Bruins, Rask seek revenge vs. Canes

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Bruins, Rask seek revenge vs. Canes

RALEIGH, N.C. The Bruins held an optional morning skate at the RBC Center on Saturday morning, and are preparing for a Carolina Hurricanes team that contributed mightily to their 3-7 start to the season.

Carolina beat them in home and road tilts while outscoring the Bs 7-3, and one of the early low points of the season was the home loss to the Canes where Nathan Horton lost his cool in a fit of pique while going after Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason. The Bruins have obviously moved on since going 25-4-1 since the beginning of November, but walking into the RaleighDurham hockey rink stirred up the bad memories.

We know they beat us twice already. Theyre a tough team. We need to play well to get the win tonight, said Patrice Bergeron. Its been a long time since weve been here this season, and a lot has changed.

The Bruins took 16 penalties in the 4-1 loss to the Bruins at TD Garden, and showed clear signs of frustration early in the season when things werent coming easily to the Stanley Cup champs. It got to the point where Canes goaltender Cam Ward got in Zdeno Charas face following the defensemans fight with Carolina tough guy Jay Harrison -- and then had some choice words for the Bs captain following the game.

"The guy's 8 feet tall, and he's jumping a player. That doesn't translate as being very tough in my eyes," Ward told reporters following Carolinas 4-1 win in Boston back in October. "I'm emotional just like everybody else. When you see that happening to your own players, you wanna ... you know, I had some choice words, too, but it is what it is."

Wards postgame tirade also including him saying Im not gonna waste my time with Tuukka Rask to Fox Sports Carolina when the Bs goalie had approached him with some strong words during the team-wide scrum.

Bruins coach Claude Julien hopes his players keep those two losses to the Canes in the back of their minds now that Carolina is dwelling in the Eastern Conference basement. It would be easy to overlook a hockey club vying with the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning for the claim as the worst team in the conference, but Julien knows they had Bostons number in October.

We didnt have a good start to the season and the last time we played these guys we were a pretty frustrated team as well, said Julien. At that point I know we crossed the line in a lot of areas and hopefully thats in the past. I know weve gotten better in a lot of areas.

Those are not the good times that we had at the beginning of the year. We need to hopefully redeem ourselves tonight after not playing well in the first two games.

Its expected Rask will get the start against the Hurricanes, so he can show his Carolina counterpart exactly why he should waste his time with the goaltender leading the NHL in goals against average and save percentage. It also appears that Zach Hamill will get scratched along with Steve Kampfer as Brad Marchand serves the third game of his suspension for low-bridging Sami Salo.

Here is the expected lineup for a game that might be a little more interesting than first expected:

Pouliot-Bergeron-Seguin
Lucic-Krejci-Horton
Caron-Kelly-Peverley
Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk
Seidenberg-Corvo
Ference-McQuaid

Rask
Thomas

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

The Celtics didn’t know when they traded a late first-round pick and Marcus Thornton for Isaiah Thomas that they were getting their next star player, but that 2015 trade deadline move has proven to be a pleasant surprise. 

Appearing on Felger and Mazz Friday, Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said that he sees Thomas, who will be a free agent after next season, in the team’s longterm plans. 

“Every one of these seasons is different. It’s like a movie and you have a cast of characters and the cast changes a little bit every season,” Grousbeck said. “We’d love to have Isaiah here for a long, long time. He’s a phenomenal player and he loves being here.” 

The Celtics stand a strong chance of picking first overall in June’s draft since they own Brooklyn’s first-round pick. Asked whether Thomas’ status would prevent the team from taking a point guard (which the draft’s two prospects play), Grousbeck said the team doesn’t need to decide that now, but suggested it wouldn’t.

“Especially if it’s a very high pick in the draft, you’ve got to draft the best player,” Grousbeck said. “You probably wouldn’t draft for fit as much as just you see if there’s a transformational player that you can have for 10 or 15 years there. If you see a guy like that, you’ve got to make everything else work, I would think.” 

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

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It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.