Talking Points: Capitals 3, Bruins 2


Talking Points: Capitals 3, Bruins 2

GOLD STAR: Alex Ovechkin did absolutely nothing for the first two periods in a scoreless game, and then all of a sudden pounced in the final 20 minutes. He assisted on both of Washingtons goals and led the Capitals with five shots on net after having only one after the first 40 minutes of the game. Ovechkin finished with 23:32 and became a big factor in the game even if Tim Thomas was able to stone the Russian sniper during the shootout. The tales of Ovies demise with the Capitals were perhaps a little premature after all.

BLACK EYE: No shots and two giveaways for Rich Peverley in 17:57 of ice time that didnt amount to much for the Black and Gold. He wasnt alone in that regard and certainly gets some slack after jumping back into things full bore after missing six weeks with a sprained knee, but he was definitely one of the many Bruins players that didnt have their legs against Washington. Perhaps some of that prompted Claude Julien to tinker around with the lines a little bit in the final 40 minutes trying to find something that could spark his team full of pooped players.

TURNING POINT: Patrice Bergeron had a point blank bid in front of the net after Benoit Pouliot flipped a pass from the left wing, and the Bs center tried to go backhanded to forehand as he was gliding by the net. Instead Michael Neuvirth poked the puck away as Bergeron was getting ready to score the first goal of the game, and that gave Washington some momentum in the final period. Minutes later Dennis Wideman had their first goal and the games action finally started moving at a brisker pace.

HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci had his game face on and was very good against Washington. He finished with two points and a plus-1, and had a nice tip in the middle of the slot on Zdeno Charas wrist shot from the point. Krejci also dominated in the face-off circle to the tune of 11 wins in 13 draws, and it appears that both top Bs centers are getting into a face-off zone prior to the playoffs. The irony should not be lost that one of Bostons few minus players for the season was one of only two with a plus in Thursday nights loss.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1-14-2 the Bruins record this season when theyve been held scoreless after two periods.

QUOTE TO NOTE: Chimera came off bench and he was going pretty hard. Maybe it was a little bit reckless, but theres no doubt in my mind it wasnt intentional to injure." Claude Julien talking about the Jason Chimera charging hit from behind that knocked Adam McQuaid out of the game in the first period.

Patriots reportedly deal Derby to Broncos for fifth-round pick


Patriots reportedly deal Derby to Broncos for fifth-round pick

The Patriots pulled off a rare deal with a rival on Tuesday. 

According to ESPN, they've sent tight end A.J. Derby to the Broncos in exchange for a fifth-round pick. 

Derby played in 33 offensive snaps over four games this season for the Patriots. A sixth-round draft choice in 2015 out of Arkansas, Derby spent most of his rookie season on injured reserve. 

One of the stars of the preseason for the Patriots, Derby caught 15 passes for 189 yards in four exhibition games. A former college quarterback for Iowa and Arkansas, Derby was named a practice player of the week by the Patriots when they were hurting for healthy signal-callers early in the season during Tom Brady's suspension.

The deal leaves the Patriots somewhat thin at the tight end position. They now have now true tight ends behind Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. They do, however, have fullback James Develin, who meets with tight ends on a daily basis. On the practice squad, the Patriots have another fullback in Glenn Gronkowski. 

In Denver, Derby will compete with tight ends Virgil Green, Jeff Heuerman and John Phillips for time.

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf


Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”