Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Blues

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Blues

ST. LOUIS, MO Here are 15 thoughts from the game with the Bruins taking down the St. Louis Blues by a 4-2 score after 60 minutes of action at the Scottrade Center.

FIRST PERIOD

1) Good first period for the Bruins against a team that came to play tonight in St. Louis. Have to like the way the KrejciLucicKelly combo is playing. They produced a pair of goals and have had five or six legitimate scoring chances in the first 20 minutes of play. It looks like Krejci might be playing on right wing for a time moving forward, and that would be perfectly okay as long as all three players produce.

2) BJ Crombeen is a winning type of player. Goes toe-to-toe with Adam McQuaid during a first period fight and then scoops up a garbage man goal in front of the net on a loose puck minutes later. He doesnt score a lot of goals, but hes an undeniable presence for the Blues.

3) Wondering what the referees saw when David Backes stuck out his right leg and leg-checked Brad Marchand near center ice in a hit that was as dangerous as it was obvious. Its becoming more and more clear that the Bruins are viewed through a certain lens when it comes to the NHL officials, and theyre buying into Bostons perceived reputation. Its costs them calls on their call and adds penalties on the other side.

4) Three shots on net, a pair of points and a plus-2 for Chris Kelly in the first 20 minutes. He came to play tonight in a game the Bruins desperately need and thats an example of one player doing their job to help raise the collective result.

5) Tim Thomas appearing to have a difficult time tracking the puck in front of the net. He totally lost sight of the puck that ended up on BJ Crombeens stick for the Blues second goal. Give Ryan Reaves credit for the screen in front, but Thomas needs to find that puck.

SECOND PERIOD

1) Tim Thomas keeping the Bruins in the game right now with the Blues out-shooting the Bs by a 14-4 margin in the second period. His best stop was a flashy glove save on Kris Russell through traffic in the closing ends of the second period that could have been a killer. Thomas with 22 saves in all against St. Louis tonight.

2) Jordan Caron appears to have hit the pine for the Bruins as the CaronCarter CamperBenoit Pouliot line has been getting dominated throughout the game. They actually look like theyre penalty-killing each time theyre on the ice because theyre chasing so much.

3) Speaking of underachieving lines, the Bs fourth line has been on the ice for two goals allowed. Give Shawn Thornton credit, however, for going out there tonight because he looks less than 100 percent. But hes gutting it out.

4) The Bruins are 12-0-0 this season when Chris Kelly scores a goal this season and hes provided the difference-maker thus far. Underscores the importance of Kelly kicking in the incidental offense and that link to the teams success overall.

5) St. Louis crashing the net in a big way throughout the game. Its been so frequent that Tim Thomas actually decked Chris Porter with his blocker on one overly aggressive situation crashing the net. Amazing there are no goalie interference calls tonight when the refs whistled four goalie interference calls at the beginning of this road trip. Absolutely no consistency there whatsoever. Give referee Ian Walsh credit, however, for playing through a fat lip that left him bleeding on the ice earlier. He had to leave briefly to get stitched up, but he was back out there at the end of the second period.

THIRD PERIOD

1) Brad Marchand had gone six games without a goal and hadnt been much of a factor at all. Looks like he might have been woken up by a dirty David Backes leg check in the neutral zone in the first period that went uncalled. Marchand potted a pair of goals including a great tone-setting pick-pocket of Kevin Shattenkirk before firing it past Brian Elliott. Then he potted another one on a breakaway in the third period as an insurance goal. His best goal in weeks.

2) Another rough day in the face-off circle (1-for-7) for David Krejci despite the solid game all-around.

3) Impressive work by the St. Louis Blues against the Bruins. Bs had to work hard for everything they got and got stormed by the Blues after getting an early 2-0 lead on them. This is a team that could surprise in the playoffs against some very good competition.

4) Bruins still not as physically dominant as they are when theyre really rolling, but the win over the Blues in their building is a good start. First third period win for the Bruins in their last four games after it was their calling card for the entire season.

5) Joe Corvo was actually pretty decent against the Blues tonight. He made good decisions in most instances with the puck and not too many soul-crushing mistakes with the puck, and it was his point shot that led to Lucic goal in first period. The Bruins need more of the good Corvo.

Haggerty's Morning Skate: Phil Kessel emotional about reaching Stanlery Cup Final

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Haggerty's Morning Skate: Phil Kessel emotional about reaching Stanlery Cup Final

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while picking the San Jose Sharks over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final.

 

*Patrick Lalime hopped on sports radio in Ottawa, and said the Chris Phillips/Zdeno Chara defense pairing was the best he ever played behind.

 

*Don Cherry had a major problem with Steven Stamkos suiting up and playing in the losing Game 7 to the Penguins.

 

*Phil Kessel gets pretty emotional about finally getting to the Stanley Cup Final after years of struggle in Toronto.

 

*USA Today’s Kevin Allen says the gap between the No. 1 goaltender and the backup isn’t what it used to be.

