Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Lightning


Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Lightning

TAMPA Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of play at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

1)Another disinterested first period for the Bruins against the Lightning. Sloppy on defense, little emotion and no real push offensively coupled with pedestrian opponents are bringing the worst out of the Bs. Very flat, very passive and no physical engagement whatsoever for the Bs, but Id call it a malaise more than slump.

2)Second game in a row that the Bruins had only six shots at the end of the first period. Thats simply not enough offense for the Bruins and not enough sustained possession in the offensive zone.

3)Three Bs bodies (Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk and David Krejci) all around Vinny Lecavalier in front of the Boston net, but My Center Vinny beat them all to a loose with Tim Thomas way out of the net after challenging Marty St. Louis. Too easy for Lecavalier and not enough push-back from the Bruins.

4) Patrice Bergeron had to retreat to the Bs dressing room twice during the first period for what looked like equipment issues. He missed one of the Bs power plays because of it. No. 37 needs to lock down the equipment problems because the Bs can afford to miss him in big moments.

5)Brett Clark blocked four shots in the first period for Tampa and literally walked right in front of the Joe Corvo slap shot. The guy seems to have no fear. Impressive.

TAMPA Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning tied at a 2-2- score after the first 40 minutes of play at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

1)Claude Julien calls out Nathan Horton after last nights game, and the right wing responds by scoring a pair of goals and helping keep his hockey club in the game. Horton leads the Bruins with four shots on net and had another three shots blocked in the most active offensive night hes had in quite some time. When is Claude Julien going to go on his motivational speaking tour?

2)Another group of defensive breakdowns for the Bruins leading to a Tom Pyatt goal. Milan Lucic made an ill-advised cross-ice pass that was intercepted, Joe Corvo vacated his defensive post in front of the net and Tim Thomas ventured way out of his crease with no defensive support. That amount to an easy tap in for Pyatt that has the game tied after two periods.

3)Joe Corvo is in a pretty deep funk right now. Hes not making enough happen offensively and has been a leaking oil liability in his own end.

4)Pierre-Cedric Labrie running around with five hits in 2:43 of ice time through two periods, and hasnt been challenged to back away by any of the Bruins as of yet. Stay tuned in the third period.

5) Have to share the Jack Edwards tweet after Nathan Hortons second goal: Horton hears a hoo. Two. Has a clue. Would like to make it a few. Please do. You cant make that stuff up. By the way, love the 40 million renovations at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The pipe organ theyve added really makes it feel like a hockey barn rather than a rink stuck in Florida.

TAMPA Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a 5-3 score after 60 minutes of play at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

1)Tyler Seguin called for diving in the third period on a matching call with Steve Stamkos. Thats not the Bruins way, Tyler. You cant be diving. Not on this team.

2)Tim Thomas was flat beaten by the Dominic Moore shot in the third period for the game-winner. Not a great game for the Bs goalie with the Bruins defense very shaky in front of him.

3) Bruins definitely look like they could use the energy of Brad Marchand, dont they?

4)Daniel Paille doesnt cash in close to all of the breakaways hes given because of his speed, instincts and tenacity, but given enough chances hell figure it out as he did in the third period on a filthy roofed backhander.

5)How is this Lightning team as bad they are this season? Looks to me like they have everything they need to win hockey games based on one nights effort against the Bruins.

Celtics bench hurting with Smart out


Celtics bench hurting with Smart out

The Boston Celtics don’t reveal a ton about what happens behind their closed-door practices, but there were a couple of significant narratives that developed in the preseason.

Chief among them was the development of the bench which on many occasions, outplayed the starters.

Leading the second team surge on many days in the preseason was Marcus Smart, whose absence during the first two games of the season has been obvious.

Smart suffered a left ankle sprain injury in the Celtics’ final preseason game, an injury that CSNNE.com reported at the time would sideline him for a couple of weeks.

A few days later, Smart confirmed the report by indicating he would be out of action for two weeks from the time of the injury.

That puts his return to the floor being Nov. 3 at Cleveland which would mean he would be missing the first four games of the season.

One of the reasons why the second unit had so much success against the starters, was the rhythm they developed playing with and off one another.

Trying to re-establish that on the fly without Smart has proven to be challenging at times for Boston’s second unit.

In the season-opening win over Brooklyn, Boston’s second unit was called upon to simply hold down a lead in the fourth quarter that peaked at 23. But the lead steadily shrunk and head coach Brad Stevens was forced to bring his starters back into the game.

And last night at Chicago, the second unit was never able to deliver the kind of impact-making plays that Boston’s backups can do.

But it goes beyond what Smart can do on the floor when he plays. Like most of his teammates, Smart’s presence has a way of allowing his other teammates to get into a rhythm and get accustomed to whatever role they are asked to play.

Without him, everyone’s job shifts just a little bit.

“They’re trying to figure it out on the fly,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder. “They had a few practices, maybe one tough day of practice without him; it’s tough. They’re trying to figure it out. There’s no other way to figure it out but in the game.”

New photos show Sandoval has lost weight


New photos show Sandoval has lost weight

The last time a bunch of pictures of Pablo Sandoval made headlines, it was not a good sign for the Red Sox. The latest batch isn’t so bad. 

Sandoval became the story of spring training this season when photos -- specifically a Boston Globe one of him throwing -- revealed he’d gained significant weight. The veteran third baseman was surpassed by Travis Shaw for the starting job and began the season as a bench player. 

After three regular-season games, Sandoval was put on the disabled list with a shoulder strain. He was then shut down for the season in May due to shoulder surgery. 

In a tweet and story posted by FC Barcelona, a smiling -- and noticeably thinner -- Sandoval could be seen attending the club’s final training session. 

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.