Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Jets

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Jets

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Winnipeg Jets tied at a 1-1 score after the first 20 minutes of hockey at TD Garden.

1)Zach Bogosian with his fourth goal of the season for the Winnipeg Jets and his 18th point of the season on a long point shot that was tipped in front of the net. It appears that Bogosian is beginning to round into the form that made him a lottery pick in the first round, and explains some of the interest that the Bruins have had in him over the years. Some scoffed when I mentioned his name as a type of player that could have been in play if a Tuukka Rask deal ever came off, but hes a top pair defenseman and those are difficult to come by.

2)Ten blocked shots for the Jets in the first period including three for Johnny Oduya, and theyre winning the blocked shot battle by a 10-4 margin after the first 20 minutes. Looks like the Winnipeg Jets are bringing the good effort tonight and the Bs are going to have to ratchet up their game.

3)A perfect example of a legal way to protect yourself with Joe Corvo sidestepping a Tanner Glass big hit attempt behind the net in the first period. Corvo stepped out of the way and Glass took no pun intended a face full of glass instead of making contact with the Bs defenseman. Glass went down the runway and appeared to be shaken up afterward, and it proves that players have plenty of ways to protect themselves with an aggressor bearing down on them.

4) David Krejci starts the Bs scoring play with a nifty transitional pass and makes it a nine-game scoring streak after picking up the secondary assist on the Milan Lucic-to-Nathan Horton goal. That line is going to have to produce buckets of offense with Marchand out for the next five games.

5)Thirteen saves for Tuukka Rask, who looks cool as a cucumber between the pipes and has still allowed only two goals since midway through a Dec. 3 win over the Maple Leafs.

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Winnipeg Jets by a 3-2 score after the first 40 minutes of hockey at TD Garden.

1) Eventful second period for Shawn Thornton. He was called for an illegal contact to the head penalty for a hit on Chris Thorburn that actually never even made contact. Replays showed Thorntons shoulderelbow never connected with Thorburn, but he was whistled off anyway. That turned into a 5-on-3 advantage for Winnipeg, and Thornton earned himself a shaky penalty shot call with a breakaway bid coming out of the penalty box. That turned into a successful forehand-to-backhand top shelf shot to tie the game up, and he followed with a fight against former teammate Mark Stuart that ended with a bevy of Thornton right hands. He only needs the assist for the Gordie Howe hat trick.

2) A rough Joe Corvo turnover leads to an Eric Fehr go-ahead goal, and its been an uneven night for the Bruins defenseman.

3) Claude Julien switching around his lines and dropping both Gregory Campbell and Zach Hamill into the third line center spot for shifts during the second period. Hamill was bounced around by Jim Slater early in the game and hasnt been a prominent presence tonight like hes been in past game.

4) David Krejci has won all nine draws in the face-off circle through two periods, and seems to have been a man on a mission since a rough night against Steve Ott in Dallas.

5) Blake Wheeler with a tipped goal in the second period and leads the Jets in scoring with 32 points this season. After a slow start it appears that Wheeler might have just found a home with the Jets after never quite living up to the expectations of being a Bruin in Boston.

Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins taking down the Winnipeg Jets by a 5-3 score after 60 minutes of hockey at TD Garden.

1) David Krejci follows up 9-for-9 in face-offs during the first two periods with a face-off win off the opening drop in the third period to set up a Nathan Horton game-tying goal. Krejci was a huge part of the victory and has really been playing at an elite level for over a month.

2) Bruins continue to put up ridiculous numbers in the third period this season and outscored the Jets by a 3-0 score over the final 20 minutes. Bruins outscoring their opponents by a 60-23 margin this season: that is a Stanley Cup-winning type statistic.

3) Benoit Pouliot with a solid first game in place of Brad Marchand that included a power play goal after second and third effort in front of the net. Game-winning goal and insurance score both set up by Patrice Bergeron.

4) Tyler Seguin gets the game-winning goal and electrified the crowd with a filthy, roofed backhander after cutting through Randy Jones and using his body to shield the puck on the way to the net. The ever-classy Randy Jones shoved Seguin to the ice after the 19-year-scored the goal and fired up the crowd.

5) Nathan Horton with five goals in his last four games and finally looks to be snapping out of the early season funk he had been in. The KrejciLucicHorton line is putting it all together at exactly the right time.

Haggerty: Bruins motto is don't just do something, stand there!

Haggerty: Bruins motto is don't just do something, stand there!

After back-to-back, soul-crushing losses earlier this week, the Bruins responded by doing pretty much what they've done over the last couple of seasons:

Nothing.

Claude Julien was not relieved of his duties -- as many expected after the Bruins blew a couple of three-goal leads in a shootout loss in Detroit on Wednesday night -- and there was no big shakeup for a reeling hockey club that certainly feels like it needs it.

Instead the Bruins will host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night after going through a “nothing-to-see-here, everything-is-fine” morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena, then go to Pittsburgh for a Sunday afternoon matinee against a Penguins team that’s playing some pretty good hockey.

