Seguin youngest to lead B's in scoring

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Seguin youngest to lead B's in scoring

BOSTON -- If the Bruins are going to successfully defend their Stanley Cup, they're going to need goals from Tyler Seguin.

That may seem like an obvious statement. Because it is.

Nathan Horton (concussion) and Michael Ryder (no longer on the Bruins) aren't going to be on the ice when the playoffs begin. They combined for 16 goals last postseason, including five game-winning goals.

Somebody will need to carry that load. And that somebody will need to be Seguin.

The 20-year-old winger became the youngest player in Bruins history to lead the team in scoring on Saturday, after scoring a pair of goals and finishing his second regular season with 29 goals and 38 assists in 81 games.

That's quite a jump from his rookie season, which he finished with 11 goals and 11 assists in 74 games.

The Bruins will also need him to make that jump in the postseason, and improve upon his three goals and four assists from last year's playoff run.

"I think experienced helped me a lot least year, playing a couple of Game 7's, and the Stanley Cup Final Game 7. Thats going to go a long way," said Seguin. "So, lets hope the experience with all the little things, the details of the game, the defensive zone, and Im going to do well."

But what also will help Seguin is the pair of goals he scored on Saturday, in the regular-season finale. Sure, if Seguin didn't score, and if the Bruins had lost, it wouldn't have been the end of the world.

But a win, and especially a win while seeing Seguin tickle the twine, can only be a positive, for a team that will be looking to replace the big-game offensive production in the playoffs that's lost in Horton and Ryder.

"It's nice obviously," said Seguin after Saturday's win. "It's better than not scoring. So, I guess I'll walk away today with a smile."

The entire Bruins team walked away from the regular season with a smile as well. Seguin's offense will be one of the biggest keys in maintaining that smile for weeks to come. And he'll do it alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

"Look at my lineys," said Seguin. "Theyre easy to play with, and I think if you look at my goals tonight, they set most of them up. I'm very fortunate to play with them and capitalize."

Bergeron assisted both of Seguin's goals on Saturday. The first coming on a perfect pass through the slot, only to find Seguin skating hard to the right post for the tap-in.

The second coming on a behind-the-back pass to the left circle, where Seguin blasted a one-timer upstairs while on the power play.

Seguin looked like a kid who played like the team's scoring leader in just his second year. And now, enters his second postseason as the Bruins' youngest scoring leader.

"Yeah, its pretty amazing," said Seguin. "Its definitely an honor. I did not know that. My linemates make the game a lot easier for me. Marshy and Bergy, with how much chemistry they had already from last year, going all the way with the same line to the Stanley Cup championship, they had a lot of chemistry. It was nice to step on that line, and hopefully were going to get better."

At the very least, they'll have to play like they did on Saturday. And Seguin will need to carry that offense into the playoffs.

John Harbaugh: Ravens’ trickery different than Patriots ‘deceptive’ formation

John Harbaugh: Ravens’ trickery different than Patriots ‘deceptive’ formation

FOXBORO – John Harbaugh explained on Thursday the difference between the rules loophole his Ravens exploited recently and the one the Patriots exploited in the 2014 AFC Divisional Playoff Game that caused him to cry, “Foul.”

What it boiled down to? Everyone knew about the loophole the Ravens took advantage of when they committed an en masse holding penalty at the end of the game against the Bengals. 

Nobody had seen what the Patriots successfully pulled off when they made eligible receivers ineligible and vice versa and went on a touchdown drive that changed the tenor of the game.

“You’re right. I don’t want to get into all that,” Harbaugh said when I asked what the difference was. “That’s all been hashed out. I believe what I believe and I think it’s all been proven to be right.

“The point about [the punt hold] is, it’s been talked about, it’s been looked at, it’s been something that’s been used for 20 years so it’s nothing new,” he explained. “It’s nothing that hadn’t been addressed before by officials or the competition committee.”

Harbaugh said that, in Super Bowl 47, his Ravens used the tactic and his brother Jim, coach of the Niners, took it up with the Competition Committee. John Harbaugh supported the change, he said. The league declined.  

“Everybody knew about that so it didn’t create an unfair advantage for anybody,” said Harbaugh.

