Boston Celtics

Bruins preparing for 48-game season sprint

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Bruins preparing for 48-game season sprint

BOSTON -- Bruins President Cam Neely described the 48-game shortened season he played during the 1994-95 NHL regular season as a fast and furious campaign that was one of the most enjoyable of his career. It makes plenty of sense given the import of each game in a truncated schedule, and the elimination of the dog days that can sometimes drag down a run-of-the-mill 82-game regular season.

Now the current edition of the Bruins will get a chance to experience it when they hope to open a 48-game schedule on Jan. 19 after the NHL and NHLPA came to a tentative agreement on a Collective Bargaining Agreement last weekend.

Its going to be interesting. Even when you play an 82-game schedule and you have a bad start it becomes difficult to recover from, said Gregory Campbell. The stakes will be even higher in a shortened season. Every game will be critical.

But the good thing in a 48-game schedule is that there will be no layovers and no rest. It will be one game right after another. If you have a bad game you can jump back into it the next night. It will just be a challenge to stay healthy and stay fresh.

Interestingly enough theres been speculation that NHL teams will be allowed to carry an extra player or two given the war of unavoidable attrition when playing 48 games in four-plus months. That should be the case for the Bruins anyway when they break out of their week-long training camp as both defenseman Adam McQuaid and forward Jordan Caron may not be healthy enough to start the year for Boston.

So the Black and Gold's organizational depth will be tested right out of the gate. But to their credit it will be the same coaching staff, nearly the same exact group of players and the same familiar system that the Bs will be slipping into. 

I know I have a lot of confidence in my teammates and myself and we have a lot to look forward to going into this year, said Milan Lucic.

Every game will be important. The Bruins will have seven games apiece against rival clubs in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Buffalo, and theyll be essentially playing hockey games every other day once the season begins.

The clich is that it turns the NHL regular season into an Olympic sprint rather than a Boston Marathon, but it's 100 percent truth. The Bruins stumbled out to a 3-7 start in their first 10 games last season while battling through the Stanley Cup hangover, and the Black and Gold cant afford that kind of malaise this time around.

Having had 12 Bruins players skating over in Europe -- at one time or another -- should go a long way toward getting the Black and Gold off to a solid beginning this time around.

With less games it becomes a sprint right away, said Lucic. Every game means so much more that we cant afford to have a start like we did last year. We cant be in a position to play catch-up like we did last year, and just maintain our level of play for the entire year.

Lucic did admit that there will be some sloppy hockey in the first few weeks back as two sets of players those that kept active in Europe and those that gathered rust while they sat idle in North America attempt to reach the same level. But a 48-game season followed by a full Stanley Cup playoff should be a rousing, rollicking success, and could actually be a little dangerous.

After all, if it turns out well, hockey lovers everywhere are going to start wondering why the NHL doesnt play a 50-game season every year.

Brad Stevens: Isaiah Thomas will get scan on hip in September

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Brad Stevens: Isaiah Thomas will get scan on hip in September

Appearing on The Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix, Brad Stevens said that Isaiah Thomas’ hip will be evaluated by the Celtics in September before the team decides how to proceed. 

The C’s were unsure of whether Thomas would require surgery on his right hip, which ended his postseason early. He has gone the offseason without surgery, so the C’s will look at it next month. 

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September when he arrives back here out east, and from there we will know an exact timeline," Stevens said. "Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.

Added Stevens: “We want what’s best for Isaiah. We want to make sure that when he is ready to roll, which hopefully is sooner rather than later, that he is ready to roll at his highest level and for the longest possible time, obviously, right? So that’s a lot more important to me than anything else.” 

Stevens said that the uncertainty of not knowing whether Thomas would need surgery was challenging, but that his priority was the player. 

“I don’t know if it was unnerving because you can only control what you can control, but it’s a big deal for me because it’s a big deal to him,” he said. “Ultimately, obviously you want to go into every season 110 percent healthy and we’ll find out where we stand with everybody, but more so you want what’s best for him.”    

Scaramucci says Kraft gave Super Bowl LI ring to Trump

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Scaramucci says Kraft gave Super Bowl LI ring to Trump

Anthony Scaramucci isn't afraid to say stuff. This time, it involves the Patriots. 

The outspoken former White House communications director follows over 180,000 Twitter accounts. One of them is @rslashpatriots, who asked about Robert Kraft's Super Bowl rings via direct message. 

Putin famously stole Kraft's Super Bowl XXXIX ring while Kraft was visiting Russia in 2005. According to Kraft, he took out the ring to show it to Putin, but Putin put it in his pocket and left without giving it back.

Now that Trump has Kraft's ring, Kraft theoretically only has three of a possible five Super Bowl rings now. Guessing he could get new ones made.