LOS ANGELES, CA Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Los Angeles Kings locked into a scoreless game after the first 20 minutes of play at the Staples Center.
1) The Bruins have 11 shots on goal at the end of the first period and the Bs forwards have accounted for only four of them. Once again the forwards didnt have enough involvement for the Bruins and that needs to change.
2) The Kings are pounding the Bruins all over the ice. Heavy shots to the body and the Kings are finishing every single hit on the Bruins. It was good of Chris Kelly to defend himself in one instance and go after Trevor Lewis when he didnt like a borderline hit from behind, but theres not enough of that going on. Not enough of a physical presence.
3) Twice the Staples Center game officials had to stop when the clock either froze or they lost track of how much time was on the clock. Considering whats happened at this place its becoming something of a joke.
4) Tim Thomas once again playing very well with 15 saves in the first period along with Mike Richards smacking a wrister from the slot off the right post.
5) Twice Kyle Clifford has backed away from potential fights with Shawn Thornton. Interesting to see how that will play out over the next 40 minutes.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.
Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign.
Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown.
The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player.
Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.
Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.