Bourque a bright spot for Bruins in debut

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Bourque a bright spot for Bruins in debut

BOSTON -- While there wasnt much to write home about or truly read into in the Bruins' 7-5 loss to the Providence Bruins in the Black and Gold scrimmage, Chris Bourque took a significant step forward. The TD Garden has always been a good place for Bourque as hed potted game-winners in each of his two games on that frozen sheet during the Beanpot and then a few years later in a preseason game for the Washington Capitals.

That charmed life on Garden ice continued in Tuesday nights debut in a Bruins uniform.

The Bruins were sloppy and more than a little chaotic in their own end, but the 26-year-old Bourque had the best spring in his step with a three-point effort. His goal opened up the Boston scoring floodgates in the second period when he snapped a shot from the left face-off circle that seemed to pass right through Anton Khudobin's pads.

Bourque captured a secondary assist when he set things up on a Bruins power play goal for Dennis Seidenberg in the third period, and rewarded Boston's coaching staff for putting right on the man advantage to start the season.

It felt great. Thats a play that we want to run out there, a drop-off to Marchand and hit Seidenberg on the back door, said Bourque. He had an unbelievable shot, I think it went bar down. Its good to get one on the power play. Its something theyve been stressing throughout camp, so its nice to get one.

The mere fact that Bourque is regularly skating with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley is an encouraging sign he's got a job waiting for him on the third line wing, and the practice time hes receiving on the power play bodes well for the former Washington Capitals forwards future in Boston.

Clearly Boston had an interest in Bourque in trading for him this summer after the led the AHL with 93 points last season, and he was the best player in a P-Bruins uniform this season during the NHL lockout. All of that is leading up to his best shot at establishing himself as an NHL player, and getting chance in the right-colored Black and Gold uniform.

Chris Bourque I thought had a pretty good game. Heres a guy thats been playing since October in North America, said Claude Julien. I thought Bourque played a pretty decent game. We had some guys that played pretty well and Kelly, Peverley, that line gave us some good things. And every line scored.

His final apple arrived when Bourque won a battle along the boards in the Providence zone, and that turned into a Rich Peverley wraparound job at the left post once he'd picked the puck clean from Bobby Robins. Bourques chemistry with Kelly and Peverley is clearly growing while skating with the established duo over the last couple of days,

The resulting three-point effort for Bourque on an otherwise messy night of scrimmaging spoke volumes.

If Bourque can continue showing off the kind of player he was in leading the AHL scoring race with 93 points for the Hershey Bears last season, then so many other things should fall into the place for the son of a Hall of Fame Boston legacy. Just look up to the wall of the Bruins dressing room at TD Garden, where the elder Bourque is now among a long line of time-honored B's Hall of Famers in franchise history.

Thats a place where Bourque might actually be allowed to set roots like he never could in Washington or Pittsburgh, and truly find out just how good he can be in the league where his dad set the standard. 

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."

Raptors, in pursuit of Celtics in playoff race, lose Lowry for perhaps rest of regular season

Raptors, in pursuit of Celtics in playoff race, lose Lowry for perhaps rest of regular season

The Eastern Conference playoff race, seemingly altered by the moves -- and non-moves (hello there, Celtics) -- of some of the contenders, just took another twist.

The Raptors, bolstered by the acquisition of Serge Ibaka and appearing poised to make a run toward the top of the standings after a come-from-behind victory over the Celtics on Friday, were hit with a body blow Monday when it was announced All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry needs surgery on his right wrist and may miss the remainder of the regular season.

ESPN reports Lowry is expected to be sidelined from four to eight weeks. Toronto hopes to have him back for the playoffs.

The Raptors are currently in fourth place in the conference at 35-24, trailing Cleveland (40-17), Boston (38-21) and Washington (34-23). Without Lowry, and facing a rough, six-of-their-next-seven-games-on-the-road stretch, Toronto may stop focusing on catching the Wizards and/or Celtics and focus on holding off Atlanta (32-26) in order to hold onto home-court in the first round.

Lowry, 30, who missed the last two games because of the injury, is averaging a career-best 22.8 points per game. He also is averaging 6.9 assists and 4.7 rebounds.