Boston Celtics

Horton's recent hot streak good news for Bruins

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Horton's recent hot streak good news for Bruins

BOSTON -- Let's face it. Nathan Horton may never have a worse scoring drought than he did midway through last season, in which he scored only one goal in 20 games.

But entering January, it was getting awfully close. From Dec. 5 to the end of the month, Horton scored only twice in 11 games.

The Bruins weren't struggling, so it wasn't that big a deal.Still, big picture, Horton is a major part of Boston's success. His presence on the right wing on the team's top line was crucial in the playoffs last year, until he went down with a concussion in the Stanley Cup Final.

His presence is all about intensity, and at the end of the day, that intensity -- for Horton -- turns into goals.

Sometimes, though, Horton doesn't seem to be fully engaged in the game that he's playing -- a reason he went through such a horrid stretch last season. It was also a reason for his latest drought, before the last four games.

Because in those last four games, Horton now has five goals, thanks to his two goals in Tuesday night's 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets at the TD Garden.

"I think he's doing more of what we had talked about when we wanted him to be a better player," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the win. "I think he's more engaged in the dirty areas, battling. I think he's being more physical than he had been lately. And he's a lot stronger on the puck. Even near the net, he's trying those chances, where at the beginning of the year, he was there but the goaltenders were making the saves and he wasn't burying his opportunities.

"So I think when you look at all those little things, it's more about how engaged he is in the game. I think he's more mentally engaged in all those little areas."

Julien said that his team lacked a killer instinct in the first two periods on Tuesday night. But Horton seemed to have it from the get-go, scoring the Bruins' first goal of the night while going hard to the net in the final minute of the first period.

Milan Lucic completed a breakout by skating the puck down into the left corner of the offensive zone, and dished a pass out to the right post, where Horton beat the defense to the puck and tapped it into the open net, tying the game at 1-1 with 39.4 seconds left in the first period.

Horton's second goal started a third-period scoring spree, as he once again went hard to the net, beat the defense to the top of the crease, and put his stick on the ice to knock home a David Krejci spin-o-rama pass from the left corner, just eight seconds into the period.

That goal -- his 14th of the year -- tied the game at 3-3, and was the first of three unanswered Bruins goals to end the game.

"I'm just trying to get pucks to the net and go to the net, and get it to open people," said Horton after the win. "Im just trying to give David Krejci and Milan Lucic the puck as much as I can, and just go to the net, and good things happen."

Good things happened for Horton on Tuesday night, as he seemed fully engaged in the game, getting to those dirty areas.

And after that, the rest of the Bruins followed suit.

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.