Hanson ready to bring Slap Shot legacy to Bruins

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Hanson ready to bring Slap Shot legacy to Bruins

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. Christian Hanson said it was a no-brainer to sign with the Bruins this summer.

The son of one of the infamous Hanson Brothers from Slap Shot movie fame donning Black and Gold, and splitting time between the AHL Providence Bruins and the NHL parent club in Boston certainly looks and feels like a marriage made in hockey heaven.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Hanson isnt a foil-wearing brawler like his cinematic dad, David -- a role that he still reprises in rinks all over the world. But hes a big-bodied center capable of playing third and fourth line roles.

Hansons game is winning face-offs, screening goaltenders, playing a tangible physical role and providing occasional offense while paying attention to the two-way game. In other words hes the type of player that Claude Julien will take notice of, and hes the exact kind of forward that will be useful should injuries gnaw away at the NHL roster once the regular season begins.

His best season game in 2009-10 when he played 69 games between the Maple Leafs and the Marlies, and finished with 14 goals and 38 points, and theres no reason to think he cant reproduce that in ProvidenceBoston.

Hanson was just glad to be back on the ice this past weekend for the start of P-Bruins camp after wrist surgery put him out of commission last February.

Its good to be back out there and get my feet and hands underneath me," he said. "Getting into the high temp is something you cant really recreate while skating over the summer. I can contribute a bit offensively, but hopefully everybody sees that Im a guy that goes hard on every shift. I wear my heart on my sleeve and Ill do anything to win. Thats what I feel like the Bruins are all about.

Hanson said signing with the Bruins was a natural fit for him after spending the last few years playing against them while racking up 42 NHL games in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. Hanson wants to fit right in with the organizational philosophy, and his words show he holds a clear understanding of what wearing a Bs sweater is all about.

Theyre an organization that fits my kind of game, said Hanson. You look at their forte and how they play hockey, and theyre a hard-working, honest, blue collar type of team. Thats my game.

It works. They won the Stanley Cup two years ago and theyre contenders every year. You look at the type of players they have: Milan Lucic is the ideal power forward. I think hes the best in the game. They have multiple players that go out there and make you say Holy Cow . . . those guys want to win. Thats what you need to have out there.

As for Bs fans that want to celebrate Hansons family legacy by dressing up as the Hanson Brothers or wearing their trademark eyewear, the center said to bring it on with a wide smile.

He never gets tired of answering questions about his dad, and never stops being proud of him either.

I 100 percent love it, Its one of the greatest things, said Hanson when asked about the Slap Shot legacy. I am so proud of him and what hes done. Right now hes in Vancouver doing a six-games-in-seven-nights tour for charity and theyre playing against local policemen and firefighters for charity.

The movie was made in 1977 and theyve been touring consistently since 1995. Theyve raised tens of millions of dollars over the years. For him to be able to do something he loves while benefiting so many people out there, I couldnt be more proud of him.

So dont forget to put on the foil for the inevitable Hanson Brothers Night that will happen in Providence this season, and watch for the knowing smirk on Christians face while hes playing amidst the Hanson hoopla out on the ice.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Thunder

WATCH: Celtics vs. Thunder

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Celtics-Thunder preview: Another chance against a top-tier team

Celtics-Thunder preview: Another chance against a top-tier team

Hosting the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 25, the Boston Celtics had the perennial title contenders on the ropes with the lead in the fourth quarter only to lose it and the game, 109-103.

On the road at Houston, one of the Western Conference’s top teams, the Celtics led in the fourth quarter and wound up losing their Dec. 5 matchup 107-106 as Al Horford missed what would have been a game-winning lay-up as time expired.

Boston played well in both games, but not well enough to win which unfortunately for the Green Team has been how things have gone when they’ve faced some of the better teams in the NBA this season.

They are hoping to break that trend tonight when they hit the road and face the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder (14-9) come in with a slightly better record than the Celtics (13-10).

Boston’s issue isn’t that they can’t play with the better teams.

It’s their finish that needs work.

Boston has lost five of its six games this season against teams that are currently among the top-4 in their respective conferences. 

Losses to San Antonio and Houston only highlight Boston not being able to make the late-game runs needed to win.

Even in their 101-94 loss to Toronto on Friday, it was the Raptors’ ability to make one clutch play after another when it mattered most, that proved to be what was needed to propel them to victory.

“That’s what good teams do; they execute at the end of the game,” said Celtics guard Avery Bradley. “We just have to execute better and get stops at the end of the game. That’s what it comes down to.”

And while the Celtics have a number of returners from last season, every season brings about a different team and with that, a need to learn how to collectively be successful especially down the stretch in close games.

“We’re learning,” Bradley said following the Raptors loss. “We’re moving on to the next game.”

And that would be the Thunder who come in having won six of their last seven games.

Of course when it comes to the Thunder, everything starts with Russell Westbrook who is on everyone’s short list for league MVP.

He is averaging a triple-double this season with 30.9 points, 11.3 assists and 10.8 rebounds per game.

“He’s amazing,” said Boston’s Terry Rozier who will likely spend some time defending Westbrook tonight. “He’s going to be aggressive. We have to try and find a way to stop that. He’s putting up video game stats. It’s tough but we gotta do something.”

The Celtics will likely lean heavily on Marcus Smart and Bradley, a first-team all-NBA defensive selection last season, when it comes to trying to slow down Westbrook.

“Russell’s a good player,” Bradley said. “I look forward to every matchup. If it’s him, whoever it is, I look forward to it. That’s what this league is about.”

It’s also about growth and development of franchises into title contenders, something the Celtics are eager to continue pushing towards tonight.

Horford spent the previous nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, advancing to the playoffs every season.

He saw first-hand how they went from a team that could barely get into the playoffs, into one that produced four all-stars in one season and had the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Horford saw the loss to Toronto as an example of a really good team doing what great teams do and that’s finding a way to win regardless of how things are going most of the night.

“We made a run early (against Toronto), they stayed with it, didn’t rattle and eventually got over us,” Horford said. “We’re growing as a group.”