NHLNHLPA talks recess, will resume Thursday

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NHLNHLPA talks recess, will resume Thursday

There were no deals announced, and there werent even any statements to the media from either the NHL or the NHLPA once the meetings had concluded.
But both sides met at an undisclosed location in New York City for 5 hours on Wednesday as snow blanketed a city still fighting out from under the damage of Hurricane Sandy. The two sides have now met for over 12 hours in the last two days after not speaking at all for 19 consecutive days, and both the league and the players agreed to meet again on Thursday in parts unknown.
"The NHL's negotiating committee met with representatives of the NHLPA for approximately 5-12 hours today," said Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "Meetings are scheduled to resume tomorrow. We do not intend to comment on the substance or subject matter of today's negotiations."
"The NHL and NHLPA met to discuss many of the key issues," said NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr. "We look forward to resuming talks tomorrow."
According to multiple reports, the bulk of Wednesdays session was concerning revenue sharing and the make whole provision proposed by the NHL. The make whole proposal is expected to again be the subject of discussion on Thursday. There were only eight players at the second day of meetings as several players skipped out of New York City ahead of the NorEaster including Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.
Bruins forwards Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic were once again among the players present at the meetings for the second day in a row, and they were joined by David Backes, Chris Campoli, Mathieu Darche, Ron Hainsey, Manny Malhotra and Kevin Westgarth.
One of the really encouraging developments of the last few days is that the two sides have decided to favor clandestine meetings with few information leaks, and that is expected to continue on Thursday. The pattern of silence is expected to continue then.

Hockey fans should be encouraged that both sides have created a healthy, comprehensive dialogue over the last few days. That's pretty self-evident when hour-long sessions had been considered long before this week.

But the NHL and NHLPA are at least a few breakthroughs away from a done deal, and those aren't guaranteed to happen in the next couple of days.

Barnes, Cousins trying to keep 'emotions and energy focused'

Barnes, Cousins trying to keep 'emotions and energy focused'

BOSTON – No one is proclaiming DeMarcus Cousins’ demeanor is all that radically different than past seasons. 

But the volatile nature that has often overshadowed his on-the-court-brilliance, doesn’t seem to shine as brightly as it used to. 

Maybe he’s growing up. 

Maybe he’s finally comfortable with his team. 

And then there’s the almighty dollar which was the incentive for one of his teammates, Matt Barnes, to clean up his act as far as racking up technical fouls and being fined by the league. 

I asked Barnes whether there was a light bulb moment or a teammate or player that helped him get on track and not draw so much attention from officials and the league office. 

“It was all the money I was being fined,” he said. “I think I lost like $600,000 over my career for fines. It was time to kind of wake and say ‘hey, they don’t like you so you have to stick to the book.’”

With Barnes returning to Sacramento (he played for the Kings during the 2004-2005 season), he finds an intense, kindred spirit of sorts in Cousins who like Barnes has had his share of technical and fines handed down by the league office. 

This season, Cousins is the NBA’s leader in technical fouls with six. 

“I’ve always had a good head on my shoulders,” Barnes said. “I’m just a passionate player. I play with my emotion on my sleeve. I think DeMarcus does the same thing. What I’m trying to show him now, we have to keep our emotions and energy focused towards the right things. That could be detrimental to the team if it gets out of hand.”

First-year coach Dave Joerger has been pleased to see how different Cousins is to be around on a daily basis as opposed to how he’s perceived. 

“He gets credit for his talent. He gets credit that he’s improved in the league,” Joerger said. “I think he doesn’t get enough credit for the way that his approach to the game and the way that he’s carrying himself and conducting himself has greatly improved. He’s a good person. Now being with him, I see improvement over the last three years, the way that he goes about his business. I think that’s very positive.”

Game notes: Celtics look to extend Kings’ Boston losing streak to nine

Game notes: Celtics look to extend Kings’ Boston losing streak to nine

BOSTON – Here are a few odds and ends to keep an eye on heading into tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings: 
 
· The Celtics have won eight in a row over the Kings in Boston, with the last loss to Sacramento at the TD Garden coming on Jan. 19, 2007. Current Celtic Gerald Green was in the starting lineup that night. 

· Only six times in franchise history have the Celtics launched 38 or more 3-pointers in a game, four of which came in the month of November this season. 

· Speaking of 3-pointers, 36.2 percent of Boston’s shots are 3s. That ranks fifth in the league behind Houston, Cleveland, Brooklyn and Golden State.

· Don’t be surprised if Avery Bradley gets off to a good start tonight, especially from 3-point range. He’s shooting 59.1 percent on 3s in the first quarter which ranks second in the league. 

· Isaiah Thomas tallied 395 points scored in November, the most by a Celtic since John Havlicek had 406 points in November during the 1971-1972 season. 

· Boston leads the NBA in points scored (46.3 per game) by second-round picks. The Celtics’ second-round picks include Isaiah Thomas; Jae Crowder; Amir Johnson; Jonas Jerebko; Demetrius Jackson and Jordan Mickey.

· The Celtics are 5-0 this season when they outrebound an opponent. 

· Tonight’s game will be Boston’s fifth set of back-to-back games this season. In the first game, they are 3-1 this season. On the second night, they are 2-2.