Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Kings

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Kings

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Los Angeles Kings by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes at TD Garden.

1)Rich Peverley snapped a 13-game goal-scoring drought with the first period goal, and was due for one to light the lamp. Hes been playing with good speed and aggressiveness for a good stretch and seems like he should have more than 5 goals at this point in the season, doesnt he?

2)A great look by Zach Hamill in the first period to find Peverley wide open on the backdoor, and the entire play was set up by the former first round picks forecheck. The puck bounced off Hamills skate and set things into motion for the center to eventually find Peverley backdoor. Another Hamill dish drew a penalty on Slava Moynov later in the period when he tripped Shawn Thornton in front of the net, and it looks like the 23-year-old is trying to make an impression. One good question to ask: at what point do the Bruins decide to see what Hamills versatility and playmaking can bring to the table rather than what theyve seen out of Jordan Caron thus far this year.

3)Dustin Penner missed an absolutely wide open net with a shot on a two-on-none with Simon Gagne when they managed to get behind a scrambling Adam McQuaid. That flubbed scoring chance just adds to a horrendous season for Penner in Los Angeles this season.

4)Three blocked shots for Dennis Seidenberg and nine blocked shots as a team in the first period for the Bruins. Just doing their part with Zdeno Chara out of the lineup.

5)Daniel Paille looks no worse for the wear in the first period after coming back from a mild concussion. He took a big hit from Jack Johnson during a penalty kill, and then rocked Dustin Brown on the same shift before moving for a shorthanded chance at the other end. Such a useful hockey player with his speed and tenacity, and looks no worse for wear.

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Los Angeles Kings by a 2-0 score after the first 40 minutes at TD Garden.

1)Dont hockey teams usually play with urgency and energy when the head coach has been canned? Kings have shown a little life on the power play, but are losing one-on-one battles all over the ice and Dustin Penner may need a defibrillator and some serious smelling salts to revive his game.

2)Only one shot on net for Brad Marchand in the first two periods, but hes been the good brat tonight. A big goal in the second period off a clean offensive zone face-off win for Patrice Bergeron and then he just missed high with a backhander over the crossbar on a breakaway attempt.

3)Three hits and one shot on net for Milan Lucic in the first two periods. He trucked over Dustin Brown in the first period and is looking to play the body as much or more than hes looking for offense right now. Lucic seems to have learned that the goals will come, but he needs to play on that physical edge in order to be effective.

4)Twenty one saves for Tuukka Rask and he entered tonight with a blistering .956 save percentage during the month of December in three games. It looks like Rask is finally getting the hang of maximizing his chances to play while partnering with Tim Thomas. Thats important for the Bs down the stretch.

5) Zach Hamill blocked a Jack Johnson shot that looked like it was fairly painful, and the Bs players on the bench tapped their sticks against the bards in front of them in support of the rookie. Hamill playing a strong game tonight and making a statement he wants a longer look in Boston.

Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins crowning the Los Angeles Kings by a 3-0 score after 60 minutes at TD Garden.

1)Two penalties for Steve Kampfer tonight. Not so good.

2)Two goals for the good brat in Brad Marchand. Very good.

3)Strong night for Tuukka Rask, who just keeps getting better this season and weathered the Kings best chances in the third period. First shutout of the season for the young netminder.

4)The Bruins are 14-0-0 when they take a lead into the third period. That is just lockdown hockey for the Black and Gold.

5)Boy, are the Kings terrible. Boring, uninspired hockey with a bunch of players that dont look engaged in the least. How long until Dean Lombardi is in trouble?

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

BOSTON – Prior to Saturday’s game, Terry Rozier talked to CSNNE.com about the importance of staying ready always, because “you never know when your name or number is going to be called.”

Like when trailing by three points in the fourth quarter with less than 10 seconds to play?

Yes, Rozier was on the floor in that scenario and the second-year guard delivered when his team needed it.

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But Rozier’s fourth quarter heroics which forced overtime against Portland, did not provide that much-needed jolt that Boston needed as the Blazers managed to fend off the Celtics in overtime, 127-123.

For Rozier’s part, he had 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

The 15 points scored for Rozier was the most for him since he tallied 16 in a 30-point Celtics win at Orlando on Dec. 7.

But more than the points, the decision by head coach Brad Stevens to draw up a play for him in that moment, a time when most of what Boston does revolves around the shooting of Isaiah Thomas who has been among the top-3 scorers in the fourth quarter most of this season, was surprising to many.

And at that point in the game, Thomas already had 13 fourth-quarter points.

Stevens confirmed after the game that the last shot in the fourth was indeed for Rozier, but Thomas’ presence on the floor was important to its execution.

“He (Thomas) also draws a lot of attention,” Stevens said. “So I think you just weigh kind of … what kind of shot you’re going to get, depending on who it is.”

Rozier had initially screened for Thomas, and Thomas came back and screened for him.

“I was open as soon as I caught … and I let it fly,” Rozier said. “Coach drew up a play for me and it felt good to see the ball go in.”

Being on the floor at that time, win or lose, was a victory of sorts for Rozier.

He has seen first-hand how quickly the tide can change in the NBA for a young player.

After a strong summer league showing and a solid training camp, Rozier had earned himself a firm spot in the team’s regular rotation.

But a series of not-so-great games coupled with Gerald Green’s breakout night on Christmas Day, led to his playing time since then becoming more sporadic.

Rozier, in an interview with CSNNE.com, acknowledged it hasn’t been easy going from playing regular minutes to not being sure how much court time, if any, he would receive.

But he says the veterans on the team have been good about keeping his spirits up, and one in particular – Avery Bradley – has been especially helpful.

Like Rozier, Bradley’s first couple of years saw his playing time go from non-existent to inconsistent. But Bradley stayed the course and listened to the team’s veterans who continued to tell him that his hard work would pay off sooner or later.

Those same words of wisdom Bradley received in his early days, he passes on to Rozier.

“It’s big,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “He (Bradley) tells me things like that. I felt I was ready for this (inconsistent minutes) after all that he told me. It’s big to have a guy like him that has been through it all with a championship team, been around this organization for a while; have him talk to you is big. It’s always good. That’s why I stay positive, and be ready.”

Which is part of the reason why Stevens didn’t hesitate to call up a play for the second-year guard despite him being a 33.3 percent shooter from 3-point range this season – that ranks eighth on this team, mind you.

“He’s a really good shooter,” Stevens said of Rozier. “I think with more opportunity that will show itself true, but he made some big ones in the fourth quarter. We went to him a few different times out of time-outs, and felt good about him making that one.”

And to know that Stevens will turn to him not just to spell Thomas or one of the team’s other guards, but to actually make a game-altering play in the final seconds … that’s major.

“It helps tremendously,” said Rozier who added that his confidence is through “the roof. It makes me want to do everything. You know defense, all of that. It’s great, especially to have a guy like Brad trust you."