Bruins’ David Backes suspended 3 games for hit on Frans Nielsen

Boston Bruins forward David Backes has been suspended for three games for a shoulder to the head of Detroit’s Frans Nielsen.

The decision was announced by the league Wednesday, a day after Backes knocked Nielsen from Boston’s 6-5 overtime victory. Nielsen had already unloaded the puck when Backes drove his shoulder into the Red Wings forward, who fell to the ice, left the game and did not return.

For the first time in three seasons, the Trail Blazers have a participant in the NBA All-Star Game. And, just like before, that person is Damian Lillard. This came at a time when the Blazers, frankly, were in need of some good news. Their record 48 games in — currently at 26-22 — has hovered just above the .500 mark.

The team’s consistency in treading water and staying just within the playoff picture is remarkable, really. Despite two three-game losing streaks and a separate five-game skid, the Blazers have yet to sit below .500 on the year, and they have some impressive wins over top-notch opponents.

But that mediocrity eventually led their All-Star to meet with team owner Paul Allen, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, to talk about the direction of the team. The conversation was generally positive in nature and described as a “a productive, open forum to share opinions and express concern,” according to Haynes’ report.

The point guard was also a member of the gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic Team in 1968 and played for the Celtics from 1969-70 to the 1978-79 season, winning two titles. His streak of 488 consecutive games played is still a Celtics record.

“We are terribly saddened by the passing of the great Jo Jo White,” the Celtics said in a statement. “He was a champion and a gentleman; supremely talented and brilliant on the court, and endlessly gracious off of it. Jo Jo was a key member of two championship teams, an NBA Finals MVP, a gold medal-winning Olympian, and a Hall of Famer.

“His contributions to the team’s championship legacy may have only been surpassed by the deep and lasting impact that he had in the community. The thoughts and sympathies of the entire Celtics organization are with the White family.”packers_010

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