Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Maple Leafs

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Maple Leafs

TORONTO Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Maple Leafs tied at 1-1 after the first 20 minutes of play at the Air Canada Centre.

1)Great period from Jordan Caron following up on a good game against the New York Rangers last weekend. Caron had a strong shift midway through the first period when he found a cutting Johnny Boychuk on the backdoor for a scoring chance turned away by Jonas Gustavsson, and then cut through the middle of the slot for his own shot on the same shift. Caron followed that up by potting a goal on his next shift when he crashed the net looking for a Joe Corvo shot that took a wild bounce off the end boards, and pushed the puck past the Toronto goalie for the game-tying goal after Benoit Pouliot attempt at the rebound. Bruins could use more of that from their former first round pick.

2) Greg Zanon is now a minus-4 with the Bruins and has had some issues right in front of the Boston net after a promising first game. He unwittingly screened Tim Thomas on a Carl Gunnarsson shot that beat him to the glove-hand side for Torontos goal that period. Thomas needs to do a better job of fighting through those screens, and Zanon needs to get on the same page with his goaltender.

3)Bruins outshot the Maple Leafs by a 12-7 margin and had themselves a pretty solid period aside from the Gunnarsson goal. They talked about searching for that consistency prior to this one and now they need two periods as good or better than the first one.

4) Sounds like Mathieu Garon went down with injury for the Tampa Bay Lightning. If youre looking for a team that would put a claim in on 36-year-old Marty Turco and block the Bruins, its Steve Yzerman and the goaltending-starved Bolts still harboring playoff delusions.

5)Great work at the end of the first period with both David Krejci and Tyler Seguin outworking Dion Phaneuf for loose pucks that allowed Seguin to get one last shot off that hit the right post. The Bruins brought their hard hats tonight.

TORONTO Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Maple Leafs by a 5-3 score after the first 40 minutes of play at the Air Canada Centre.

1)Dennis Seidenberg is quite possibly the nicest guy in the world. But hes also a beast. Colby Armstrong is bloody aware of that now after messing with him in the second period. Seidenberg finally lost it and started pounding on Armstrong before leaving the Leafs agitator dripping blood before the fight was all over. It did lead to a Leafs power play when Adam McQuaid was also called for roughing, but the point stands.

2)Two goals each for Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron. The Bruins need the energy, pop and enthusiasm from their younger players while battling through this .500 mess that theyre in and both players have showed up in a big way today. Seguins numbers at the Air Canada Centre are getting scary when hes playing in front of his friends and family.

3)Three goals in two games for Jordan Caron and four shots on net in 9:10 of ice time along with a plus-3. Confidence is the key to any hockey player and hes feeling it right now.

4)Six hits for Lane MacDermid in 6:31 of ice time. Hes actually looked very good playing in that fourth line role on the wing. He doesnt bring the speed of Daniel Paille, obviously, but hes throwing his weight around.

5)Benoit Pouliot with two shifts and 1:43 of ice time in the second period. It looked like he has hit the pine as Lane MacDermid, Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell all taking turns skating in his place on the third line.

TORONTO Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins burning the Maple Leafs by a 5-4 score after 60 minutes of play at the Air Canada Centre.

1)No Benoit Pouliot on the bench in the third period. Perhaps he was hurt rather than disciplinary action. Didnt see what happened to him if hes indeed injured. Last thing the Bruins need is another injury to a winger.

2) No easy games for the Bruins for the rest of the season. Toronto showing some lift in the first period with a Mikhail Grabovski goal that beat Tim Thomas cleanly after a long stretch pass from Toronto end.

3) Tim Thomas glove hand and angles look pretty far off to the goaltending layman. Perhaps hes already showing signs of fatigue before they even really have to ride him hard this season.

4) Five blocked shots, four hits and four shots on net for Johnny Boychuk in a mans effort against the Maple Leafs. People that complain about his contract extension should watch Tuesdays game tape.

