Kelly proving former coach wrong

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Kelly proving former coach wrong

WILMINGTON, Mass. It seems that things werent quite so lovey dovey between the Ottawa Senators and Chris Kelly when the center made his way to Boston in a trade last February.

The deal was one of several Peter Chiarelli pulled off leading up to the trade deadline that helped the Bruins march their way to the Stanley Cup, and Kelly has settled in as one of the best third line centers in the NHL this season. Hes teamed with fellow trade acquisition Rich Peverley to form a dynamic forward group along with a surging Benoit Pouliot, and theyve been so good former first round pick Jordan Caron hasnt had a chance to crack the lineup lately.

The more you play with one another the more familiar you get with guys' tendencies, and what they do well and dont do so well. You get comfortable with each other. Even off the ice as well and that really helps things on the ice, said Kelly. Im just trying to get the puck wide to both of them to utilize their really good speed and play to their strengths. As a center thats my job to get them the puck in the neutral zone. If you get those guys the puck in the slot theyre going to make it more times than they miss it.

Claude Julien routinely sings the praises of Kellys intelligence, positioning without the puck and leadership capabilities above and beyond the nine goals and stalwart defense provided to the Bruins. That added with Peverley and Pouliot has given the Bs all kinds of depth and scoring from all three lines.

Pouliot has stepped in lately and has been playing better, and his skill level and playmaking abilities are coming around, said Julien. Those three guys are becoming familiar with each other and its helped a lot. Theyre turning into what we hoped we could create, and that they could become a line thats a threat every time they go out there.

But the Bs coach also mentioned some parting comments from departed Ottawa coach Cory Clouston after Kelly was traded last season that were bothersome at the time, and have perhaps added some motivation for the 31-year-old pivot since donning Black and Gold.

I still remember a comment that was made by his former coach last year, said Julien referring to Clouston. He said that when Kelly was traded he wasnt doing much there either. It was a cheap shot I thought at Kells as a guy coming in and giving him a chance to get used to his teammates.

Weve seen what hes capable of doing and he can be a really good player. I think most of his teammates in Ottawa knew that. I think it was obvious they missed him and I think they still do. Hes a pretty good player and a good leader.

Given what Kelly has done with the Bruins since arriving for a well-spent second round pick, it looks like Clouston is actually the one that hasnt done a whole lot since that deal last spring.

Quotes, notes and stars: "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving"

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Quotes, notes and stars: "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving"

NEW YORK -- Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 5-1 loss to the Yankees:

QUOTES

* "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving." David Ortiz, unaccustomed to ovations and cheering at Yankee Stadium.

* "I thought he threw a high number of strikes. There was good swing-and-miss to his changeup and he took the opportunity and showed well." John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "It's just taking good swings in good counts. It's just being a more mature hitter and looking for the right spots to pick and choose." Xander Bogaerts, who has tripled his homer output since last year.

NOTES:

* With his fourth-inning homer, Xander Bogaerts tripled his home run total from last year, improving from seven to 21.

* The season series between the Red Sox and Yankees ended with the Sox winning 11 of the 18 games.

* The Boston bullpen has given up eight runs in the last two nights after allowing only seven this month before Wednesday night.

* The Sox suffered only their second sweep of the season. They were also swept by the Tigers in July.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. has reached base safely in his last 13 games.

* Junichi Tazawa has contributed seven straight scoreless outings.

* Robbie Ross Jr. allowed a season-high three walks -- all in the same inning.

* Henry Owens has a career ERA of 8.53 against the Yankees.

* David Ortiz went hitless (0-for-11) in his final series at Yankee Stadium.

STARS:

1) CC Sabathia

Sabathia turned back the clock and looked like a far younger version of himself, pitching into the eighth and allowed just a run on four hits while striking out eighth.

2) Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury had a hand in the first Yankee run -- walk, stolen base, run scored -- and doubled home the second run in the fifth inning.

3) Xander Bogaerts

The Sox had little offense on the night, but Bogaerts smoked a solo homer in the fourth to account for their only run.

First impressions: Owens improves, Scott scuffles

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First impressions: Owens improves, Scott scuffles

NEW YORK -- First impression from Red Sox' 5-1 loss to the Yankees:

* Henry Owens looked improved over earlier starts.

The lefty took the place of Drew Pomeranz Thursday night and pitched into the fifth inning, allowing two runs on four hits.

Talent evaluators believe that Owens has the stuff necessary to be a back-end starter in the big leagues if -- and that's a big qualifier -- he can command his pitches.

Alas, that's often been an issue for Owens, who averaged 3.4 walks per nine innings last season in Boston and, in four starts earlier this season, a bloated 9.3 walks per nine innings.

On Thursday night, Owens showed far better control, issuing just two walks. Further, he managed to pitch ahead in the count, giving him an advantage against the New York lineup. And mixing his changeup and fastball, he fanned six.

* Robby Scott had a bad night at a bad time.

Scott's in the mix to make the Red Sox post-season roster as a lefty specialist, competing against the likes of Fernando Abad.

He had been effective in most of his previous outings, with no runs allowed in six appearances with five strikeouts and a walk.

But brought in to face Brian McCann with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth, he yielded a single to center.

After getting Aaron Hicks on a flyout, he walked rookie Tyler Austin to force in a run, then heaved a wild pitch that scored another run before retiring Brett Gardner on a flyout.

Keeping in mind that Scott wouldn't be asked to face that many righthanders were he to make the post-season roster, Thursday's outing wasn't helpful in making his case.

* Yoan Moncada is gone for now.

The Red Sox announced that the rookie third baseman had traveled to Fort Myers to prepare for his upcoming assignment in the Arizona Fall League next month.

Expectations were high for Moncada when he joined the Red Sox on Labor Day weekend in Oakland and when he collected multiple hits in each of his first two starts, it appeared as though he would get most of the playing time at third for the remainder of the season.

But not long after, Moncada began chasing breaking balls out of the strike zone and looking very much overmatched at the plate. HE struck out in nine consecutive at-bats.

That doesn't mean that Moncada won't someday -- likely in the not-too-distant future -- be a very good major league player. But it is a reminder of how big a jump it is to go from Double A.

And, it served to point out how remarkable Andrew Benintendi has been in making that same jump.