We just have to keep learning each other. When you bring in eight new guys to a basketball team, you're going to have some struggles. And we're struggling, and still won the game. That's good."

And it is that struggle to find a way to win - and actually win - that may be just what this team needs right now.

"Coach Rivers has talked the last three days about grinding it out," Terry said. "Whatever it takes to get the job done. Its not going to be pretty."

But for a team in transition, a team that's still searching for an identity, finding ways to win on the road - pretty or not pretty - is indeed a sign of growth.

And that kind of growth is hard to ignore.

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.