SUNRISE, FL The Bruins havent lost much over the last three months, and its not something they want to get used to.
After letting up on the gas pedal in the third period and dropping their third game to the lowly Carolina Hurricanes this season, the Bs took the day off on Sunday in Florida. The bitter taste following Saturday nights defeat in Carolina reminded all of the Bs players how much losses arent to be tolerated in their dressing room. Now its up to the Bs to do something they havent had to do much of lately: Rebound from a less-than-laudable effort.
Its kind of been creeping up on us that we havent been at our best, said Adam McQuaid. Last night it reminded us how much we hate losing and what we have to do to be successful. Sometimes that can be a good lesson."
The Bruins are in the middle of a dense portion of their schedule with seven games in 11 days starting with Saturday nights tilt with the Hurricanes, and perhaps playing every other night is catching up to the Bs. Thats the easiest excuse for letting down in the final 20 minutes against Carolina to kick off a four-game road trip, and the Bs know it wont be easier against a Florida Panthers team in solid playoff position.
There isnt much room between teams in the Eastern Conference at the midpoint of the season, and the Bruins cant afford to start shirking winnable games in the middle of the schedule. The dog days of the NHL regular season are fast approaching, and it at least sounds like the Bruins are handling it the right way.
After the game going to the plane it felt like a Stanley Cup loss. Guys took it to heart and I didnt feel too proud of the outcome of the game or us not being able to find a way to win, said Tyler Seguin. Sucks that it caught up to us after weve been finding ways to win, but it serves as a pretty good wakeup call.
Actions will speak a lot louder than words when the Bruins take the ice at the BankAtlantic Center against the dangerous Panthers on Monday night.
CLEVELAND – Brad Stevens won’t know until shortly before tip-off tonight if he will have to make another lineup change.
Amir Johnson, whose right shoulder was injured in the Celtics' 111-108 Game 3 win on Sunday, is questionable for tonight’s Game 4.
“It’s better for sure,” Johnson told CSN this morning. “Yesterday, it was hard to lift. Today, I can move it all around. In shoot-around, I’m going to get a couple shots, see how it feels and go from there.
He added, “it’s definitely going to be a game-time decision. I’m going to go and shoot around, just to get a feel. And then for the game-time, I’ll shoot around some more, see how it feels and take it from there.”
Healthy or not, Johnson being with the starting group is far from a given.
The 6-foot-9 veteran has consistently been the first starter subbed out and usually winds up playing the fewest minutes.
In Game 3, two of his backups – Kelly Olynyk (15 points) and Jonas Jerebko (10 points) – shined brightly.
Here are some other highlights from the Celtics’ morning shoot-around.
THOMAS UPDATE: Isaiah Thomas met with a hip specialist on Monday, according to Stevens. “Still collecting information,” said Stevens, adding, “We’ll wait and see or we’ll discuss second, and third, and fourth, and fifth opinions.”
Thomas injured his right hip March 15 and later re-aggravated it in the first half of the Game 2 loss Friday. Less than 24 hours later, he was deemed out for the remainder of the playoffs.
He was replaced by Marcus Smart in the starting lineup and Smart responded with a career-high 27 points in Game 3, which included seven made 3’s which is a career-best mark as well.
BOUNCE-BACK CELTICS: The Celtics winning Game 3 sent shockwaves throughout the league, especially coming on the heels of a 44-point home court drubbing at the hands of the Cavs. “If you’re in sports long enough you’re going to have clunkers,” Stevens said. “You’re going to have games that don’t go your way. And our guys took seriously the idea of responding and just playing the next possession as well as they could.”
ROZIER HOMECOMING: The second-year guard grew up in nearby Youngstown, Ohio (75 miles southeast of Cleveland), so you can expect he’ll have a decent contingent of fans at tonight's game.
While he’s all-in for the Celtics, the same is not true of his friends and some family members.
“My family does a good job of staying on my side except for my one younger cousin,” Rozier said. “She loves LeBron.”