Seguin, Marchand erase early miscues

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Seguin, Marchand erase early miscues

UNIONDALE, NY Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand had stat lines as bare as the hair on their shaved heads entering the third period of Saturday afternoons tilt against the New York Islanders.

It was one of those one out of 82 kind of games between a team destined for good things in the playoffs, and a team full of players getting their golf attire ready for mid-April. Seguin had missed very high and incredibly wide open an open net at the end of the first period on a one-timer, and Marchand had been turned away by Al Montoya on a breakaway chance in a tight game.

Other than that both players had been eerily quiet against an Islanders bunch not known for their defense or goaltending prowess. But Seguin and Marchand showed theyre sharpening their mental toughness and raising their level of determination by detonating the Islanders with a four-goal barrage in the third period that led to a 6-3 victory at Nassau Coliseum.

Our guys did a great job in the third, said Claude Julien. They didnt sit there in the third period and kept going right at them to build up that lead.

It gave the proper ending for a Bruins-friendly crowd at Nassau Coliseum that audibly yelled Woo! at the end of every Bs score, and it also showed that Boston might just be ready to install Marchand, Seguin and Bergeron together as one of their forward lines when the playoffs get started.

Claude Julien liked the resolve that he saw out on the ice after Seguin had feebly registered one shot, two giveaways and one missed open net at the end of 40 minutes.

Thats what we need. Sometimes guys will hang on to those missed opportunities and it just drags them down, said Julien. But these guys today were determined and committed. When they missed the first chance to score, they came right back and they scored on the second and third chances.

With the Bruins and Islanders locked into a 2-2 tie entering the third period, it seemed that somebody finally found the power button on both Seguin and Marchand. The 20-year-old forward zipped through the Islanders defense while rushing down the right wing, and then found Marchand crashing the slot area. Marchand faked one defender and then lifted a shot over Montoya for his team-leading 27th goal of the season.

Seguin wasnt okay with Marchand leading the team in goals scored all by himself, so he notched his 27th goal of the year on a wrist shot from the outside of the left face-off circle that flat beat Montoya.

The Islanders got one back in the third period, but Marchand and Seguin were at it again while creating a goal for Patrice Bergeron this time as he crashed down on a loose puck in the slot area. When the ice chips had settled Seguin and Marchand both had three points in the third period, and the trio wasnt on ice for a single goal allowed to the Islanders.

Seguin freely admitted he wasnt overjoyed with his recent play and it seemed he was slipping into some bad habits in the corners and around the front of the net recently but he reversed that while finding his own personal turbo button in the third period.

I thought our line played a really solid period in the third. It was nice for us to finish strong in the third, said Seguin. I thought I played okay. In the last few games I felt like I hadnt been playing badly, but I felt like I hadnt been playing spectacularly either. This is the time of year when you want to get a little hot going into the playoffs, and as a team you want to get that consistency. Thats what were all striving for.

Seguin and Marchand have to hope it wont arrive in 20 minute bursts when playoff time arrives, but they have to know the Bruins will be counting heavily on those offensive outbursts once they hit the postseason. Both have an outside chance at 30 goals scored with four games left in the season, and theyll need to play like consistent 30-goal scorers once the real season begins in just a few short weeks.

Young getting on floor more for Celtics, including key fourth-quarter stints

Young getting on floor more for Celtics, including key fourth-quarter stints

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – For most of his life, basketball has come easy to James Young.
 
So, the idea that in training camp he wasn’t just fighting to get playing time but also to stay in the NBA, was a jarring eye-opener.
 
To Young’s credit, he rose to the challenge and beat out R.J. Hunter for the Celtics' final roster spot.
 
And while Young’s playing time has been sporadic, he has done a much better job of maximizing his opportunities.
 
So, as the Celtics roll into Detroit to face the Pistons, Young finds himself playing his best basketball as a pro, good enough to make coach Brad Stevens not hesitate to put him in the game in the fourth quarter of a close matchup.
 
“It’s exciting to come back home,” Young, who grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., told CSNNE.com. “A lot of my family will be there. I’m not thinking about me. I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team.”
 
And lately, he’s getting an opportunity to do just that beyond being someone who helps in practice.
 
We saw that in the 107-97 loss at Toronto on Friday. Young came off the bench to play four minutes, 36 seconds in the fourth quarter with only two other Celtics reserves, Marcus Smart (8:39) and Jonas Jerebko (5:10) seeing more action down the stretch.
 
“It means a lot,” Young said. “He’s starting to trust me a little bit more. That’s a good thing. I’m just trying to do little things; rebound, get defensive stops and score when I get a chance.”
 
The fact that his scoring is just starting to take shape helps shed some light on why he has been buried so deep on the Celtics bench.
 
For his first couple seasons, Young seemed a hesitant shooter physically overwhelmed by opponents too strong for him to defend as well as too physical for him to limit their effectiveness.
 
But this season, he has done a better job at holding his own as a defender while making himself an available scoring option who can play off his teammates.
 
Young is averaging just 2.9 points per game this season, but he’s shooting a career-high 48.9 percent from the field and 41.7 percent on 3’s, which is also a career-high.
 
Getting on the floor more often has in many ways provided yet another boost of confidence to Young.
 
“I’m getting used to the flow of the game playing more consistently,” Young said. “I know what to do. It’s slowing up a little more and it’s getting easier.”
 

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Three weeks removed from his team blowing a 25-point, second-half lead in the Super Bowl, Mohamed Sanu offered a possible explanation for the Atlanta Falcons losing their edge against the Patriots.

Lady Gaga.

More specifically, it was the half-hour-plus halftime show that interrupted the Falcons' rhythm, the receiver said Friday on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

“Usually, halftime is only like 15 minutes, and when you’re not on the field for like an hour, it’s just like going to work out, like a great workout, and you go sit on the couch for an hour and then try to start working out again,” Sanu said.

Sanu was asked if the delay was something you can simulate in practice. 

"It's really the energy [you can't duplicate]," he said. "I don't know if you can simulate something like that. That was my first time experiencing something like that."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did simulate it. In his Super Bowl practices, he had his team take long breaks in the middle.

Sanu also addressed the Falcons' pass-first play-calling that didn't eat up clock while the Patriots came back.

"The thought [that they weren't running the ball more] crossed your mind, but as a player, you're going to do what the coach [Dan Quinn] wants you to do." Sanu said. "He's called plays like that all the time."