The Boston Bruins lineup thats seemingly been set in stoneall week was exactly who took the ice for pregame warm-ups on Saturday night.Lane MacDermid and David Warsofsky are expected to be the healthy scratches andgoaltender Tuukka Rask led the Bruins on the ice denoting that hell get theexpected start for the Black and Gold.
The Finnish netminder is 2-3-1 with a 1.32 goals againstaverage and a .961 save percentage in six career games against the Rags whileHenrik Lundqvist is 19-6-2 with a 1.53 goals against average and .947 savepercentage with six shutouts in 27 career games against the Bruins.
As part of tonights pregame festivities, the Bunker HillPipe Band from Charlestown will play the introductionto the Dropkick Murphys song Cadence to Arms a variation of the famousbagpipe anthem Scotlandof the Brave.
Here is the line that will face off against the New YorkRangers when the puck is dropped at TD Garden at 7 p.m.
Marucs Smart talks with Brian Scalabrine and Mike Gorman about his strong showing at USA basketball camp this summer, and how Danny Ainge has talked with him about expectations for the season
WALTHAM -- From one media station to the next, Al Horford effortlessly moved about during Boston Celtics Media Day.
In between stations, I jokingly asked the nine-year veteran, "Been through a few of these before?"
"A couple," he quipped.
But Monday was different. And every other Monday going forward this season will be different, too, for the longtime Atlanta Hawks forward, who is now a member of the Boston Celtics after they signed him to a four-year, $113 million contract this summer.
With that significant increase in salary comes -- from those outside the Celtics program at least -- a higher level of expectations.
"We’re not asking Al to be anything more than him," said coach Brad Stevens. "He’s a good fit for how we play on offense. He’s a good fit for how we play on defense. He’s a professional. He has a routine. He works hard at his craft. He’s a guy that guys can follow by example."
However, Horford joins a Celtics team that -- since the rebuild began in 2013 -- has yet to win 50 games in a single season or get past the first round of the playoffs.
And while it will certainly be a collective team effort for Boston to achieve those goals, make no mistake about it: Horford is expected to be the man leading the way.
"We need to start building good habits from Day One," Horford said.
Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, is a big fan of Horford’s character and versatility, which has been on display throughout his career.
"As much as anything he’s been very consistent over his career," Ainge said. "Shooting the ball, playing multiple positions. He’s a guy that fits in with our system with big guys handling the ball a lot."
Horford’s new teammate echoed similar sentiments about the four-time All-Star.
And when you listen to his new Celtics teammates talk about him and what he’ll bring to a roster that’s loaded with returnees, there are a couple of common themes that seem to develop.
"He brings leadership; hard work," said Avery Bradley.
Bradley had a chance to spend some time around Jeff Teague, one of Horford’s former teammates in Atlanta.
"He just told me I’m really going to enjoy having him on this team," Bradley said. "He’s going to open the floor for everybody. He’s a great player on the offensive end, defensive end. He knows how to play the game of basketball. To have him be a part of this team, I’m just happy about it."
So is Amir Johnson, who will likely start with Horford in the frontcourt for Boston.
Last season, Johnson was Boston’s primary rim-protecting big man. With the addition of Horford, Johnson won’t be relied on as heavily to be Boston’s last line of defense, which makes his life easier and, more importantly, makes the Celtics a better team defensively.
"[Horford] has so many skills he can contribute to the game," Johnson said. "He can run the floor, block shots, shoot the 3-ball, which is big now. He can do it all. It’ll be a big piece to carry us over the top. We just have to put it all together."