Rolston, Mottau glad to get first game out of way

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Rolston, Mottau glad to get first game out of way

BOSTON -- Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau are happy that this one's over with.

Two of the three newest Bruins played on Tuesday night at the TD Garden against the Ottawa Senators, after arriving Tuesday morning.

Rolston played 8:21 while centering a line with Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Caron, while Mottau played 10:49 on a defensive unit with Adam McQuaid.

The Bruins lost 1-0. Neither were on the ice for the lone goal of the game. So they got that going for them.

But even if they were, Tuesday night was nothing more than a feeling out process for two players trying to adjust to a new system with new teammates.

"It's good to get that one behind me, for sure," said Rolston after the loss. "You have a little nerves, especially coming in. But I think Mottau and I both got that one behind us and we'll move on and be better next game."

"It was a great feeling pulling the jersey on, going out there for warm-ups," said Mottau. "Playing in the first one, it's good to get the first one out of the way."

Bruins coach Claude Julien is more anxious to work with the two players at practice on Wednesday, while acknowledging that it's awfully tough to judge their game in this type of situation, after being traded at the deadline on Monday afternoon.

"They showed up this morning, and I certainly didn't expect miracles out of those guys," said Julien after the loss. "Again, it's always hard to judge those guys, because the guys around them didn't do very well. Rolston and Mottau didn't look bad, but they probably looked even better if we would have been better around them."

Both Rolston and Mottau said they feel good, physically. Now, it's just trying to get the system down, which Rolston admitted, shouldn't be a problem, especially if he stays at center.

"I played center tonight, which I haven't played in a while, so that's another little bit of an adjustment that I have to make," said Rolston. "But I've played long enough where I've played center a lot of years. And it will just take me a game or two to feel a little more sharp there."

Tuesday marked Mottau's first game as a Bruin. Rolston can't say the same. And his return to Boston brought out plenty of emotions as he received an ovation from the crowd at the TD Garden.

"It was great. I'm very happy to be here," said Rolston after the game. "Obviously I got a warm reception from the crowd, which means a lot to me. It was a lot of fun. And like I said, I had my legs under me a little bit. I hadn't skated in a couple days. So it will be good to get another practice in, and start feeling a little more comfortable.

"Your emotions, you're thinking about all those things all day, pretty much. And it almost kind of exhausts you at times. But like I said, this day, I'm glad it's behind us. Now we can move on and be a little bit more comfortable on the ice."

Brown taking opportunities with Celtics as they come

Brown taking opportunities with Celtics as they come

BOSTON -- Compared to most high draft picks, Jaylen Brown doesn’t log a ton of minutes for the Boston Celtics.
 
Playing on an experienced team with legit hopes of making a deep playoff run, rookies seeing limited minutes is a given.
 
Knowing playing time will come in a limited supply, Brown understands all too well the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity he gets on the floor.
 
He did just that on Saturday in Boston’s 107-106 win over Philadelphia, and he hopes to do more of the same on Monday when the Celtics take on the Houston Rockets.
 
When you look at Brown’s stat line, nothing about it looks impressive. He played 15 minutes, scored two points with one rebound and one blocked shot.
 
But beyond the stats was the fact that he was on the floor for seven minutes in the fourth quarter in a close back-and-forth game on the road. Rookies on the floor in crunch time is not the norm in the NBA.
 
“It means a lot,” Brown told reporters after Saturday’s win. “I try to be as best I can be for my team; try to put my best foot forward every night out.”
 
And he did just that on Saturday.
 
In the fourth quarter with the Celtics leading 87-83, Brown blocked a Gerald Henderson shot that wound up in the hands of Jae Crowder. Moments later, Jonas Jerebko hit a 3-pointer that gave the Celtics their largest lead of the game, 90-83.
 
And just two minutes prior to the blocked shot, he was out in transition following an Isaiah Thomas steal and threw down a dunk that pushed Boston’s lead to 86-83 with 7:11 to play.
 
Brown acknowledged making the most of those opportunities bodes well for him and the franchise.
 
“It’s great for our team in general; not just for me,” Brown said. “Those plays helped us to pull the game out in the end. So I’m glad we got the win. I think we should have played a little better than we did.”
 
The continued pursuit of self-improvement is a hallmark of what Brown’s focus and desire are at this stage of his pro career. He has talked often about not wanting to be just one of the best in this draft class but also one of the best in the NBA overall.
 
But he’s also learned that to get there takes time and experience developing both physically and mentally. Part of that mental growth entails having the right approach to games.
 
“Usually you try to tell yourself not to mess up,” Brown said. “Now that I’m getting more comfortable, it’s just play basketball, bring energy, things like that; come out and do what you’re supposed to do. A lot of times you try to tell yourself to not mess up and it’s counteractive; just come out and play basketball and have fun.”
 
And by doing so the minutes will come.
 
“You can’t control that. I just have to control what I can control,” Brown said. “I trust coach (Brad Stevens); I trust my coaching staff. I have to come out and in the minutes I get, play my hand as best I can and take advantage of what I do get and impact this team as much as possible.”
 
This season, Brown is averaging 4.8 points, 2.0 rebounds while shooting 41.9 percent from the field.

Zolak: Bennett helps with Gronk loss, but Pats need to manage him

Zolak: Bennett helps with Gronk loss, but Pats need to manage him

Scott Zolak said on Pregame Live Sunday that the Patriots are better-suited to survive a season-ending injury to Rob Gronkowski than they were a season ago. 

Zolak said that given the health of Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and the signing of Chris Hogan, the offense has more stability at other positions to make up for the loss of Gronkowski, whose season is over due to back surgery. As for the tight end position, Zolak said he feels the Patriots traded for Martellus Bennett to protect themselves against scenarios like the one they currently face. 

“This offseason they [acquired] Martellus Bennett, I think for this very reason: to prepare for what really happens year after year, is some sort of issue comes up with Rob Gronkowski and you have to play without him,” Zolak said.

Bennett was questionable with an ankle injury for this week’s game, but is expected to play. Asked about the health of Bennett, Zolak said that he believes the tight end is good to play, but that his importance to the team with Gronkowski out means the Pats will need to be careful. 

“I think he’s healthy enough to get through about 30-35 snaps,” Zolak said. “They’ve got to balance him now moving forward.”