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


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.

Pregame number: Al Horford to the rescue


Pregame number: Al Horford to the rescue

Tonight’s pregame number to watch is 45.4%. That was the Celtics' score frequency on pick and rolls finished by the screener last season, which was the worst rate in the NBA.

Score Frequency: The percentage of possession in which the team or player scores at least 1 point.

The major problem for the Celtics last season was personnel, as Jared Sullinger finished the most pick and roll plays for the C’s after setting a screen, and he was -- to put it nicely -- freaking terrible. Sullinger was the second-worst roll/pop man in the league, averaging a paltry 0.87 points per possession.

Fortunately, the Celtics replaced Jared Sullinger with four-time All-Star Al Horford, who is one of the elite roll/pop men in the NBA. Last season, Horford finished fifth in the NBA averaging 1.13 points per possession as a roll/pop man and boasted a more than solid 57.1 eFG% on those plays. 

eFG% (Effective Field Goal Percentage): Measures field goal percentage adjusting for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal. The equation is ((FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA

If you watched the preseason, then you already know the kind of impact Horford can have on the Celtics half court offense. So keep an eye out for those pick and rolls tonight and throughout the season, and we should see that 45.4% Score Frequency jump somewhere closer to 50%.

Bills promise to retaliate if Patriots run through their warmups again


Bills promise to retaliate if Patriots run through their warmups again

FOXBORO -- The Patriots, led by Tom Brady, are looking to stay above the fray when it comes to any sort of extra-curricular back-and-forth with the Bills this week. 

The Bills? They appear ready to throw down -- or start a shoving match, or yell and scream at someone -- again at a moment's notice. 

Three Buffalo players were fined following their Week 4 win over the Patriots because they were involved in a scuffle with Patriots players and coaches after rookie Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett and rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell ran by a Bills warmup drill. 

A few defensive backs took exception to how close Brissett and Mitchell came to their area, and safety Robert Blanton shoved Brissett to get the scrap started. 

According to reports out of Buffalo, mulitple Bills players have insisted that they won't hesitate to retaliate if the Patriots buzz by their drills again.

Of course, the difference this time around will be that Brady will be the one who might jog by, not a rookie about to make his second NFL start. Would the Bills treat him the same way they'd treat a 20-something kid who is new to the league? 

Immediately after the Week 4 loss, Patriots players were not pleased by what happened before kickoff. Not only did what happened with Brissett not sit well with them, the fact that Patriots coaches were shoved by Bills players irked them as well.