Peverley returns with a vengence

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Peverley returns with a vengence

BOSTON -- Rich Peverley admitted there was a little bit of adjustment after missing the last two games because of an undisclosed injury.

Keyword: Little.

Peverley, who had practiced but not played in a game since November 5, wasted hardly any time getting back into action on Saturday night during the Bruins' 6-2 win over the Sabres at TD Garden.

He was skating well tonight and he didnt seem like he missed a beat, said coach Claude Julien. He was using his outside speed, carrying it deep into the Buffalo zone, and thats what we needed to do. We needed to get that puck in deep and he was able to do that a lot of times under control. I liked his game. For having missed the last two, I thought he came back real strong.

Peverley scored the Bs first goal, which tied the game at 1-1, less than eight minutes into the second period. In the third period, he assisted on a goal by Chris Kelly.

Not a bad nights work for someone who had been eagerly waiting to get back in action.

You are playing on adrenaline because you want to get back in, he said. You want to use your assets to help the team wherever that may be. I dont like sitting so its great to be able to help the team whatever way I can.

Peverley was mum on the details of what had kept him sidelined -- Theyre just calling it an undisclosed minor injury, he said -- but did note that he felt close to 100 percent following the game. He also said the decision to play was mutual between him and the medical staff.

Another mutual agreement? The excitement shared by both Peverley and his teammates for him to be back on the ice.

He was huge, said Brad Marchand. He had a great goal tonight to get us going and then another great play on Kells goal. For him to come back the way he did and have a big game tonight, it was huge for us. Hes been able to jump in and go up and down the lineup and everywhere he plays, he contributes to the line and really carries his weight. Hes been a great player for us so far and it was huge having him back tonight. It really helped us out.

Echoed Tyler Seguin: He was really good tonight. He stepped in and played a really big part of our win tonight. Obviously his goal and even better his pass, just his all-around complete game tonight. He didnt waste any time getting back in his groove.

While being sidelined for the past two games has given Peverley a chance to watch his team from a different perspective -- I think when we play simple, keep the game simple, things are positive for us and it keeps showing in our game, he assessed -- nothing compares to the vantage point he has on the ice.

You realize that you want to be in there and you want to do what you can, he said. It gives you that much more eagerness to want to get in and play.

Report: White Sox scouting Red Sox' minor league affiliates for possible trade

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Report: White Sox scouting Red Sox' minor league affiliates for possible trade

Though the chances are slim the Red Sox and White Sox make a blockbuster trade before the MLB trade deadline, Chicago is at least sending resources to Boston's minor league affiliates to scout their prospects.

ESPN Boston's Scott Lauber first reported Friday the White Sox were scouting Double-A Portland (home of Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi), but Ken Rosenthal adds they were also at their Single-A and Triple-A affiliates.

Though one would assume the Red Sox are seeking prospects for a potential return on Chris Sale, Rosenthal thinks it could be "for reasons other than Sale" and that some believe the White Sox are "simply laying groundwork for off-season trade."

Stay tuned for more.

Cooper carted off, reportedly dealing with plantar fascia injury

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Cooper carted off, reportedly dealing with plantar fascia injury

FOXBORO – There was some offensive line attrition this morning at the first full-contact practice of training camp.

Most notably, guard Jonathan Cooper left the field on a cart.

Cooper, acquired from the Cardinals in the Chandler Jones trade, went down during a drill when the offensive line was firing off and hitting bags and carrying the blocks out. It appeared to be his right foot that was afflicted. He was down for a few minutes and the team had to move the drill away from him as he stayed down. Quarterback Tom Brady went over to check on Cooper before Cooper was helped gingerly to a cart alongside trainer Jim Whalen and was carted away.

Ian Rapoport from NFL Media reported after Cooper went down that the former first-rounder is battling plantar fascia, a painful foot ailment.

That’s what led to him needing to be held off, according to Rap.

Meanwhile, center Bryan Stork kinda just slipped out of practice. He was first noticed missing when he did not take part in 1-on-1s which came early in practice. He was out there for the beginning of practice so whether he was hurt, sent off for whacking people or had a dentist’s appointment isn’t known.

Bill Belichick wasn’t available after practice. Otherwise we’d have the full scoop.

We’ll keep an eye on that for Sunday.

Running back D.J. Foster and guard Shaq Mason meanwhile didn’t take part in 1-on-1s and retired to a lower field for some conditioning. Guard Josh Kline’s workload is also a bit limited while guard Tre Jackson and tackle Sebastian Vollmer are on the PUP list still.

The Patriots have practice Sunday and are in the stadium for a night practice on Monday before getting Tuesday off.

Tom E. Curran can be followed on Twitter: @tomecurran

Patriots happy to experience 'real football' on first day with pads

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Patriots happy to experience 'real football' on first day with pads

FOXBORO -- With pads on the docket to be introduced for the first time during Saturday's practice, it gave Patriots coaches an opportunity to put together a plan that focused on the running game. 

Early in practice, defensive ends worked on setting an edge, while receivers practiced sealing off defensive backs on the outside. Linemen got to go at each other in one-on-one drills, and running backs got to lower their shoulders and try to run through contact. 

While the session featured fewer passes at which the thousands of fans in attendance could marvel, it did set the table for some hitting that elicited oohs and ahhs from the crowd. 

Though some players were on the receiving end of a forceful hits, the consensus at the end of practice seemed to be that players on both sides of the football were pleased with the summer's first truly physical session. 

"You see a run game, finally, not just passing every play," Devin McCourty said. "I just think it’s real football. We come out here and we get to work on fundamentals and all of those things. We’re seeing guys’ mentalities, being able to play violently. That’s what football is all about."

For players on the offensive and defensive lines in particular, padded sessions provide them with an opportunity to shine. When practices are held in shorts and t-shirts, there's only so much those big bodies can do. But on Saturday, they were focused on opening up and clogging holes in the running game. 

Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said he's been waiting for Saturday for some time.

"Training camp started today," he said. "Yesterday, the day before, [that] was preliminary. It was all about seeing who came back in good condition, getting back to their playbook. Real football is with a helmet on and shoulder pads. 

"There's just something about putting on these pads and thudding up, and coach giving us one period today to go live, see who [can] really man up. That's what it's about with the pads on. See who's gonna show up. See who are the real men out here. See who can play 11-on-11."

The first big collision of the day came between LeGarrette Blount and Jamie Collins. During a run-specific drill, Blount got through a hole and put his head down. He hit Collins hard, knocking the linebacker backwards, but he lost his feet and fell to the turf. That started a steady stream of solid "thuds" -- not wrapping up or tackling to the ground -- throughout the afternoon.

With contact, often comes some chatter, and Saturday was no different. 

"You got the offense bickering back at us and we're bickering back at them," Knighton said. "They make plays, we make plays. All day, it's a competition. If everyone was out here quiet, going through the motions, it would be boring. You won't get nothing out of it. You try to be competitive. At the same time you also try to work on your fundamentals and do what you gotta do." 

"It was fun," said Chris Hogan of the contact. "We were looking forward to it. We're playing football now. There's no more with the shells on or just helmets. This is real football now. We look forward to this. We kind of had our minds right for the one-on-ones with the DBs and the blocking drills and all that kind of stuff. It was a lot of fun today." 

Later on Saturday, players and coaches will go back over the tape of their first day of hitting. That's where, Knighton said, the rubber will meet the road for some players who talked a big game leading up to this day. 

"Guys always talk about what they'll do when the pads come on," he said. "We'll watch the tape today, and the eye in the sky won't lie."