5)Tough game for Milan Lucic. A few too many giveaways, no shots on net and little involvement in the offensive zone. They cant all be gems, but Lucic just didnt have it going against the Leafs

Chara 'felt pretty good' in first game back

Chara 'felt pretty good' in first game back

BOSTON -- Zdeno Chara knew which question was coming, so he didn’t even wait for it to be asked in the postgame B’s dressing room.

“I felt pretty good for the first game. It was a good game to come back,” said Chara, who finished with a minus-1 rating in 23:31 of ice time. “Obviously, Florida is a very good skating team and it is always kind of challenging to play them. But I had no issues. It felt good to be back and, obviously, big win.”

Surprisingly the Bruins didn’t have many issues from a defensive standpoint in the six games that their captain missed with a lower body injury, and finished with a 3-2-1 record and 10 goals allowed in the aforementioned six games.

That was something Chara, off to the best start to a season in at least a couple of years, remarked on both right before and after returning to the B’s lineup on Monday.

“I was very proud. It was exciting to see how they battled and it’s never easy. Every game is a challenge and every game is a big game,” said Chara, who has one goal and six points along with a plus-11 rating in 20 games this season. “There’s never an easy game. But guys were battling. They were playing some hard opponents and they won some really big games by gutsy efforts.”

Still it was good to get Chara back into the mix as a top shutdown pairing with 20-year-old Brandon Carlo, and that allowed the rest of the defensive pieces to fall into place for the Black and Gold.

Clearly there was a little bit of rust on Chara after just practicing for a couple of days and he’ll really be pushed with so many games coming up in a short period of time, but it is nearly impossible to push the 39-year-old out of the lineup after he’s worked his way back in. The timing, the reads and the positioning will all get back to top form quickly for the 19-year veteran, but his coach thought it was a good first step with him while showing no issues moving around on his skates throughout the game.

“He played okay. It was his first game back and, you know, a lot of responsibility,” said Julien. “You expect guys to work themselves back in, and I think he did a good job.”

Now Chara will focus on working himself back into the rhythm he was in prior to the injury, and preparing his nearly 40-year-old body for the grinding schedule that awaits them for the rest of this month.

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox got the bullpen help they were seeking Tuesday, but it came at a steep price.
     
The Sox obtained righthanded reliever Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers, but it cost them infielder Travis Shaw, highly regarded shortstop prospect Mauricio Dubon and pitching prospect Josh Pennington, according to an industry source.

In Thornburg, 28, the Red Sox get a hard-throwing reliever whom they control for the next three seasons. He became the Brewers' closer after the trade deadline last year and recorded 13 saves while posting a 2.15 ERA and avergaing 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
    
He will serve as the Red Sox' primary set-up option to get to closer Craig Kimbrel.
     
One potential issue for Thornburg is that he's dealt with some elbow issues in the recent past. As recently as 2014, it was thought that he might require Tommy John surgery, but he instead underwent PRP (platelt rich plasma) treatment and has remained healthy.

Given that the last set-up reliever obtained by Dombrowski, Carson Smith, underwent Tommy John surgery last season, Thornburg's injury history raises a caution flag.

In dealing Shaw, the Red Sox are now expecting Pablo Sandoval to be their primary third baseman -- at least in the near term.

Sandoval missed all but a few games in 2016 with a shoulder injury and his conditioning has been an issue since signing with the Red Sox two years ago.

The Red Sox have Brock Holt to help out at third in 2017, with both Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers waiting in the wings.

Dubon is the second top prospect to be dealt by Dombrowski in the last 13 months. He included Javier Guerra in a package with three other prospects to obtain Kimbrel in November of 2015.

Dubon posted a .912 OPS in half a season at Portland last year and recently played in the Arizona Fall League. He has limited power, but strong athleticism and makes good contact.

Pennington is 20, a hard-throwing (94-98 mph) righthander who could profile either as a late-inning weapon or a starter. He's years away from the big leagues and has already undergone Tommy John surgery.

The Boston Herald was the first to report that the teams had made a trade. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com was the first to report the details.