Marchand, Rolston switch wings, looking for results

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Marchand, Rolston switch wings, looking for results

TORONTO It was pretty clear that Brad Marchand was uncomfortable with the line combinations when Tyler Seguin was slotted in with Milan Lucic and David Krejci.

The Bruins agitator was happy to be skating with Patrice Bergeron and Brian Rolston, but it means Marchand moving over to the right wing to allow the 39-year-old Rolston to play on the left side of the line.

That forced Marchand to his off-wing and it was pretty clear in the loss to the Ottawa Senators last week the lines first game together that he wasnt able to create and handle the puck with his normal amount of speed and skill. So Marchand and Rolston put their heads together, and switched sides to allow Marchand back into his happy zone on Bergerons left side.

The line hasnt produced points since reconfiguring things, but Marchand admitted things feel a lot closer to normal since they made the adjustment. Rolston did pick up his first point as a member of the Bruins when he assisted on Milan Lucics power play goal over the weekend, and his minutes have picked up drastically as the Bruins work into the proper shape to handle 15 minutes plus per game.

Weve had some decent games. You need to adjust and find some chemistry. Its about building and establishing that chemistry as a line, said Patrice Bergeron. Weve got to find a way to score now. We know we good we are, how good we can be and how good we need to be. Theres a lot of difference between those three words.

With any new line combinations it can take a couple of games to get things clicking at a good rate, and the BergeronMarchandRolston trios play has been trending upward for each of their first three contests together. They finished with a combined five shots on net and another nine that were either blocked or missed the net, and its clear the familiarity and comfort level is growing.

It just took a little bit to get used to each other out there. Were new linemates. It was just getting comfortable. We kind of switched around on the wings and we were reading off each other better. Were talking a lot out there and on the bench, said Marchand. Were just trying to get comfortable there and its showing on the ice. We had a lot more chances in that last game against the Rangers. We werent able to get any of them to go in, but we can keep building on that and eventually get a couple of goals.

The increased chatter on the bench and shots created on the ice are both good things, but a few goals scored over the next couple of games would go a long way toward making the new line a success story.

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 

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“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”