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01/12/2012 - 1:55pm
Subban, Pacioretty: Bruins aren't dirty
By: DJ Bean

While there has been talk out of Vancouver about the Bruins having dirty players, members of the Canadiens said Thursday that their rivals play the game right. 

"No. They play a certain way and I think that's why they're successful," Max Pacioretty said when asked if he finds the B's to be dirty. "To some extent, I wish we played a little more like them. Maybe not as much as they do, but they're definitely an intimidating team to play against. They have so many guys who can step up -- I'm not talking about fighting -- I'm talking about physical. You watch the games recently in the NHL, and there's not many pretty plays happening. They're all tough, grinding goals, and a big body presence. I think that's why they're successful this year."

P.K. Subban said he has not seen former world junior teammate Brad Marchand's hit on Sami Salo, but that he does not consider Marchand or the Bruins to be dirty. 

"It's...

01/12/2012 - 1:33pm
Pats practice: Back to perfect attendance

FOXBORO -- In their final full practice before their AFC Divisional Playoff on Saturday night, the Patriots had everyone back in attendance inside the Dana Farber Field House on Thursday afternoon. The team worked out inside a chilly field house in sweats and shells for a second straight day after practicing in full pads on Tuesday.

Defensive lineman Kyle Love missed practice on Wednesday for what was listed as a non-injury related matter. He returned Thursday. Love has been the only Patriots player to miss any practice time this week as they prepare for Tim Tebow and the Broncos Saturday night at Gillette. 

The Patriots will conduct their usual walkthrough on Friday before taking the field on Saturday, looking for their first postseason win since the 2007 AFC Championship over the Chargers in Jan. 2008 at Gillette Stadium. 

For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots....

01/12/2012 - 1:32pm
Theo: No precedent for major compensation

Speaking on the Dennis & Callahan Show Thursday morning, Cubs president Theo Epstein talked about where he stands in regard to settling on compensation being sent by Chicago to the Red Sox in exchange for letting the former Sox' GM switch organizations.

At the time Epstein assumed his current title with the Cubs, he still had one year remaining on his Red Sox' contract, leading both side to agree that there would be some sort of compensation coming to Boston if such a move was to be made. At one point, baseball commissioner Bud Selig stepped in and stated that he would be mediating the discussion if it wasn't completed by Nov. 1. Selig has backed off his involved as the offseason has progressed.

"I think you have to put it in context. In the history of baseball...

01/12/2012 - 1:26pm
Theo: Henry alone in not wanting Crawford

Speaking on the Dennis & Callahan Show Thursday morning, Cubs president, and former Red Sox general manager, Theo Epstein confirmed John Henry's assertion that the principal owner was against signing Carl Crawford to the seven-year, $142 million deal he received prior to the 2011 season. Epstein said, however, that Henry was alone in his opinion, with the rest of the organization's decision-makers being on board with the commitment.

"When you own the team you can do that, and I think John is an organization-first kind of guy. Those were kind of unique circumstances," Epstein said. "The bottom line was that's right. I think John didn't want to do that one, but everyone else did in the organization. Everyone knew it wasn't perfect. You don't set out one day...

01/12/2012 - 1:17pm
Belichick: Branch is 'exceptional, rare'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick heaped praise on receiver Deion Branch on Thursday, placing him among the smartest players he has ever coached in a Patriots uniform. Belichick pointed to Branch's ability to read a defense and adjust his route accordingly, giving Tom Brady an open and available target. 

"Branch is great at that, he's great at that, as was Troy, as was Kevin, as was Randy," Belichick said, putting Branch in the same class as Kevin Faulk, Troy Brown and Randy Moss. "Those guys just knew where they could go, how long they had to get there and how to do it. And 99 percent of the time, if as a coach, you said, 'this is the situation, and this is what we want you to do,' that's what they would do."

Belichick said tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are having great seasons but still have a way to go to match the longevity and production of Branch, the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX. 

"Deion and...

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