BOSTON Mickael Pietrus showed up a few hours with no sunglasses, no sluggishness and a beaming, ear-to-ear grin.
He even took some time to bust a dance move or two with the Celtics' dance team.
In other words, he looked very much like the pre-concussion Mickael Pietrus that fans know and love.
Along with passing the eye-test that he's improving, the Celtics now have tangible evidence that his return might be soon.
C's coach Doc Rivers said that Pietrus has already passed one of baseline tests needed in order to resume playing.
"That's the first step," said Rivers, who added that he's not sure what affect the passing of the exam has on when Pietrus will return to the court.
"I feel good," Pietrus told CSNNE.com as he entered the Garden and went to watch the C's pre-game shoot-around.
When it was over, he did put up a couple of shots - two 3-pointers, actually.
And they both went in.
"I still got it," he said. "I still got it."
Rivers knows Pietrus is feeling better not only because of the test results, but also because of his behavior which is more in line now to how he was prior to the concussion suffered at Philadelphia on March 23.
"He feels good. He's talking, and talking loud again," Rivers said. "That's a good sign."
BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.
The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.
The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.
“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”
McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.
“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”
That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.
Devin McCourty says that if the Patriot win the Super Bowl years from now people will remember the win, not the fact Roger Goodell did not attend AFC Championship.