Bruins prospects to play in World Junior tournament

800028.jpg

Bruins prospects to play in World Junior tournament

Bruins fans looking for a chance to watch their top prospects will get that opportunity in the next few weeks.

The NHL Network and NHL.com will be broadcasting all of the US World Junior teams pre-tournament games as well as all world junior tournament games and 12 other World Junior games. The IIHF World Junior tournament features the best hockey players in the world under the age of 20 years old, and is the top amateur hockey tournament in the world. Current Bruins stars like Patrice Bergeron have previously starred at the World Junior stage, and its proven to be an invaluable experience in a young players growth and development.

Bruins 2012 third round pick and Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk will be one of the key members of the US team playing pre-tournament games in Finland, and then taking part in the World Junior tournament in Russia. The 18-year-old Charlestown native has 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists) in 15 games for the BU Terriers during a strong freshman season playing for Jack Parker. The US team won't make their final cuts before leaving for Europe, but Grzelcyk is expected to make the team and contribute heavily to a US entry that's won medals in two of the last three tournaments. 

Bruins draft picks Malcolm Subban, Dougie Hamilton and Anthony Camara have qualified for Canadas World Junior Team, and will be featured in the world class tournament as well. The 18-year-old Subban has a 15-7-3 record with a .932 save percentage and 2.17 goals against average, and qualified for the time despite a rough performance during pre-tournament scrimmages.

The 19-year-old Hamilton has 41 points (8 goals, 33 assists) and is a plus-24 in 32 games with the Niagara IceDogs this season, and should be one of the best players in the tournament after dominating the OHL over the last two seasons.

Camara, also 19, has 40 points (22 goals, 18 assists) in 30 games for the Barrie Colts, and is enjoying a breakout season after the Bs selected him in the third round of the 2011 draft.

Bs 2011 second round pick Alex Khokhlachev is also expected to star as a skilled forward for the Russian entry in the World Junior tournament. The 19-year-old Khokhlachev has seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 26 KHL games during his rookie season for Moscow Spartak.

The tourney will be broadcast games live from the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship on Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Ufa, Russia. Participating nations include Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the US.

According to the NHLs release, an additional 12 games from the IIHF World Junior Championship also will be aired live on the NHL Network-U.S. and will be re-aired later that same day, including six preliminary-round games and the entire medal round.For the latest NHL Network listings, visit http:www.nhl.comicepage.htm?id=58058Steve Mears, who handles play-by-play for Pittsburgh Penguins HD Radio and covered the NHL Playoffs and Final last year for the NHL Network, will call all U.S. games in the tournament, with NHL Networks E.J. Hradek serving as the analyst and Rob Simpson as the rink-side reporter.

NHL.com will provide a live stream of all Team USA tournament games (available only in the U.S.) with the NHL.com staff providing the latest information from the tournament, including scores and highlights.

Stars, studs and duds: Thomas 'not worried' about end of scoring streak

Stars, studs and duds: Thomas 'not worried' about end of scoring streak

BOSTON – You knew sooner or later, Isaiah Thomas’ impressive scoring streak of games with 20 or more points had to come to an end.

That time was Monday night as Thomas had 19 points in Boston’s 114-98 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

While the Hawks certainly played well defensively against Thomas and the rest of the Celtics, the 5-foot-9 guard is quick to acknowledge that the Hawks didn’t all of a sudden come up with a game plan that can shut him down.

“They didn’t do anything special,” said Thomas after missing 17 of his 21 shot attempts. “I just missed a lot of shots in the paint that I usually make. I got to where I wanted to, but that wasn’t just me it was our team. We missed a lot of shots that we usually make and you got to tip your hat off to the Atlanta Hawks.”

In doing so, Thomas’ franchise-record streak of consecutive games with 20 or more points now stands at 43.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens saw first-hand how his players – including Thomas – missed a lot of shots they usually make.

But limiting Boston offensively always starts with how you defend Thomas.

“They were really aggressive on him,” Stevens said. “They were really tough on him. They bodied him up, they were physical, they had a bunch of different guys on him at different times, they were very active off of the screens.”

And as far as his streak of games with at least 20 points, Thomas said he’s not disappointed that it has come to an end.

“I’ll break it again,” he said. “I’m not worried about it, I’ll break it.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Monday’s game which ended with a 114-98 Celtics loss to Atlanta.

 

STARS

Dennis Schroder

He was arguably the biggest difference-maker on the floor Monday night. In addition to doing an exceptional job defending Isaiah Thomas, he also led the Hawks with 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting with four rebounds and five assists.

Dwight Howard

His ejection aside, Howard’s presence around the rim at both ends of the floor caused major problems for Boston. He finished with a double-double of 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting along with 12 rebounds and two blocked shots.

Isaiah Thomas

The Hawks did about as good a job as we’ve seen any team at defending Thomas who still managed to lead the Celtics in scoring with 19 points on 4-for-21 shooting. For a minute there, he seemed to be flirting with a quadruple-double. In addition to his 19 points, he also had seven rebounds, seven assists and seven turnovers.

 

STUDS

Jaylen Brown

His play was one of the few positives for Boston. He came off the bench to score 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting to go with five rebounds.

Taurean Prince

Only Paul Millsap logged more minutes on Monday than Prince whose defense and rebounding were huge. He had a near double-double of eight points and 12 rebounds.

 

DUDS

Celtics’ rebounding

This could be a dud for Boston almost every game, but they were worse than usual on Monday night. Atlanta had a 55-40 advantage on the boards which contributed to them dominating points in the paint (60-34), second-chance points (20-11) and fast-break points (15-7) which was fueled by rebounds followed by quick outlet passes to players in transition.

Isaiah Thomas on the end of his streak: 'I'll break it again'

Isaiah Thomas on the end of his streak: 'I'll break it again'

Isaiah Thomas discusses the Boston Celtics struggles and the end of his streak in the loss to the Atlanta Hawks.