Bruins work to improve power play

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Bruins work to improve power play

WILMINGTON, Mass. Its no big surprise the Bruins spent much of Friday mornings 30-minute practice at Ristuccia Arena working on their power play.

The Bruins are 2-for-17 in their last seven games on the man advantage and really fell short in their 1-0 shutout loss to the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night, when they failed on four occasions.

So the entire practice amounted to PP 101 for the Bruins players, and Julien continued flirting with different combos that could potentially spark the special teams unit.

One less-than-perfect circumstance at practice: Zdeno Chara was given a maintenance day on Friday. So the Bs were without their biggest power-play weapon while working on refinements, and all phases of the unit were addressed. Sloppy entries, chaotic formations in the offensive zone and a lacking work ethic have all been issues for the Black and Gold over the last couple of weeks, and are right in lockstep with the rest of the offensive struggles for Boston.

Theyre still 13th in the NHL with an 18 percent success rate this year, but theres clearly some work to do.

Were really fighting with the execution, said coach Claude Julien. I just find that what should be an easy pass is turning into a tough pass. In the New Jersey game we had a power play in the final minute of the period and I know the ice wasnt great but those D-to-D passes were going over sticks and out of the zone.

Simple passes werent there, so execution is certainly one of those things. We talk about wanting good net-front presence and shots to get through, but the biggest thing thats sticking out to me is execution. Youve got to execute those good, simple passes and make the plays under pressure.

David Krejci, Joe Corvo and Tyler Seguin all had only one power-play point in 13 games during the month of February, so there are individuals that can clearly step it up on the man advantage. The Bruins are keenly aware.

We just need to get crisper passes and work at getting our confidence back up on the PP, said Johnny Boychuk, who has actually been off the power play for the last few months.

The Bruins will be back to work getting the power play untracked with weekend games against each of the New York teams beginning at home against the Islanders on Saturday afternoon.

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum was all smiles after hearing his named called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number 3 pick by Boston in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

And as he made his way towards the commissioner and put on the customary Celtics hat, a bright future surely awaited him.

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But is it going to be in Boston?

CSNNE.com confirmed an earlier report by Yahoo Sports! the Vertical that the Celtics were indeed engaged in trade talks with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is no stranger to taking chances that most GMs would not consider or take a pass on.

Trading for George, who informed the Pacers that he would not re-sign a long-term deal with them and would instead prefer to play for the Los Angeles Lakers when he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, is a huge risk.

While the particulars of the possible trade are still being discussed, Boston will likely have to include the number three pick – Jayson Tatum – in a deal for George.

Ainge appears willing to gamble that a season in Boston will be enough to convince George to re-sign a long-term deal in the summer of 2018 which would be a win-win in terms of bolstering their chances to compete with Cleveland for Eastern Conference supremacy, and keep him away from the Lakers.

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Celtics draft pick Jayson Tatum will go from one highly regarded coach to another, and he said shortly after being drafted that Mike Krzyzewski had nothing but good things to say about Brad Stevens. 

Tatum said Coach K’s praise for Stevens came after the Celtics traded the first overall pick, thus establishing they would not be selecting Markelle Fultz. 

“He called me and talked about that Boston was wanting me to come up there for a workout. He was just ranting about how great of a person Brad Stevens is, and [that] Coach K would love the opportunity if they would pick me and he really wanted me to go up there and work out for them,” Tatum said. “I was all for it. It worked out. I had a great time up there on my visit and obviously they enjoyed me.”

Krzyzewski and Stevens coached against each other in the 2010 national championship, which Duke won by two points when Gordon Hayward’s potential game-winning half-court shot nearly went in, but hit the rim. Hayward and Stevens could be reunited this offseason given that the veteran forward will be a free agent.

Tatum spent one year at Duke, averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.