Pietrus excited after first win with Celtics


Pietrus excited after first win with Celtics

BOSTON -- Mickael Pietrus flashed a smile and broke out into song as the media approached his locker on Wednesday night following the Boston Celtics 23-point win over the Toronto Raptors.

Im sexy and I know it, he sang, dancing in his seat to the tune of the LMFAO hit.

Pietrus had plenty to be happy about. After missing the start of the season rehabbing a knee injury, he experienced his first victory as a Celtic. His 12-point performance, including four-for-seven shooting from three-point range, contributed to the final 96-73 result.

Without being asked a single question, Pietrus made his opening remarks.

First win as a Celtic, it feels good, he said. I think we moved the ball extremely well. We were able to get open and make some shots. We started much feeling about ourselves starting the games, so Im confident and always stay positive. We still have to work on a couple things to get us better, but if I think that if we fight like that every night, good things are going to happen.

It has only been one week since Pietrus made his Celtics debut. He has made at least one trey in each of his five games, including seven in his last two contests. His instant energy has given the Celtics bench a boost. The swingman is averaging 8.2 points and shooting 40.7 percent from three-point range this season.

Pietrus has already done far more than I thought he would do this quickly, said Doc Rivers. His energy is just infectious and defensively hes unbelievable. I remember not liking him when he was with the Magic when he came on the floor because of his defensive toughness, and youve kind of forgotten about it. Hes reminding you why you didnt like him. Hes terrific.

Pietrus remembers the receptions he received as the opponent. After playing for the Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic, and Phoenix Suns, he has a better feeling being on the home team inside the TD Garden.

At the Garden, Im just trying to be the fan favorite right now, he said with a laugh. Im not going to lie to you because I was on the opposing team and they hated me. So now theyve got to love me now. Im just trying to enjoy my time with them. All it takes is a smile on a kids face, thats all I need. Thats what I live for. I live with high energy for those people so I ve got to give my best shot.

Bruins' 2017-18 schedule has three Habs games in eight days

Bruins' 2017-18 schedule has three Habs games in eight days

The Bruins released their schedule for the 2017-18 season Thursday, with their campaign beginning at TD Garden on Oct. 5 against the Predators. 

Two things stand out in Boston’s schedule. Eleven of their final 15 games are on the road, and they don’t play the Canadiens until mid-January.  

Then, when the B’s and Habs do finally meet, they play three times in an eight-day span. The rivals face each other Jan. 13 in Montreal, Jan. 17 in Boston and Jan. 20 in Montreal. The Bruins’ final regular-season meeting with the Habs is March 3. 

To see the full schedule, click here. 

Morning Skate: How Haggs voted for the NHL Awards

Morning Skate: How Haggs voted for the NHL Awards

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and my ballot from last night’s NHL Awards now that the results are in. I can confirm I was not the one person to give Torey Krug a Norris Trophy vote despite what the unwashed masses in Ottawa choose to believe. Also, I did not throw a first-place vote to Brad Marchand in Hart Trophy voting. Still, I think it’s a safe bet that the same person did both.

Anyway, on to my ballot with a brief explanation for each of the votes:

Hart Trophy

1. Connor McDavid

2. Sidney Crosby

3. Brent Burns

4. Patrick Kane

5. Brad Marchand

McDavid was the obvious MVP as he helped lift the Oilers into the playoffs, and was the only guy in the NHL to hit 100 points this past season. In hindsight, I should have included Sergei Bobrovsky and omitted Patrick Kane from the list and always have a difficult time determining when a season from a goalie is or isn’t Hart-worthy. But I certainly feel good about throwing a fifth-place vote to Marchand after a phenomenal season for the B’s.

Norris Trophy:

1. Brent Burns

2. Erik Karlsson

3. Victor Hedman

4. Duncan Keith

5. Zach Werenski

Burns had such a transcendent offensive season for the Sharks and I like the fact that he can play a physical game as well as roaming around creating offense. That being said, it would have been an easy first place vote for Karlsson if the playoffs were included along with the regular season. The fifth place vote was the only one I really had to think hard and long about but felt like Werenski really played a big role in the Columbus turnaround this season.

Calder Trophy

1. Auston Matthews

2. Zach Werenski

3. Patrik Laine

4. William Nylander

5. Matt Murray

Plenty of good rookies to choose from in the voting, but it was fairly easy to choose Matthews as a dominant force for a Leafs team on the upswing. 40 goals as a 19-year-old rookie is a ridiculous amount of goals.

Lady Byng

1.  Oscar Klefbom

2.  Johnny Gaudreau

3.  Brandon Saad

4.  Marian Hossa

5.  Marcus Johansson

My votes are usually all over the map for Lady Byng, but Klefbom and Gaudreau were both solid picks as the top two. Gaudreau finished with 60 plus points and just four penalty minutes, and that’s pretty tough to do.

Selke Trophy

1. Bergeron

2. Kesler

3. Koivu

4. O’Reilly

5. Toews

All Bergeron all the way and there was a wide margin between him and second place. The fact he managed to play at a Selke level while also being hurt the entire season just adds to the toughness factor for the best two-way player I’ve covered in my time in Boston.   

On to the links...

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston has the Golden Knights ready to take their first step toward contending after building their team, and their coffers, at the expansion draft.

*We’ll see how history views this trade a year or two down the line, but the Islanders definitely got a lot better with Jordan Eberle joining John Tavares in Brooklyn next season.

*Fresh off his Norris Trophy win, bearded Brent Burns was mistaken for a swashbuckling pirate on a visit to Disney.

*Reilly Smith is on the move again, this time to the Vegas Golden Knights, and the word on the street was that Boston inquired about bringing him back if the Panthers were willing to take Jimmy Hayes back. Don’t think it was much of a conversation. I guess there really is no trade-backesies in the NHL.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has the Nashville Predators pretty busted up after losing James Neal in the expansion draft.

*For something completely different: Ron Howard is taking over directing the standalone Han Solo movie, and I’ve got to say that I don’t hate this.