 

*Speaking the Sharks, the trip back to Pittsburgh for the Cup Final brings back memories for Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

 

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) writer has the news about Dustin Brown getting stripped of the captaincy with the LA Kings.

 

*Bryan Rust was in the AHL to start this season, but much like Mike Sullivan and Matt Murray he killed it for the Penguins in the playoffs.

 

*For something completely different: It’s official that moving Jackie Bradley Jr. in the lineup wasn’t what killed his hitting streak.

Rodriguez to start Tuesday, Buchholz to bullpen

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Rodriguez to start Tuesday, Buchholz to bullpen

As expected, Eduardo Rodriguez will start for the Red Sox on Tuesday in Baltimore and Clay Buchholz will go to the bullpen, manager John Farrell told reporters in Toronto.

The move became apparent after Buchholz (2-5, 6.35 ERA) struggled again Thursday night, allowing three two-run home runs in an 8-2 loss to the Rockies.

Rodriguez, who hurt his knee in spring training, has yet to pitch for the Red Sox this season. The left-hander, who was 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA as a rookie last season,  made three rehab starts at Triple-A Pawtucket. 

"The bottom line is the results, and there's been a strong precedent set with that," Farrell said of Buchholz in annoucning the move. 

Blakely: No. 1 pick isn’t necessarily the road to title contention

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Blakely: No. 1 pick isn’t necessarily the road to title contention

BOSTON – Celtics fans are slowly but surely getting over the disappointment of the team not landing the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft lottery earlier this month.
 
As cool as that would have been, the conference finals serve as a reminder that while having the top pick can be a good thing, most teams have to take a different route when it comes to getting on track towards and NBA title.
 
Of the four remaining teams in the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the only one that has truly been elevated to their current lofty status courtesy of landing the number one overall pick (first with LeBron James back in 2003 and more recently with Kyrie Irving in 2011).
 
That means the rest of the remaining field built their way up into an NBA power relying on a combination of making wise draft picks and shrewd additions via free agency and trades.
 
So much of that has to do with leverage, something the Celtics have plenty of on all three fronts.
 
They have the potential to free up enough salary cap space to sign a pair of max players, a first for this franchise. Boston also has eight draft picks in next month’s draft (three in the first round, five in the second), the most of any team leading up to the draft since it went to a two-round system in 1989.
 
Those picks plus a roster full of really good but not great talent, gives them the kind of ammunition to pull the trigger on a trade that could add that much-needed All-Star caliber talent.
 
But it’s like a high school chemistry experiment as the Celtics try to figure out the right combinations to avoid having it all blow up in their face.
 
For now, the emphasis has to be on the June 23 draft.
 
A big part of that planning process involves figuring out what to do with the No. 3 pick, the highest selection the Celtics have had since they took Jeff Green (and traded him that night) with the fifth overall selection in 2007.
 
If the Celtics keep the pick, it will certainly bring about some controversy regardless of who they select.
 
By taking Dragan Bender of Croatia, the Celtics will be selecting the youngest player in the draft (he turns 19 in November) who may take years to develop into a legitimate contributor.
 
Selecting Providence College’s Kris Dunn, arguably the best perimeter defender in this draft, seems a bit redundant considering all the guards Boston has under contract whose strengths are essentially the same as Dunn’s.
 
Buddy Hield of Oklahoma is another option. He’s the best shooter in this draft, but doesn’t provide much other than scoring. Is that really worthy of a No. 3 overall pick?
 
Regardless of who the Celtics take with the No. 3 pick (and that’s assuming they keep it and not trade it away which is indeed an option), one thing we know for sure.
 
History tells us that if the Celtics keep the pick, he will wind up being a pretty good player.
 
In the past 20 years, the No. 1 overall pick has produced 12 All-Stars.
 
Among top six picks in that same span of time, the No. 3 selection has generated the second-highest number of All-Stars (8), while the No. 2, 4, 5 and 6 picks each had five All-Stars.
 
That’s important to note because the need to have multiple All-Stars is paramount to a team’s chances at making a deep playoff run.
 
Take a look at the four remaining teams.
 
There’s the defending champion Golden State Warriors, whose roster includes a quartet of current (Stephen Curry; Klay Thompson and Draymond Green) and former All-Stars (Andre Iguodala).
 
Cleveland’s roster includes a similar breakdown of recent (LeBron James; Kyrie Irving; Kevin Love) and not-so-recent (Mo Williams) All-Stars.
 
And then there’s Oklahoma City (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook) and Toronto (Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan) who each have a pair of All-Stars.
 
For Boston, the team's lone All-Star is Isaiah Thomas, who knows all too well that he can’t carry this team to a deep, meaningful playoff run without getting some All-Star caliber help.

The top two picks in this year’s draft – Duke’s Brandon Ingram and LSU’s Ben Simmons – are head and shoulders above the rest of the draft class, but the Celtics are in a good spot if you’re talking about adding a key piece to a potential title contender.