After the Patriots beat Baltimore in a tremendous game, Harbaugh was in a snit in his postgame press conference alleging the “nobody’s ever seen that [eligible-ineligible trickery] before.” He said the play was “illegal” and “deceptive.”

I mentioned that Alabama had run the play in a nationally televised game against LSU and that the Titans had done the same thing on a game-ending play against the Jets a few weeks earlier.

Aside from whether or not the information was accurately communicated by the officials, the tone of Harbaugh’s comments left little room for interpretation. He indicated the Patriots were underhanded and that his comments seemed to discredit New England.

“That was not the intent and if you go back and read my comments at the time and the tone of it anybody that takes it that way is taking it the wrong way,” said Harbaugh. “That was not the point of it at all. You had an eligible receiver that wasn’t identified and an ineligible receiver that wasn’t identified as such. The official had no way to identify that for the defense so there was no signal or any other way that they could do that. That was something that was addressed the very next week. If somebody wants to look at it some certain way, that’s not my concern.”

When I offered that referee Bill Vinovich not only identified Shane Vereen as being ineligible but added, “Don’t cover 34…” over the stadium mic, Harbaugh wasn’t having it.  

“That’s not something that had ever been gone over,” he insisted. “Players were never taught don’t cover that player. When you’re on the field, you can’t hear that microphone. That’s not something you can even hear or are listening for. The next week there was a tweak.”

Indeed there was. And not just with the officials then being on the hook to make more detailed announcements. The further tweak, perhaps spurred by the formation chicanery and Tom Brady’s recommendation that Baltimore “study the rules” came when the Ravens passed on intel to the Colts for the AFC Championship Game. One of the recommendations from Ravens special teams coach Jerry Rosburg was to watch that the Patriots’ sideline staff didn’t monkey with the kicking balls. That was included in a letter to NFL Operations man Mike Kensil along with an allegation that it was “well known around the league” that the Patriots deflate footballs before the game and that the league needed to keep an eye on that.

Harbaugh hasn’t hidden from the fact he found Brady’s comment offensive.

"I was pissed off," he said this past summer. "It was uncalled for. And the rules are deeper than that, and I know the rules, and I stand by why that play shouldn't have been allowed...So yeah, that should never have been said."

He has, however, disavowed any talk by his staff about the Patriots allegedly deflating footballs. "Any conversation that was had with the Colts had nothing to do with deflated footballs, which is what we've been saying since the very start," Harbaugh said in 2015. "I know that we've answered the questions from the beginning to the end very simply. Our yes is yes. Our no is no. We've answered questions directly and honestly and straightforward from the start."

Whether the Patriots’ formation plays and the Ravens response to it led to a $30M investigation that hijacked the NFL’s attention for 20 months and resulted in a four-game suspension for Brady is still not definitively known. Could Rosburg and the Colts equipment man have possibly discussed kicking ball chicanery without sharing notes on the belief the Patriots deflated footballs? Rosburg and former Patriots defensive coordinator and current Ravens coach Dean Pees were both spoken to by investigator Ted Wells. What did they offer

Just like everything else between Ravens and Patriots, it’s complicated.  
 
 

Will the Celtics have a difficult decision to make about Isaiah Thomas contract?

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Will the Celtics have a difficult decision to make about Isaiah Thomas contract?

Listen to a jam packed episode of the "Celtics Talk" podcast with Kyle Draper, A. Sherrod Blakely, and special guest Steve Kyler from Basketball Insiders.com

SUBSCRIBE Audioboom | iTunes | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher

Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely are back with another episode of the "Celtics Talk" podcast. This week, we start things off by discussing Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier - what their minutes should be...what their TRADE VALUE might be, etc.

Basketball Insiders.com writer Steve Kyler calls in to discuss where the Celtics fit in the East, how the incident DeMarcus Cousins got involved in at a bar in New York City might effect his trade value,  and would the Magic trade Nikola Vucevic.

Finally, a heated debate on will and IF the Celtics will pay Isaiah Thomas max money when his very affordable contract is up in a couple years. Should Brad Stevens limit his minutes to guard against injury?