"Bourque Night" in Hartford has familiar ring


"Bourque Night" in Hartford has familiar ring

HARTFORD, CT It will happen at least six times this season, so perhaps the novelty will wear off eventually.

But there was something inherently old time hockey about both of Ray Bourques sons playing against each other in Hartford while the strains of Brass Bonanza seemed to pipe through the arenas loudspeakers every five minutes.

Heck, even the nine total goals scored in the game seemed like a flashback to a time when hockey players used to routinely light up the NHL scoreboard.

Their Hall of Fame father was in attendance for the brotherly showdown between Chris Bourque and Ryan Bourque, and both of his sons did their hockey thing.

The elder Bourque sibling put up a pair of assists and ran the Providence power play just like his old man, and the younger Bourque brother notched an important first period goal for the Connecticut Whale that helped propel them to a 6-3 victory at the XL Center on Saturday night.

While its pretty clear that most Bruins fans will look at the P-BruinsWhale regular season matchups as a Bourque Family Affair, the two brothers on the ice tried to downplay it as much as possible.

Its always enjoyable to play against your brother and its always a challenge because hes a very good player, said Ryan Bourque. But at the end of the day its not about us. Its about two teams trying to come out on the winning end of things.

The younger Bourque got the early edge with the first period goal created by talented former Boston College standout Chris Kreider, and he ended up getting the last laugh with the final score in the Whales favor. But the Bourque brother wearing the Black and Gold Bruins sweater showed off all the skill, confidence and poise in the final two periods befitting somebody with his last name wearing a Bruins sweater. Bourque ended the second period on a high note for Providence by setting up a power play formation, and then executing a perfect cross-ice pass from the right point to Jordan Caron at the doorstep.

All Caron had to do was tap the puck in for his fourth goal of the season after Bourque had done all the hard work. On the night the P-Bruins were 2-for-6 on the power play and much of that boiled down to Bourques involvement on both PP units as the calming, controlling influence at the point position.

After the first weekend I think weve done a good job with the power play, said Providence coach Bruce Cassidy. We could have scored on every power play tonight. We need the power play. We are making a concerted effort to make it better, and Chris Bourque is doing that for us.

Just look at that play Chris Bourque made with Caron. You need some easy goals on the power play from time-to-time and thats one that he simply made happen for us.

The eldest Bourque son continued to drag Providence back into the game in the third period as he set up a transition play that ended with Max Sauve firing a short-side power play past Connecticut goalie Cam Talbot. That goal cut it to a two-goal deficit for the P-Bruins and put the momentum on the Baby Bs side.

But the hole proved too deep to climb out of even though Providence had somebody named Bourque working for their side, and that seemed pretty important on fun AHL throwback night of hockey.

Young getting on floor more for Celtics, including key fourth-quarter stints

Young getting on floor more for Celtics, including key fourth-quarter stints

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – For most of his life, basketball has come easy to James Young.
So, the idea that in training camp he wasn’t just fighting to get playing time but also to stay in the NBA, was a jarring eye-opener.
To Young’s credit, he rose to the challenge and beat out R.J. Hunter for the Celtics' final roster spot.
And while Young’s playing time has been sporadic, he has done a much better job of maximizing his opportunities.
So, as the Celtics roll into Detroit to face the Pistons, Young finds himself playing his best basketball as a pro, good enough to make coach Brad Stevens not hesitate to put him in the game in the fourth quarter of a close matchup.
“It’s exciting to come back home,” Young, who grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., told CSNNE.com. “A lot of my family will be there. I’m not thinking about me. I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team.”
And lately, he’s getting an opportunity to do just that beyond being someone who helps in practice.
We saw that in the 107-97 loss at Toronto on Friday. Young came off the bench to play four minutes, 36 seconds in the fourth quarter with only two other Celtics reserves, Marcus Smart (8:39) and Jonas Jerebko (5:10) seeing more action down the stretch.
“It means a lot,” Young said. “He’s starting to trust me a little bit more. That’s a good thing. I’m just trying to do little things; rebound, get defensive stops and score when I get a chance.”
The fact that his scoring is just starting to take shape helps shed some light on why he has been buried so deep on the Celtics bench.
For his first couple seasons, Young seemed a hesitant shooter physically overwhelmed by opponents too strong for him to defend as well as too physical for him to limit their effectiveness.
But this season, he has done a better job at holding his own as a defender while making himself an available scoring option who can play off his teammates.
Young is averaging just 2.9 points per game this season, but he’s shooting a career-high 48.9 percent from the field and 41.7 percent on 3’s, which is also a career-high.
Getting on the floor more often has in many ways provided yet another boost of confidence to Young.
“I’m getting used to the flow of the game playing more consistently,” Young said. “I know what to do. It’s slowing up a little more and it’s getting easier.”

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Three weeks removed from his team blowing a 25-point, second-half lead in the Super Bowl, Mohamed Sanu offered a possible explanation for the Atlanta Falcons losing their edge against the Patriots.

Lady Gaga.

More specifically, it was the half-hour-plus halftime show that interrupted the Falcons' rhythm, the receiver said Friday on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

“Usually, halftime is only like 15 minutes, and when you’re not on the field for like an hour, it’s just like going to work out, like a great workout, and you go sit on the couch for an hour and then try to start working out again,” Sanu said.

Sanu was asked if the delay was something you can simulate in practice. 

"It's really the energy [you can't duplicate]," he said. "I don't know if you can simulate something like that. That was my first time experiencing something like that."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did simulate it. In his Super Bowl practices, he had his team take long breaks in the middle.

Sanu also addressed the Falcons' pass-first play-calling that didn't eat up clock while the Patriots came back.

"The thought [that they weren't running the ball more] crossed your mind, but as a player, you're going to do what the coach [Dan Quinn] wants you to do." Sanu said. "He's called plays like that all the time."