Maybe the Bruins will play better than they did in taking one out of a possible four points against two of the worst teams in the East -- the Islanders and Red Wings -- and perhaps that will tamp down some of the unrest among those that closely follow this organization.

But the fact is, the Bruins front office doing nothing in the face of stunning underperformance from its hockey club is the furthest thing from courage, bravery or doing the right thing.

This is the third straight year we've seen no-shows and a startling lack of emotional engagement from a team that collapsed down the stretch and missed the postseason in each of the last two seasons, and is now in a position where it may not even be in the playoff hunt at the end of this one. To sit still as it happens again feels, to this humble hockey writer, like willful indifference in the face of the obvious: Something is broken with the Bruins.

There's no single big trade that can fix it, not with the Coyotes and Avalanche as the only true sellers. And a Bruins management group with the true best interests of the hockey club in mind would look at the 'seller' option, dealing away some of the core pieces and starting a true rebuild around Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and the young players under team control that are beginning to filter into the NHL level.

But it doesn’t feel like this current B’s front office, or the ownership group, has the appetite for that, and instead wants to retool on the fly while also attempting to compete for the playoffs. That’s a delicate balance and it’s one that has caused the Red Wings to go sideways this season, putting them in danger of missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 1990-91.

That’s the same Red Wings team, incidentally, that somehow came back from deficits of 3-0 and 4-1 against the Bruins on Wednesday.

With a trade unlikely, the easiest way to a short-term spark continues to be a change with the head coach. Everybody knows Claude Julien has been the best coach in the modern Bruins era, and he’ll forever be loved and cherished in the Boston area for helping win the Stanley Cup in 2011. But the jarring comments from Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand about the team not being ready to play, and collectively taking the Isles too lightly, can’t be ignored.

It feels like things are altogether too comfortable in the Bruins dressing room, and that can be a byproduct of the same coach with the same core group of players for the last 10 years. The sense here is that the Bruins need a short term butt-kicker who'd come in and challenge some Bruins veterans who haven’t been challenged enough in recent years, and will bring an edge to a group that’s look satisfied and happy lately while insulated with big-money contracts and no-movement clauses.

That kind of move could give the Bruins enough of a nudge to get them into the playoffs this season, and help ease the rebuilding pain until Charlie McAvoy, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Zach Senyshyn and the next wave of Bruins prospects are ready to blossom.  

Instead the fancy-stats brigade will tell you that the Bruins are automatically going to turn things around because of the incredibly slim premise that it’s all based on shooting percentage, and Bruin apologists will tell you that the roster simply isn’t good enough right now. So riding it out with Julien is the right move because he's the MacGyver-like chewing gum that’s holding it all together right now.

Sorry, but many are not buying this Bruins-approved message.

They have two-thirds of the best forward line from the World Cup of Hockey in Bergeron and Marchand. They have a legitimate No. 1 goalie in Tuukka Rask. They have experienced, proven winners in David Krejci, David Backes and Zdeno Chara. They have bright, young talents in David Pastrnak and Brandon Carlo. And they're about to get passed by the Senators and Maple Leafs in the playoff race once those other teams catch up to Boston in games played. Nobody can make the straight-faced claim that Toronto or Ottawa is superior to the Bruins in the overall talent department.

The Bruins are underachieving this season, and some players have been truly disappointing in big spots.

The simple truth is that Julien isn’t getting the most out of them. They settle for perimeter shots far too much in the offensive zone, which plays into the poor team shooting percentage, and they take opponents lightly far too often for a hockey club in the NHL’s middle class.

Those kinds of traits fall back on the coach, and, unfortunately, replacing Julien is the most readily available card for Bruins management to play when they finally begin feeling the desperation and urgency that’s been missing too much this season.

Perhaps some of it is a fear of removing a popular, accomplished figure like Julien, and then watching him have success somewhere else. Perhaps some of it is a hesitancy to turn things over to assistants Joe Sacco and Bruce Cassidy at such a delicate point in time this season. Perhaps some of it is that one of the few real alternatives the Bruins are facing would be general manager Don Sweeney or team president Cam Neely actually manning the bench as Julien’s replacement if they fired the head coach, a maneuver that hasn’t been seen with the Bruins since the Harry Sinden days when Mike O’Connell went to the bench in 2002-03 after firing Robbie Ftorek.

Whatever the reason, the Bruins still haven’t seen enough to decide that something needs to change with this group sputtering along to another playoff DNQ. The fans are decrying it while holding their hefty season-ticket package bills in their hands, the clear-eyed observer sees it without question, and there’s no doubt some hard-working Bruins players are hoping for it behind the scenes on a ship that’s taking on water.

But nothing of significance is going to change with this Bruins team until they make a change, and that’s something they continue to avoid.

Pro Football Talk: Ex-Patriot Jamie Collins close to re-signing with Browns

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Pro Football Talk: Ex-Patriot Jamie Collins close to re-signing with Browns

The Browns are close to finalizing a multi-year contract with former Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins, CBS Sports reported Thursday.

The report said “significant progress” has been made between the sides and that the deal will be done by the weekend.

Click here for the complete story.