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?

Bruins view newly signed Krug as an emerging leader

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Bruins view newly signed Krug as an emerging leader

With Bruins defenseman Torey Krug in the fold for four more years, a Thursday afternoon conference call with the 25-year-old defenseman and GM Don Sweeney was about what the young puck-mover can accomplish over the next few years. With Krug coming off a four goal, 44-point season and offseason shoulder surgery, it will be a slow and steady progression to begin next season once he’s cleared to play.

What isn’t in question is Krug’s leadership, toughness and gritty attitude to go along with his considerable offensive skill set, and those all made the $21 million contract a no-brainer from the Black and Gold end of things.

“Torey’s got a very, very unique skill set that’s important to our hockey club. He’s had a very, very productive three years. His role this year and his time on ice, in all situations, increased significantly. He was able to shoulder much, much more responsibility in all parts of the game. As a young player who is invested in the Boston Bruins organization, he wants to win, he does things the right way every time he comes to the rink,” said Sweeney. “He wants to get better; he’s not satisfied. All the things you want out of a young player to identify with, which is something we also acknowledge, that Torey has really been identified as an emerging part of our core leadership group.

“I think he’ll help tremendously to help all of our young players that hope to fall in similar fashion with the success that he’s had up to this point. We have a lot of work to do in front of us and Torey’s going to help us get back to where we want to be in trying to win a Stanley Cup.”

Krug has averaged 10 goals and 41 points over his first three seasons in the NHL, and averaged a career-high 21:37 of ice time last season as a de facto No. 2 defenseman behind Zdeno Chara. It was a big season because Krug survived, and continued to put up points, as a legit top-4 defenseman in the NHL, but the 5-foot-9, 181-pounder also needed his shoulder repaired after his first season of heavy duty usage.

So it bears the question of whether Krug will stay in one piece with the heavy top-4 duty over the next four years. Whatever the answer is to that question, the puck-moving defenseman will be a leader, a feisty character on the ice and somebody that’s going to serve as a good professional role model for the flock of young players expected to come through in the next couple of seasons.

The Michigan boy couldn’t be happier to be a part of all of it in Boston for the next four years.

“I think [the leadership thing] has been something that was instilled in me in a young age, you know, coming from my father. It’s always been authentic. If anyone tries to force it then people see right through that, and it just doesn’t happen. But for me and this team and this locker room I think I’m able to bridge that gap from the young guys to the older guys,” said Krug. “I relate to every single person in that locker room, which I think will help our team as we grow and we mature bringing in younger guys from Providence. Or guys that are just signed and helping them develop and helping them feel comfortable within the locker room because it can be intimidating.

“It’s tough to walk in the locker room, you know, when you have Stanley Cup Champions and Norris and Selke Trophy winners. So it can definitely be very intimidating and hopefully I can serve as that bridge to kind of ease that gap for those guys. As far as young defensemen goes, the one thing that Claude [Julien] helped me with when I first came up was making sure I was myself. I was here for a reason. I was able to do the thing I do well, and I wasn’t straying away from that to try to be someone that I’m not. So I think young defensemen, once they realize that and they realize that everyone in this organization is there to help them then they’ll begin to improve. They’ll become themselves as they will at the NHL level.”

With Krug having experienced a couple of years of late season collapses as one of the young leaders on this Bruins team, even more will be asked of him next season as the Black and Gold push hard to right the ship. 

OFFSEASON

Report: Lakers have interest in Celtics RFA Tyler Zeller

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Report: Lakers have interest in Celtics RFA Tyler Zeller

The Los Angeles Lakers have interest in Boston Celtics restricted free agent Tyler Zeller, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. 

The Celtics made a $3.7 million qualifying offer to Zeller this offseason, meaning the Celtics can match any offer sheet the 26-year-old center signs.

OFFSEASON

Report: Celtics amend Johnson, Jerebko guarantee date to July 7

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Report: Celtics amend Johnson, Jerebko guarantee date to July 7

The Boston Celtics have reportedly agreed to amend the guarantee date for Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko's contracts to July 7th instead of July 3rd, Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported.

The Celtics now have until July 7 to decide whether or not to waive the duo to make more cap space to potentially sign Kevin Durant and another near max-salary player.

The Boston Globe reported on Thursday that the Celtics will likely guarantee the second year of Amir Johnson’s contract.