Bruins looking to pick up emotion in Washington


Bruins looking to pick up emotion in Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Bruins arent hunkered down in a bunker incapable of observing whats going on in the playoffs around them.

While the Penguins-Flyers and Senators-Rangers playoff series have been flowing with hatred from the drop of the first puck and they have the suspensions to show for it the Bruins know that goals arent the only things missing from their series with Washington.

Both the Bruins and Capitals have had brief dalliances with nastiness: Alex Ovechkin cross-checking Dennis Seidenberg in the face and Jay Beagle butt-ending David Krejci in the mouth off a center-ice face-off come to mind.

But the Bruins and Capitals seem to be on their best behavior for the most part, and that isnt necessarily playing to Bostons strength. The Bs have been renowned for their intimidating ways and ability to instill fear in their opponents.

Emotional catalysts in Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand both have been fairly quiet through the first two games of the series.

Claude Julien said hes watched many of the other games from a tactical standpoint and also from the standpoint of being a hockey fan. He admitted that perhaps the Bruins-Capitals has another notch it can reach in bone-rattling intensity.

This is a time of year where you watch everything you can. You stay up late at night watching because its interesting. You dont just watch it for reasons of homework. Its a great time of year to be watching hockey, said Julien. Obviously theres a lot of intensity in some of those series, and its about rivalries. It gets amped up to the point where its borderline with some of the rough stuff.

I tip my hat to the refs. When you watch from a spectators view then you see how tough it is. To come out there and try to identity who is shorthanded and who is a culprit isnt easy. I know that in some ways our series hasnt been as physical . . . it may or may not become that physical. But were aware that discipline is a big key in this series, and I think both teams understand that.

Krejci clearly has felt the intensity of the series. He got stitches above his mouth where Beagles stick ripped his face open, and that's not to mention the with a 120-pound pane of glass that bonked him on the head after Game One.

Now Krejci isn't one to really mix things up physically, but even he knows the Bruins can reach down for another level of emotion. He knows that some of the cute, soft forward play should transform into something much harder and more unforgiving.

I think its been intense. We try to put on the skates and go out there. Some series are tougher than others, but at the end of the day you want to get the win, said Krejci. You dont care how; you just dont get the results.

People talk a lot about the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh series and maybe theyre overlooking ours. Im sure there were some cheap things there, but whatever. Its playoff hockey and teams are doing whatever they can to be the winning team.

What the Bruins dont want is a repeat of three years ago. Boston couldnt get their hate on against the Carolina Hurricanes until it was too late in the series. Theres always appeared to be a blueprint for victory if an opponent can keep the sleeping Black and Gold giants from waking, and the Capitals are following that strategy to perfection while selling out for everything in the defensive zone.

With accusations that the Bruins are playing too cute and perhaps a tad soft in the offensive zone, there may not be much more Mr. Nice Guy coming from the Boston end of things as they enter a hostile environment on the road.

And thats a very good thing.

Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida


Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

Tiger Woods, recovering from his fourth back surgery in the last three years, was arrested on DUI charges Monday morning in Jupiter, Fla.

Woods, 41, is the winner of 79 PGA tournaments in his career (including 14 majors). He was stopped this morning at around 3 a.m. and booked at 7:18 a.m. He was released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m.

Physical problems have plagued Woods in recent years, but he said last week "unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again." However, he will need months to recover from his most recent surgery.

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Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

BOSTON –  Terry Rozier was having a rough stretch where his minutes were limited and when he did play, he didn’t play particularly well.
Among the voices in his ear offering words of encouragement was Avery Bradley who knows all too well what Rozier was going through.
For all his time as a Celtic, Bradley has let his work on the floor do the talking for him.
But as the most tenured Celtic on the roster, his leadership has to be about more than just getting the job done, but servicing as a vocal leader as well.
For a player whose growth from one year to the next has been a constant, being a more vocal leader has been the one dynamic of his game that has improved the most during this past season.
And it is that kind of leadership that will carry into the summer what is a pivotal offseason for both Bradley and this Celtics franchise which was eliminated by Cleveland in the Conference finals, the first time the Celtics got that deep in the playoffs since 2012.
He is entering the final year of the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in 2014. And it comes at a time when his fellow Tacoma, Wash. native and backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas will likely hit free agency where he’s expected to command a max or near-max contract that would pay him an annual salary in the neighborhood of $30 million.
At this point in time, Bradley isn’t giving too much thought to his impending contract status.
Instead, he’s more consumed by finding ways to improve his overall game and in doing so, help guide the Celtics to what has to be their focus for next season – a trip to the NBA Finals.
While Celtics players have said their focus has always been on advancing as far into the playoffs as possible, it wasn’t until this past season did they actually provide hope and promise that Banner 18 may be closer than you think.
It was an emotional time for the Celtics, dealing with the unexpected death of Chyna Thomas, the younger sister of Isaiah Thomas, just hours before Boston’s first playoff game this season.
And then there were injuries such as Thomas’ right hip strain that ended his postseason by halftime of Boston’s Eastern Conference finals matchup with Cleveland.
But through that pain, we saw the emergence of Bradley in a light we have seldom seen him in as a Celtic.
We have seen him play well in the past, but it wasn’t until Thomas’ injury did we see Bradley showcase even more elements of his game that had been overlooked.
One of the constant knocks on Bradley has been his ball-handling.
And yet there were a number of occasions following Thomas’ playoff-ending injury, where Bradley attacked defenders off the dribble and finished with lay-ups and an occasional dunk in transition.
Among players who appeared in at least 12 playoff games this year, only Washington’s John Wall (7.9), Cleveland’s LeBron James (6.8) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (5.2) averaged more points in transition than Bradley (4.7).
Bradley recognized the team needed him to be more assertive, do things that forced him to be more front-and-center which is part of his evolution in Boston as a leader on this team.
“It’s weird but players like Al (Horford) definitely helped me get out of my shell and pushed me this year to be more of a vocal leader,” Bradley said.
And that talent combined with Bradley doing what he does every offseason – come back significantly better in some facet of his game – speaks to how he’s steadily growing into being a leader whose actions as well as his words are impactful.