Turco comes to the 'end of the line' with Bruins

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Turco comes to the 'end of the line' with Bruins

Marty Turco called Tuesday night's game the end of the line as far as his time with the Bruins goes.

Turco wasnt at his best while giving up five goals on 27 shots in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night including a pair of goals allowed to Sidney Crosby.

The 36-year-old goalie was clearly disappointed he didnt go out on a winning note, but theres also little denying the veteran jumped in and helped stabilize the team over the last month.

After the loss to the Pens, Turco seemed to be kicking himself just a little bit for opportunities lost.

I think by the end of the night with the chances, the amount of chances, that we had you feel like you deserve to win a hockey game. Those power play goals really ended up costing us . . . with those calls. But theres a lot to be taken from this game, said Turco.

For me, its the end of the line as far as the regular season goes and these guys, you know, they battle to be down twice like that and even though we went down 5-2 in the third, there was no give up in this bunch.

I think thats a huge thing for these guys to build on. Theyve been a tremendous third period team, everyone knows that real well. But to see them pour it on at the end and give us a chance was also a good sign, too. But at the end of the day its disappointing to lose anytime, never mind against a team like that.

Turco finished the season with a 2-2 record along with a 3.28 goals against average and .865 save percentage. None of those numbers scream success, but Turco helped stabilize things and gave Tim Thomas a few games of rest at a key point in the season.

Turco said he still hoped to play hockey after this point and wasnt sure whether hed be with the team during their playoff run but the Bruins were appreciative for the emergency help he provided when Tuukka Rask went down with a groin injury.

The start against the Penguins probably could have gone to Anton Khudobin to get him ready for a potential job backing up Tim Thomas if Rask isnt ready to start the playoffs. But the Bruins wanted to give Turco a chance to start a game in front of the home crowd in Boston before giving Khudobin the start against the Ottawa Senators Thursday night and then sharpening Thomas with the regular season finale against the Buffalo Sabres this weekend.

It was a gesture Turco appreciated.

This building has always been pretty special to me. I have fond memories from the Frozen Four of 98, my first shutout here and anytime you play this group theyre always going to battle. So it was fun coming in here, said Turco. I never started in that end, so I had to rethink that a little bit. But it was special. This is really unique franchise, not just what they did last year.

But being an Original Six team and the tradition that they have and not many teams have this. Their fan base has been unreal over the years and particularly strong this year. To just to feel that energy inside the arena and get a chance to play, period, never mind at home. I do owe a big debt of gratitude. And even though losing, 5-3, I think tomorrow Ill wake up and realize that the majority of it was pretty fun.

Turco has made fast friends with a lot of his teammates, and it was pretty clear the impression he left behind even if hes now retiring the electric yellow Kool-Aid pads for the rest of the season.

It was unfortunate to see Tuukka Rask go down but it gives a chance for Marty to step in and give Timmy Thomas some much-needed rest. Hes obviously a veteran guy that has been around for a long time and a good team guy that has seen a lot, as well, said Milan Lucic. Weve been happy with what hes brought to this hockey team and this organization. He definitely played well for us.

While the numbers werent all that compelling, Turcos ability to come in and spell Thomas during the month of March will be one of the key factors if the soon-to-be 38-year-old Thomas is able to go on another strong playoff run.

Collins: Contract situation will take care of itself

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Collins: Contract situation will take care of itself

FOXBORO -- Not long after Bill Belichick confirmed that Jamie Collins' absence from Day 1 of training camp practice was excused, the fourth-year linebacker was spotted on the field loosening up with his teammates for Day 2. 

Given the impact Collins has on the Patriots defense when he's healthy and on the field, his return to work was not an insignificant one. His health didn't appear to be an issue as he worked in for reps with the first-team defense alongside fellow linebacker Dont'a Hightower in the middle of the field. 

He explained that his contract is not an issue at the moment, either. In the final year of his rookie deal, the 2015 Pro Bowler is scheduled to make $917,864 in base salary this season -- far below what he would make on an annual basis if he were to hit free agency.

"I'm just handling business, man," Collins said when asked if there were any updates on his contract status. "That'll take care of itself."

The Patriots are in an unusual position in that they have a handful of young players of import to the defense that in the final years of their deals. Hightower is set to become a free agent after this season, as are defensive end Jabaal Sheard, safety Duron Harmon and corner Logan Ryan. Malcolm Butler, a Pro Bowl corner last season, will be a restricted free agent after the season. 

Signing them all could be difficult if not impossible, but there have been no holdouts to this point. After being publicly excused from Thursday's on-the-field work by Belichick, and after hearing from him on Friday, Collins' brief absence certainly would not fall under that category.

OFFSEASON

Who will make the Celtics roster?

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Who will make the Celtics roster?

BOSTON – Regardless of what the Celtics do in the offseason, there will always be position battles in training camp.

But when the players arrive in a few weeks, a handful will have more at stake than just a roster spot.

Boston currently has 18 players with full or partially guaranteed contracts, a number that has to be pared down to 15 or less by the time the regular season begins.

The math is pretty cut and dry. Barring a trade, at least three players have to be let go.

But who will they be?

That’s for Brad Stevens and the rest of the Celtics brass to figure out.

In the meantime, here’s a look at five Celtics who, barring a trade, are likely to be among the pool of players Boston will be picking from for what should be the last couple of roster spots.