Rolston not worrying about revenge against Islanders


Rolston not worrying about revenge against Islanders

It didnt get very warm and fuzzy when Brian Rolston talked of squaring off against the team that traded him to the Bruins the New York Islanders as Boston travels to Long Island for a Saturday tilt at Nassau Coliseum.

It wasnt anger or contempt in Rolstons voice or eyes when he spoke about his Isles experience, however.

It was more like an emotional disconnect that Long Island never really registered all that high with the 39-year-old. That probably makes sense given the Isles place in the NHLs lower rung of hockey clubs as something significantly less than an ideal hockey destination.Rolston played exactly 45 games for the Islanders with a lowly nine points. There was a liberal mixture of injuries and healthy scratches to go around for the highly respected veteran that reduced his playing time, and ultimately caused New York to go in a different direction.

Being placed on waivers by Garth Snow and the Isles must have stung a bit for a highly decorated NHL veteran like Rolston, but versatile forward has changed teams enough to temper some of the potentially strong emotional pull. In other words he wont be breathing fire on the ice when he suits up against the Islanders.

When youre younger and you play a former team it might be a little nerve-wracking, but in this situation not so much, said Rolston. Ive been around a long time. Its about trying to well yourself as an individual and play well as a team.

Its a whole new life that I have here in Boston, and you kind of put it behind you.It would be natural if Rolstons chest were puffed out a little bit more rolling into the Island with 13 points in 16 games during the month of March, and a key third line role on a team thats destined for the postseason. Rolston used the phrase bad fit as a way to describe his experience with the Islanders after arriving in Boston, but was steering clear of that kind of talk Friday after an optional team practice.

Things go through your mind. Im 39 and Ive played a lot of years, so it definitely goes through your mind wondering whether youre going to get lost in the fold there, said Rolston, alluding to when things started to go awry during his Islanders experience. But then when you get an opportunity you have to take advantage of it and its been a good fit for me here in Boston.

Sweet revenge, or whatever Rolston would prefer to call it, would be celebrating a victory that clinches a playoff spot on the Nassau Coliseum ice where things might have ended for him without a trade. But anything more would have meant the experienced higher on Rolstons emotional Richter scale and that doesnt seem to be the case.

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup again tonight after leaving the Red Sox game Thursday night with knee pain in the fifth inning.

Josh Rutledge will start at second base as the Sox open a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.  

The weather and sloppy field conditions were a factor in John Farrell deciding to get Pedroia out of the game Thursday and conditions haven’t improved significantly Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on that knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked the plunking war between the Orioles and Red Sox.

The full lineups: 

Jean Segura SS
Guillermo Heredia CF
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Danny Valencia 1B
Taylor Motter LF
Ben Gamel RF
Mike Zunino C

Yovanni Gallardo RHP

Mookie Betts RF
Andrew Benintendi LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Josh Rutledge 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr CF
Christian Vazquez C
Deven Marrero 3B

Eduardo Rodriguez LHP


Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

WALTHAM, Mass. – No matter how an NBA team’s season ends, change is inevitable.
And while there’s no doubt that the Celtics are on the right track in terms of their ascension in the NBA, it's too soon to tell how many players on the Celtics’ 15-man roster that Danny Ainge, the president of basketball operations, will bring back next season.


“One thing I do know. He’ll make the best decisions for the team and if players don’t end up being back here, I wish the best for them,” said Avery Bradley.  “Those are my brothers. We all had a special year. I appreciate everything, all the time I had with them. I’d love for all those guys to be back. We’ll see.”
And with Boston coming off its first trip to the Eastern Conference finals since 2012, adding just any player won’t cut it.
The Celtics’ mindset now isn’t just to improve, but get good enough to where they can better compete with the likes of Cleveland, which just ended the Celtics’ season with a Game 5 thumping.
The most significant move made by the Celtics last offseason was the signing of Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract.
Like most of his Boston teammates this season, Horford is eager to see what changes are in store this summer.
“We just have to wait and see,” Horford said. “We had such a good year. A lot of positive things. It’ll be interesting to see what Danny, the organization feels is going to be the next step.”
Multiple league sources have told in recent weeks that the Celtics are focused on landing an All-Star caliber talent in the frontcourt.
That makes sense when you consider how guard-dominant the Celtics were this season and how that had a negative impact on the team’s rebounding and, to a lesser degree, their defense as a whole.
Gordon Hayward has emerged as a target, but all indications – for now at least – point toward him returning to Utah.
The Celtics may pursue Los Angeles Clippers big man Blake Griffin. Although like Hayward, he too is expected to re-sign with his current team for a max contract (for Griffin that would be five years, $175 million).
While trades are certainly in the cards for Boston, at this point the Celtics seem more inclined to improve their overall talent base via the draft and free agency.
“It’s always a good thing when you have the opportunity to add value to your team and don’t have to change your team too much,” said Celtics’ reserve Gerald Green, who will be a free agent this summer. “I’m going to be very interested to see what they do as far as building a team. We’re in a good place right now as far as being where we want to be organization-wise. I feel like we’re one or two steps away from actually being at the Finals. I think Danny has some things to think about, but I’m sure he’s going to do the job. I’ve seen Danny go to work in these situations. He always makes the team better. I’m pretty sure he’s got something planned that, at the end of the day, is going to make this organization better.”
Indeed, the Celtics could very well strengthen their position for next season by simply locking up some of their core players who may hit the free agent market soon.
Boston may look to work out an extension with Isaiah Thomas before the start of this season. Because if he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, he will be poised to command a salary that in year one would be worth more than the entire four-year, $27 million deal he signed with Phoenix in 2014.
“Boston’s changed my career, changed my life,” Thomas said. “I would love to be here long-term and win championships here. But as you guys know, it’s a business and anything can happen. I know that and understand that. But I would love to be here. This has been everything to me. This city, this organization … it’s been good.”