Bergeron, Seguin win gold in Spengler Cup

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Bergeron, Seguin win gold in Spengler Cup

Both Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron ended their European experience with a bang.

The two Bruins forwards were part of a talented Team Canada bunch that donned Maple Leaf jerseys and took down HC Davos by a 7-2 score to capture the Spengler Cup on Sunday night. It was the first Spengler Cup title for Canada since 2007 but its 12th since they started playing in the tournament in 1984, and is arguably the most talented team thats ever represented them in the storied European tournament.

Team Canada was led by a pair of goals from Ryan Smyth and John Tavares, but the leading scorers name from the title game had a familiar ring to it.

Bergeron finished with a goal and three assists in the overwhelming victory for Team Canada. The Bruins center has now won a Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold, World Championship Gold, a World Junior championship and a Spengler Cup on his hockey resume. Bergerons rebound goal just 46 seconds into the proceedings set the tone for the rest of his squad, and helped pace Canada to the big victory.

Given his never-ending work ethic and team-oriented persona, its no wonder why overwhelming team success has followed Bergeron everywhere hes gone.

"You never win with one or two guys," said Bergeron to reporters following the victory. "Everyone chipped in and played a part."

Its even impressing his own teammates as Milan Lucic tweeted this on Monday morning:

I'm sure Bergeron is only player with spengler cup world jr gold Olympic gold and a Stanley cup. impressive champion

Milan Lucic (@MilanLucic4) December 31, 2012

Once again the Bs center shared it with his Boston linemate as Seguin tweeted out a picture of the Black and Gold duo celebrating following their victory in Switzerland. Theyre also now both preparing for the long journey back to Boston after spending New Years Eve in Europe, and will both prepare for some kind of resolution to the NHL lockout thats pushed on for four months.

Both Bergeron (29 points in 21 games) and Seguin (40 points in 29 games) experienced great success in the Swiss A League and should be in midseason form if the NHL season begins in the next 2-3 weeks.

Carson Smith 'had to take a step back' in recovery from Tommy John

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Carson Smith 'had to take a step back' in recovery from Tommy John

Neither set-up man the Red Sox traded for under president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith, is throwing off a mound presently.

Smith, on his way back from Tommy John surgery, felt soreness after throwing a bullpen session and is back to doing long toss. 

"He’s had to slow down," Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday. "Once he got on the mound with some aggression and good intensity, was throwing the ball well. And as a result there’s been some soreness that has kind of reared its head. So have had to back him off, back into long toss, he’s thrown out to about 110 feet here today. We’re hopeful that in the very near future that mound progression resumes.

"The unique thing about Tommy John recovery is that every situation is going to be different. In this case, we’ve had to take a step back a little bit and get back to flat ground."

Smith is in Boston as part of a previously scheduled meet-up with the team, Farrell said. When the season began, Smith was rehabbing in Florida. He was put on the 60-day disabled list on Thursday, a formality that opened up a 40-man roster spot for new acquisition Chase d'Arnaud.

Smith was put on the disabled list on April 3, so he can return June 2 at the earliest, but may now need more time.

Thornburg (right shoulder impingement) is building up his long-toss distance.

In other injury news, Brock Holt (vertigo) may begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday or Saturday, Farrell said.

Despite series lead, Celtics lament their inability to hit open shots

Despite series lead, Celtics lament their inability to hit open shots

BOSTON – There are many factors you can point to in the regular season as indicators of what may happen when two NBA  teams meet in the playoffs.

You don't have to be inside the Chicago Bulls' locker room to know that when it comes to the Celtics, they were fully prepared to face a team that took a lot of 3's but wasn’t necessarily shooting them at a high percentage. 
 
That reality has certainly come into focus in Boston’s first-round series against the Chicago, one the C’s lead 3-2 as they continue to try and 3-point shoot their way on to the next round – without giving a damn how many long-range shots it takes to get the job done. 

In five playoff games, Boston is shooting 45.3 percent from the field, which puts them in the middle of the pack (eighth overall) among the 16 teams that qualified for the postseason.
 
But when it comes to the long ball, they are on the back-nine of playoff teams, ranking 10th while shooting 32.4 percent from 3-point range while leading all postseason clubs with 38.7 3-point attempts per game.

In the regular season, the Celtics ranked 16th in field-goal percentage (.454) and 14th in 3-point shooting (35.9 percent) while attempting 33.4 3's per game, which trailed only Houston (40.3) and Cleveland (33.9) this season.  

Boston's shooting from the field mirrors what it did in the regular season, but they know all too well that their shooting percentage in this series should be much higher due to the high number of open shots they have missed. 
 
Take a look at Game 5.
 
In the 108-97 win, the Celtics shot an impressive 53.1 percent when their shots were contested.
 
But let the Bulls have a defensive breakdown like a failed switch, or a guy gets beat for what turns into a great opportunity for Boston to score with no resistance, and instead of burying the open shot, the Celtics have  consistently blown those opportunities. That’s evident by the C’s connecting on just 30.8 percent (12-for-39) of their uncontested field-goal attempts in Game 5.
 
Even the usually reliable Isaiah Thomas had issues making uncontested shots in Game 5 and this series as a whole.
 
He had 24 points and shared game-high scoring honors with Avery Bradley on Wednesday night, but Thomas probably should have led everyone outright in scoring when you consider he had five open shots and wound up missing four of them.
 
That’s why when it comes to Boston’s offense, the last thing Thomas or any of his teammates complains about is getting the shots they want.
 
“I’ve been getting good open looks,” he said. “My teammates have been getting me open. We just got to knock down the shots. Coach [Stevens] keeps saying one day soon we’re going to knock down the open shots that we are missing and it might be [Game 6].”