Rivers on Rondo suspension: Reputation had to do with it

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Rivers on Rondo suspension: Reputation had to do with it

NEW YORK Doc Rivers saw the bumping incident in Atlanta on Saturday involving Rajon Rondo and official Rodney Mott when it happened.

The incident occurred with 3:19 to play in the third quarter of the Cs 89-81 win at Atlanta on Saturday.

At the time, Mott didn't make a call regarding the incident and with that, Rivers thought it was a non-issue.

That is, until the league announced hours before Monday's tip-off that Rondo was suspended for bumping the official and according to the league's statement on the incident, "failure to cooperate with a league investigation."

Making intentional contact with an official is a one-game suspension. But what was somewhat unclear in Rondo's latest suspension - it is his third since April of last year - is the part about him failing to cooperate with the investigation.

Rivers would not elaborate on what that meant other than to say that Rondo did have a "brief" conversation with the league officials regarding the incident.

With Rondo's rash of suspension within the last year, there's little doubt he is on the league's radar screen when it comes to this kind of stuff.

"You know the old saying, you're not given that reputation, you earn one," Rivers said. "And I'm sure that had a lot to do with it as well."

While Rivers is quick to shift his focus on tonight's opponent and the opportunity that beating a talented New York Knicks team presents, discarding Rondo's latest incident won't be as easy.

The Celtics are playing some of their best basketball of the season, looking very much like the team that Danny Ainge and Rivers and the Celtics ownership envisioned when it was assembled in the offseason.

But when a player of Rondo's stature and importance continues to make the kind of ill-fated mistakes that not only hurt himself but also his team, it gives the C's reason to pause in their efforts in establishing him as their leader of the future.

Of course Boston will try to downplay the big picture dynamic in this latest Rondo suspension.

But it can't be ignored; not with it happening over and over again.

"We just work on it, everyday," Rivers said. "He's going to play a long time and he has a long time, a lot of time to change it."

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.